In Part 1 of this series, I postulated a formula for some of the “known" elements. The formula suggests that each of this factors can contribute to the success – or failure – of a retention strategy. Related: Top 3 Character Traits To Look For In Your Next Hire Successful Retention = f (Objective Expectations, Compensation, Training, Recognition, Feedback, Organizational Culture, and…) The objective expectations component was discussed in Part 1. Part 2 discussed the challenging aspects of compensation. Part 3 discussed training. In my experiences training 1000's of managers for a variety of organizations, I've found “recognition" to be a fascinating, and one of the most puzzling, factors.
We Know A Lot About RecognitionOne of the puzzling factors of recognition is that there is a lot of powerful, research supported data on the power of recognition. From the powerful, now longitudinal, work of the Gallup organization, initially popularized by the Buckingham/Coffman work in “First, Break All the Rules," the critically fourth step in developing top performers (and teams) was the answer to: In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work. The deliberately strong wording (“in the last seven days") revealed both the power and the paradox of what we know about recognition:
- Less than one in three employees give a strongly positive answer to this statement.
- Between one-fifth and one-third of employees “disagree" with the statement.
- Variation is responsible for 10 to 20 percent differences in productivity and revenue.
- 39 point higher percentage of employees “completely satisfied with job."
- 63 point higher percentage of employees “agree morale is very high."
- 65 point higher percentage of employees “who are highly engaged."
But We Don't Do It – Or Know How?Despite the strong evidence of the power of recognition, there is still the data showing clearly that employees do not feel they are being recognized. A recent article reported:
- Employee engagement, productivity, and customer service are 14% better in organizations where regular recognition occurs.
- However, only 17% of the employees indicated that their organizational culture strongly supports recognition.
- Over 70% of the respondents indicated that they are only recognized once a year (a service award) or not at all. (Bersin and Associates)