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Employee recognition: A tool for surviving in turbulent times

Insights from HRZone, in association with Achievers. 

Updated on April 28, 2023

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Topics Covered:

Rewards and recognition

It’s a challenging time to be a HR professional. A catalyst for a workforce already in transition, the pandemic prompted more employees to leave their jobs in search of new opportunities, often leaving organisations in a pinch.

On top of that, dips in morale fueled in part by cost-of-living increases are being juxtaposed by pressures from the c-suite to cut costs — each making it difficult to focus on employee recognition and rewards.

According to the Achievers Workforce Institute’s 2023 workforce predictions, in turbulent times like these, recognition and rewards are an important part of your toolkit for navigating through crisis.

Jump ahead to the guidebook, Employee recognition: A tool for surviving in turbulent times.

Money isn’t the answer

Attracting and retaining employees is more difficult than ever and unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), throwing money at the problem doesn’t really work. While it may be a reasonable strategy to attract and hire, it isn’t a long-term solution for retention or engagement. Employees need — and want — more from their workplace experience.

5 ways your recognition programme can help you navigate through crisis.

The five pillars of belonging: what they are and why they matter

According to the Achievers Workforce Institute, belonging is the experience of connection, security, and community — it is about feeling at home within the organisation.

Financial rewards make up only one element of the employee experience, and don’t typically move the needle in making employees feel engaged and as though they belong. Focusing on non-financial rewards, such as employee recognition, can help nurture a culture of belonging — a tactic that’s particularly important to small or mid-sized organisations with smaller HR budgets.

Recognition has proven to be an important driver of belonging, and The Belonging at Work: 2021 Culture Report found that it influenced all five of their pillars of belonging.

The five pillars of belonging at work:

  1. Welcomed
  2. Known
  3. Included
  4. Supported
  5. Connected


Recession-proofing your business with recognition

Recognition has been shown to be a valuable tool for promoting organisational success during economic uncertainty.

Staggeringly, nearly 30% of offline workers state they are never recognised.

But recognition isn’t simply about retention. It provides as a cascade of positive effects on both the individual and the organisation, including:

  • Ignites motivation to learn
  • Cultivates employee belonging
  • Bolsters well-being efforts
  • Accelerates performance
  • Taps into the human need to feel valued

Five golden rules for employee recognition

To be effective, recognition initiatives should be carefully implemented and executed. Done incorrectly, they can lead to a sense of unfairness and competitiveness among employees, which in turn depresses morale.

In this guidebook for surviving turbulent times, you will take a deep dive into these five golden rules to ensure that you’re successful (and impactful!) with the implementation of your recognition system.

In this guidebook, you will also:

This report leverages current evidence on the impact of recognition to inform a guide to the role, characteristics, and development of a recognition system that works. Specifically, you will learn:

  • Why recognition is important in changing the way the world works
  • The five characteristics critical to any recognition programme
  • The process for developing and designing a formal recognition system

Read the complete guidebook, Employee recognition: A tool for surviving in turbulent times, a report created by HRZone — a digital destination for HR professionals and business leaders offering advice, guidance, and more — in association with Achievers, a leader in employee engagement solutions through recognition and rewards.


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