Pandemic has disrupted the very idea of how things are supposed to be. The set-up we had for almost everything went through a transformation. We do things the way we never did before. There are many processes we valued before, and the importance of those is still the same, but the value we used to put into them has increased, and we have learned to do them in more productive ways.
One of those things is the importance of employee recognition during COVID lockdown. Companies knew that it was necessary, but now we know that it is critical to keep organizations productive and functional. Our workplace is not limited to the walls of offices anymore. Employees work remotely, either wholly or in some capacity. Changes in the work environment affect the state of mind of an employee and their output.
The productivity of the employees is improved by recognition and employee engagement. We know that salary is what employees work for. But it is also important to realize that it is not the only thing that they seek. The majority of employees do not work for a company solely for the purpose of making money. People seek recognition for the work they put in for the organization. Most of the employees carry some emotional attachment towards the company and want to be appreciated for their efforts.
Employees work hard in order to advance in their careers; they want to learn and reach new heights. Management’s acknowledgement of the same is critical. While employees are working remotely, human resources need to make sure that employees feel appreciated for their contribution to the company’s productivity. Organizations should make sure that they have a good employee recognition system in place. It is observed that when employees do not feel appreciated for their work, productivity decreases over time. A simple verbal appreciation for the work they put in can be enough to make your staff feel valued. In this blog, we will analyze the value of employee recognition during the pandemic.
What Makes Employee Recognition Important during the Pandemic?
People need to feel connected and appreciated. Those who feel isolated and ignored witness decreased productivity. Employee recognition does not have to be a big show, but it has to be there. Recognition has to be constant, just like motivation. A once-a-year employee recognition celebration cannot guarantee a constant boost in productivity. Employee appreciation should be a part of the company’s culture. There are many benefits to employee recognition, such as higher job satisfaction, increased engagement, reduced employee turnover, and lower absenteeism.
Employees want to be valued by the people around them, may it be their colleagues or managers. The profits of companies increase when their employees are treated well. If not valued appropriately, they treat their work as a formality and find a way to do it with the minimum effort to get it done, irrespective of the quality of the output. In a long run, it not only affects the profits but also damages the brands of the organization.
Effect on Productivity
It is important for employees to get their best work done for their company. Many times, there is a lot of effort involved when people try to do a lot better than what is expected of them. When there is encouragement and appreciation, it acts as a strong motivation. This inspires them to put more effort into their work in the future and to take the initiative whenever required. Employee recognition also sets the foundation for healthy competition for the employees. Everyone wants to be recognized and gets motivated to put in more effort. These extra efforts boost their productivity. They are more likely to bring in creativity and new ideas at work when they feel appreciated.
Recognition is often looked at as a performance tool to appreciate additional efforts and exceptional work, but it can be much more than that. We realized that recognition could be used to give hope and boost the morale of the staff when the world around us was filled with uncertainties and going through an unexpected transformation during the pandemic. Recognition makes us feel seen and appreciated. It gives a sense of security and confidence that is reflected in the performance. The culture of appreciation inside the team also makes us feel more connected to the team while working remotely.
Humans are social animals, and we need to feel connected to other people. The isolation of remote work can really affect the mental and emotional well-being of people who live alone. Employee wellbeing should also be a concern to the company as it directly affects productivity. Employee recognition can also be used to make people feel more connected. Generally, appreciation is given for individual performance, and as we are now working from home, it is easy to think that an email will do the job. It is important to encourage people in the presence of their colleagues. This way, they feel more valued, and others are also inspired to higher performance.
A pandemic has disrupted the shared office space and scattered the employees. Extending the recognition program to teams and departments can help to bring back some sense of connection that we lost. We need to make some changes to our employee recognition analysis to make it more inclusive. Make it more frequent and do it in person while working in a hybrid structure or on a video call rather than a simple email. A shared recognition helps people to feel more connected. They are likely to have a greater exchange of ideas or discuss hurdles in their work when they feel like a part of a team.
Something is Better than Nothing
We are moving at a faster rate than ever before. There is something new, and we need to adapt and make changes more frequently. When there is more asked of us, we also need more motivation to keep us aboard. The annual and quarterly recognition events seem far away, while employees are working remotely during the pandemic. They need some instant recognition. A simple “well done” and “thanks” can be more effective than some monetary reward that makes them wait for months. During this period of uncertainty, recognition has to be given at the moment.
We do not need to wait for some amazing achievement to showcase our appreciation. A small win now deserves to be appreciated with equal spirit. This shows your staff that you recognize even the smallest of their efforts. This also makes them feel seen rather than just being analyzed at the end of a quarter. The recognition does not even have to be a monetary reward. It is just making employees feel valued for their contributions that matters. You can be creative while expressing appreciation and gratitude towards your staff. So don’t wait till your old schedule tells you to or keep hoping for a grand celebration when everyone is back at the office. Your staff may lose motivation a lot sooner than when the set date finally arrives. The pandemic has taught us that all that matters now is to do something and express ourselves. Making employees feel recognized for their efforts is more important than showing how much money you can spare on that.
Employee recognition is more important in the pandemic than it was before. The staff are working remotely and need that feeling of connection and appreciation for their work. When people are valued at their workplace and see that their work is being appreciated, they feel motivated to do more for the company. Salary is important for workers, but it is not the only thing that they expect. Employees work for a company to build a good career and learn while they are working. They want to give their best, and that often takes a lot more effort than the average performance expected of them. Appropriate recognition encourages them to strive for more, whereas the absence of it likely forces them to settle for the bare minimum. In this way, employee recognition can give you higher productivity, and if you fail to recognize efforts by people, in the long run, it can harm your brand reputation.
By making some changes to your employee recognition program, you can extend it to teams and help your staff feel a greater sense of connection. The pandemic, with its unexpected changes and unpredictability, is hard on everyone. At such a time, it is critical to keep employee motivation high by giving appreciation at the moment. Make it an instant verbal compliment instead of an annual or quarterly event. We learned that making employees feel seen for all their small and big wins at the moment is more important than a grand celebration. So make the necessary changes and make this recognition a part of your day-to-day work culture.
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