The Psychology of Employee Recognition
Building Meaning into Your Workplace
Published by: Online Rewards Announcements
Introduction to Employee Psychology
Employees are the most important part of any business. Without people, a business is not a business. This is why it is important to always keep employees happy, engaged, and operating at their highest potential. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in not just how to make employees happy, but also how to measure that happiness. Popular HR speaker, Shawn Achor, has defined happiness according to four important factors:
- Social connection
- Perception of stress
The first factor implies the belief that our actions or behaviors will matter in the future. The second has to do with the depth of our work relationships. The third factor defines how we view stress—either as a challenge or a roadblock. The last one, which seems to be the most important, is one that many HR experts have deemed an important variable to overall employee well-being.
But what exactly is meaning to employees, and how do employers build meaning in their workplace?
Understanding the Need for Meaning at Work
There is a clear connection between meaning, happiness, and the well-being of employees, and countless studies and surveys have confirmed that relationship. Deloitte, in a global human capital report in 2016, revealed that the traditional definition of employees’ satisfaction and engagement needs to extend beyond the current definition and include, among other things, "meaningful work."
The report went further to suggest that, while employee perks such as free lunch are appreciated, employers need to go beyond the basics and focus on driving real meaning and purpose amongst employees.
In another report, it was revealed that the greatest factor that defines a great workplace is the employees’ belief that their work has meaning. The same report cited a survey of 18,000 Generation Y members, and the majority claimed meaning and a sense of purpose are the primary factors that define whether or not they stay at a company long term.
Several other HR experts have lauded the importance of meaning in the workplace. Patty McFord, a former head of talent at Netflix, has stated that the most likely to succeed startups are those where the employees feel like their work has meaning.
Building Meaning into the Workplace
It is becoming more important than ever to build meaning into the workplace. The question remains: How? There are several ways to accomplish this.
The first way is to incorporate a personable touch into otherwise mundane tasks and communication. The truth is that, when people are reminded of a human connection to their work, they are more empathetic and feel a higher sense of purpose. So, instead of just talking about technology, features, or business problems, focus more on the end users and how their lives will be made better by your work. Once this side is visible to your employees, they will feel a sense of purpose.
Everyone loves to be appreciated and recognized. If they know that someone else will value their work, employees are much more likely to reach their full potential. It is extremely important to recognize employees regularly and let them know that their work is valued. Understanding that employers view them as people and not just as numbers will make workers feel valued and purposeful. These are just some of the many ways that employers can give their employees a sense of meaning.
If you are looking to begin the process of strategizing to bring more meaning to the workplace, particularly through employee recognition, Online Rewards can help!