The Power of Recognition in the Workplace

The number one reason most employees leave their jobs is based on the lack of appreciation within the workplace. Sixty-five percent (65%) of employees surveyed reported that no recognition was received in the previous year. These figures were presented in a bestselling book from Gallup authors, Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton.[1] If you are like most employers, a gasp might occur as you connect voluntary turnover with the cost of recruitment, which is estimated at $4,129.00 per hire according to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey.[2]

Creative Business Solutions (“CBS”) aims to add to your management toolbelt by providing some thoughtful ideas from a best seller, “The Carrot Principle,”[3] to recognize employees and avoid the turnstile of employee turnover:

  • Provide opportunities for employees to stretch their abilities by giving them responsibilities which are outside of their job description. Offer them the appropriate training, resources and contacts they need to succeed in the new task.
  • Deliver “on-the-spot” recognition by providing small gift cards to employees for going above and beyond their normal job duties.
  • As a manager, set a goal to learn one new thing daily about each employee.
  • Send a hand-written thank you note to an employee who has helped you.
  • Present an employee with a “long lunch” certificate offering a two (2) hour break.
  • At the start of the work day, spend a moment talking with employees about anything unrelated to work.

Recognition is possible in as little as sixty (60) seconds and in three (3) steps:

1. Tell the employee exactly what he/she did that was right.

2. Tell he/she what value or goal was achieved.

3. Show appreciation through a sincere, “Thank you.”

The most complex fragment of the recognition process is identifying the form of recognition which will lead to a motivated employee. This begins in two ways: first, by understanding the company’s formal reward program; and second, by getting to know the employees. The latter of the two proves to be difficult for many managers, however, the interest to personalize recognition based on the personal preferences of each employee makes a difference in an employee’s overall performance.

CBS specializes in ensuring each of our valued clients is operating at its full potential. Please call us today and we will be pleased to assist you with any strategic employee initiatives you may be exploring, including employee recognition programs.


[1] T. Rath, D. O. Clifton, How Full Is Your Bucket? (New York: Gallup, 2015)

[2] "Average Cost-per-Hire for Companies Is $4,129, SHRM Survey Finds." SHRM. N.p., 03 Aug. 2016. Web. 23 May 2017.

[3] C. Elton, A. R. Gostick, The Carrot Principle: How the Best Manager Use Recognition to Engage Their People, Retain Talent, and Accelerate Performance (London: Pocket Books, 2009)

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Capper Foundation

Sandy Warren

VP Operations

Capper Foundation

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