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Topic: Appreciation

Employee Recognition’s New Normal

3 ways to move from transactional to meaningful recognition experiences

Employee recognition over a zoom call - employee recognition's new normal as we adjust to COVID-19
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As you are transitioning to the “new normal” in the workplace, you are likely reevaluating every aspect of the employee experience. This should include how to appreciate your people.

Recognition can be an incredibly powerful tool to help employees through times of crisis. During the pandemic, when employees were recognized in the past 7 days, they were 103% more likely to feel supported by the organization and 59% more likely to trust their leader. When employees were not recognized, they were 23% less likely to feel supported by the organization and 2x more fearful of COVID-19.

Even before the world had to completely change workspaces, only 32% of employees felt the recognition they received was sincere and meaningful and 40% of employees felt the recognition they received was an empty gesture. Most recognition experiences were mediocre at best before the pandemic, but with remote work and social distancing, there are now more barriers to creating great recognition experiences.

As the world slowly adapts to a “new normal”, what is employee recognition’s new normal?

Recognition is about seeing people.


Since their inception, employee recognition programs have handed out rewards for specific results, accomplishments, and behaviors. But over time employee recognition has become more and more programmatic, moving away from conveying true appreciation

Employee recognition is not a program; it’s not just about the rewards. Brené Brown speaks about the importance of seeing, hearing, and valuing people. This notion also applies well to recognition. True recognition is about seeing, hearing and valuing people.

Think about the best recognition experience you’ve ever had. Chances are what you remember most is what people said, the stories they told, and how they made you feel.

Recognition programs can facilitate great recognition experiences. They enable consistent recognition, provide awards in a standard and easy way, showcase accomplishments to others, and track and report what recognition is happening across an organization. They are tools to track budgets, enable training, and remind people to give recognition. But the programs themselves cannot be the only part of the recognition experience.

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