Proof that Recognition Beats Bonuses for Motivating Your Employees

June 16, 2016
What Motivates Staff the Most

Over the last few months, we’ve been running a survey to try and find out the single most effective form of employee motivation. We asked you what motivated you, personally, the most at work, and then gave you 7 options to choose from.

The results are in, and the top choice is hardly surprising:

The most effective way to motivate your employees is to show them appreciation and recognition.

We’ve discussed to death the benefits of recognising hard work – and we even made a video showing the power of a simple thanks.

Yes, your employees feel most motivated to work hard when you are showing them that you appreciate what they are doing, and giving them recognition for their achievements. You can give your people recognition in so many ways, such as:

-Saying Thanks. Remember to say “Thanks” when somebody does something awesome, or even if they’re simply doing a good job overall. It shows them that you’ve noticed, and reminds them that this is the kind of behaviour that your company wants to see.

-Periodic Awards. Why not introduce a weekly, monthly or even annual awards ceremony? You don’t even have to hold a ceremony – just a simply certificate that can be hung on the wall is enough. There’s a reason why so many successful companies have “Employee of the Month” awards.

-Allow Peer Feedback. Put a system in place that lets your employees put their colleagues’ names forward for recognition if they spot something extra special.

Employees Want to Feel Useful

If we take a look at the next most popular choice, you’ll notice a deeper underlying theme to this “employee motivation” malarkey. 14% of respondents said that their biggest motivator was “helping a colleague or customer”, which is very closely related to “appreciation and recognition”. How? Well both of them seem to say that all your employees really want, is to feel useful, relevant and valuable.

Admittedly, our sample size was fairly small, with less than 100 respondents. Maybe if we’d collected more completed forms, we’d be seeing a different picture. But honestly, I don’t think it would be much different – if at all!

What do you think of these figures? If you find this research interesting or useful, then you are welcome to download and share or republish the infographic above, as long as you do not edit or change it in any way.

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