The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
A key aspect of employee morale is the feeling that the work that employees are doing is recognized by superiors. A recent survey by FIS observed over 32,000 employees around the world and found some pretty interesting things about the effects of recognition programs.
- There was about a 61% increase in the number of employees who felt appreciated and recognized.
- There was a 31% increase in the number of employees who felt that their managers cared about their well-being.
- There was a 29% increase in the number of employees who felt real pride in their organization.
- The study also showed an overall 16% increase in manager/employee engagement.
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A related note of interest that this survey revealed is that there are significant cultural differences in the way employees feel appreciation. For example, employees in India felt more appreciated when contacted by someone from senior management whereas employees in the European countries of France, Germany and England found this to be less important.
Employee Recognition Around the Globe
As the global economy continues to be challenging, the key to success for milt-nationals will be further engaging and aligning employees to the company cause.
In 2011, global satisfaction and engagement scores dropped nearly 8 points.
39% of global employees participated in the same recognition programs as their North American counterparts.
Employee recognition by supervisors and managers can turbocharge employee engagement, increasing it in some cases by as much as 50%.
RECOGNITION IS VALUED BY EVERY EMPLOYEE, IN EVERY COUNTRY
FIS launched a global recognition program for its 32,000 employees and found that:
+61% increase – feeling and appreciated and recognized
+31% increase – feel managers cared about employee’s well-being
+29% increase – pride in the organization
+16% increase – overall engagement
RECOGNITION BEST PRACTICES APPLY GLOBALLY
√ Recognize what matters most to your organization.
√ Be inclusive of all employees.
√ Base it on performance or achievements over time.
√ Present it in a personal and meaningful way.
√ Actively involve all management.
√ Have a meaningful presentation.
√ Incorporate symbolism.
What’s Most Important?
While the same recognition best practices hold true in every country, the level of importance of each one is different. Understanding and adopting these nuances will better ensure program usage and effectiveness.
China: All employees want to feel valued for their great work.
India: Employees see recognition as a way to help with their career growth and development.
Japan: Ceremony and etiquette are very important in Japanese culture. Gift giving (including recognition) is seen as meaningful.
Australia: Informality, egalitarianism, and teamwork are critical elements in recognizing employees.
In Germany: Even a simple thank you doesn’t happen often enough, which is why employees appreciate individual recognition to show that managers know who they are.
In Brazil: Brazilians see meaningful, public presentations in front of peers (with senior management involvement) as critical parts of the experience.
In China: There is not much recognition above and beyond work that is not the “best-of-the-best.” While recognition should still be based on performance, it also needs to be inclusive of all employees.
Britain: Formality and Privacy within the business culture means recognition needs to be meaningful, clear and straightforward.
Germany: Employees want their managers to know them as individuals, not just as a worker.
France: Fairness and equality are important aspects of French business culture and recognition experiences.
Mexico: A celebratory culture, it’s important to create recognition moments where both leadership and even family members can participate.
Brazil: Employees need recognition to be meaningful.
Global recognition is easier than you think. If you keep in mind both the similarities and local nuances, you can develop a united recognition stately that impacts all of your employees, all around the world.
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Jacob Kache is a Consultant for OC Tanner, the world’s #1 provider of employee recognition programs and service awards.