The Effects of Praise & Recognition on Employee Happiness

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Employees' overall morale and happiness make a major difference in any company. According to the Harvard Business Review, employees' satisfaction levels play a significant role in how long they continue to work for a company. For executives, CEOs, and other leaders, staff retention makes a considerable difference in the success of any business. 


A series of factors contribute to employee happiness; some examples include salary, co-workers, opportunities for advancement, etc. However, some crucial components to employee happiness that often get overlooked are praise and recognition. 


Praise and recognition are essential elements of company culture. They also have significant effects on the happiness of employees. 


Three Effects of Praise & Recognition on the Happiness of Employees


Happy employees are more likely to have better job performance than their unhappy counterparts. Therefore, understanding how praise and recognition contribute to employee happiness is critical for all leaders in the business world.


1. Positive Reinforcement


Just about every employee has received appropriate feedback when they've made mistakes. While this feedback is critical for performance improvements, the inverse applies as well. 


When employees receive praise for their accomplishments, it encourages them. They are motivated by knowing they are on the right track. Likewise, when employees are praised for their work, it allows for dopamine release. Dopamine impacts the brain's pleasure and reward centers and helps foster creative thinking. 


It is always easy to let workers know when they need to improve. However, positive reinforcement also goes a long way, both for employees and the company. 


2. A Sense of Accomplishment


Most employees want to do well; they especially want to feel a sense of accomplishment in the workplace. According to Gallup, many workers who go without praise or recognition for a well-done job feel ignored and less motivated. By contrast, praise from leaders within the company often breeds a sense of accomplishment. Recognition can also serve as a significant milestone for a good deal of employees. 


Many executives and CEOs may not believe praise and recognition makes a huge difference in the grand scheme of things. However, it carries significant weight for employees to receive positive feedback. 


3. Something to Strive Towards


There is no doubt that employees on the receiving end of praise from company leaders experience happiness. Nevertheless, a lesser-known reality is that employees who witness their colleagues' praise also experience a morale boost

The observation of a co-worker being praised or recognized does several things. For starters, it sets a positive example. It also gives employees an idea of what they can do to earn recognition on their own merits. 


In the long run, this has positive impacts on the workforce as a whole. When workers know there is room for them to earn praise, they're not only happier; they're also more motivated and more likely to grow within the company. 


In Closing


In the long run, the happiness of employees makes an absolute difference. It also helps company workers know when they're making the right moves. The additional benefits of heightened employee productivity and retention don't hurt either. 


These are always essential details to keep in mind. As the business grows, employee growth should follow along with it. This allows for long-term success.


The appropriate means of bestowing praise and recognition in every situation will vary. In some settings, public recognition of a job well done is suitable. It may be more fitting in other conditions to pull workers to the side and let them know they're doing well. 


As company leaders, we should always be seeking new ways to grow. A critical part of this means understanding what is in the best interest of employees. When employees thrive, excel, and are happy with their work, this energy carries over into the business's success. 


When your teams are aligned on purpose & values employees are happier & more productive. In our Values to Behavior Workshop, you will co-create behaviors & mindsets that will align the Org's Core Values & measure how they're being lived.

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About the Author

Raya Khashab

Raya Khashab is the CEO and co-founder of ezClocker, a small business-time tracking and scheduling software. She is passionate about customers and building products that change the way people run their businesses. She is also a big supporter of the startup community and helping people achieve their dreams.



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