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How rewards and recognition reduce work-related stress? - 3 ways to effectively recognise employees.

Most companies create ideas and build strategies to motivate and retain employees, especially the top performers. But organisations often overlook the most accessible method- employee recognition. It is one of the factors that we have looked at regarding our team's mental safety and well-being.

In the workplace survey by Gallup, employees were asked to remember who gave them their most significant and memorable recognition. The data revealed that the most meaningful recognition comes most often from an employee's manager (28%), then followed by a high-level leader or CEO (24%), next is the manager's manager (12%), customer (10%) and peers (9%). At the same time, 17% cited "other" as their most special recognition source.

Nearly one-quarter said that the most notable recognition comes from the elite leader or a CEO. Employees are likely to remember personal feedback from the CEO, even a tiny amount of time a high-level leader takes to show appreciation can yield a positive impression on an employee. And 89 per cent of employers feel that most people leave their companies to earn more money. However, most workers who leave their jobs cite a lack of employee recognition as a significant concern.

When we talk about rewards and recognition, money isn't the only form of recognition that we can give. It has two ways: extrinsic, tangible or visible award given to the employee, or intrinsic, which is about being emotionally driven. To achieve good levels of recognition, we look at what it looks like to us leaders and within our business.

How rewards and recognition reduce work-related stress

Rewarding your workers' achievements and recognising their efforts and contribution as individuals or as a team is essential to reduce work-related stress within your workplace.

Recognition brings happiness

If we are asked what is the most effective remedy to stress and burnout? The answer would be happiness, as it enables people to leave behind their stressors and look at the pleasant side of life. In the survey, 73% are less likely to "always" or "very often" feel burned out, and 56% are less likely to actively look for job opportunities as they feel content with their job. When we are recognised, it's not always about the tangible extrinsic rewards, as the feelings are often temporary. The intrinsic rewards have the lasting effect of feeling happy, valued, and appreciated.

Recognition leads to employees feeling more secure

There could be many reasons employees may find themselves vulnerable to burnout situations.

One of the most effective ways to prevent this is by expressing recognition and appreciation. When employees receive recognition and rewards, they feel more secure. Of course, anyone who gets an award is valuable to the organisation. Recognition can make employees feel more confident and secure about their roles, or fears of losing their jobs can help reduce burnout vulnerabilities. Survey shows that employees are 5x likely to see a path to grow at their organisation if they are well recognised.

Recognition facilitates high engagement.

Who is more prone to burnout engaged employee or a disengaged employee? Indeed, the last one is more exposed to burnout as disengaged employees may feel exhausted. According to the survey, employees are 5x as likely to feel connected to their culture. Thus employee recognition is the crucial factor influencing employee engagement and organisational performance as they are also 4x as likely to be engaged.

Moreover, engaged employees will be happy to go the extra mile for their organisation and beyond their work efforts. They will have their ways of managing stress and aim to enhance productivity in the best interest of their work commitments. They will be able to get massive value from their work and feel more optimistic. Work commitments will appear less of a burden as long as they are engaged, which is essential to reducing burnout rates.

3 ways to effectively reward and recognise employees.

1. Praise and rewards for good work

The most obvious and straightforward way to reward good work is to praise your employees via email or face-to-face. Even a simple 'great job' can boost morale and encourage staff to keep up the excellent work. To effectively give them recognition, you have to be authentic and specific in saying it.

2. Promote peer recognition

It's great to be recognised by your boss the hard work and success, and employees also value recognition from their peers. Encouraging peer-to-peer recognition allows employees to spotlight achievements that managers may not see. As a bonus, if you have a formal recognition and rewards program that peers can contribute to, everyone can hear and celebrate stories of good work in the company, creating a positive workplace culture.

3. Simple act of kindness

Recognising your employees isn't just about the work they do. And it's also about acknowledging them as people you value and greeting them when you see them, calling them by their name, apologising for a mistake, and thanking them for small actions like holding the door open. Show them that you respect and value them as fellow human beings and not just a worker. It builds trust and is a simple way to develop a culture of recognition in your workplace.

Rewarding and recognising employees for their contributions, achievements and efforts are essential for creating a positive work environment. Leaders must take a human-centred approach to develop their employee experience and employer brand to build the right workforce for the future and leverage its capabilities. It starts by demonstrating that employees are valued by recognising their contributions.

It can be different for everybody, so you need to know your people, communicate with them and do things that are conducive to them because you may think you are doing great but are making them uncomfortable. Think of what do we want to put up with our people and what did they want from us? Just be mindful of the types of rewards and recognition you are giving as an organisation and look at if you are serving everybody. Rewards and recognition are low cost, but they bring a high impact.

Contact us to know more about how to make a positive impact within your business and improve your team's mental well-being. Call us today on 1300 114 818 for a private and confidential conversation or email us at

We look forward to talking to you soon.

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