‘Thanks giving’ could keep workers in your organization

While we’re giving thanks this week here in the U.S., take a moment to consider the role recognition plays in your human resources strategies.

Similar to saying “thank you,” the magic word in daily life, providing recognition in the workplace can make people feel important and valued and thus help your company attract, engage and keep talent.  And what better time to say thanks to your U.S. colleagues than Thanksgiving!

A recent IBM Smarter Workforce Institute study asked employees from different organizations whether greater recognition was important in attracting them to their current jobs. Over 80 percent said it was moderately to extremely important. Clearly, greater recognition, along with other factors such as better pay or job security, can help encourage potential candidates to join.

Source: IBM Smarter Workforce Institute, WorkTrends survey 2013/4, Global (n=19,337).

The study also revealed that employees who receive recognition are more likely to be engaged at work and are less likely to quit. Key findings include:

  • The engagement level of employees who receive recognition at work is almost three times higher than the engagement level of those who do not.
  • Employees who report they are not recognized at work are much more likely to leave (51 percent) compared to those who are recognized at work (25 percent).
  • The more communication channels used for recognition, the higher the employee engagement level.

The magic formula for keeping employees motivated can be elusive, and companies are working their way through the hype around employee engagement. But a recent social adoption study from the IBM Center for Applied Insights confirms that improving relationships with employees is a priority. In this pursuit, recognition – and a little “thanks giving” – can go a long way.

To find out more about these workforce research findings and the underpinning theories, read How do I recognize thee, let me count the ways: Research insights into the impact of multi-channel recognition.


Author: Haiyan Zhang

Researcher, IBM Smarter Workforce Institute

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