Employee Recognition: What Your Employees Want vs What They Need

What Your Employees Want


It is a guarantee that if you send out a survey to your employees asking them what they want from their workplace your responses will contain the following:

  1. More Money

  2. Beer in the Water Cooler

  3. Wearing Sneakers Monday through Friday

  4. More paid time off

  5. Work from home

Perhaps those things would be nice, however, employees want more than just tangible rewards. In general, people want to feel proud of where they work and proud of the work they perform. Employees need to feel a connection to their work and their company. In order for there to be a connection, the employer must ensure that employees are treated fairly and heard by management, have a sense of security and feel that there is strong leadership to help them grow. When employees feel like their efforts are part of something bigger than themselves, they understand how the work they perform affects the organization as a whole, and employees are being recognized for their efforts, they feel that connection between the work they perform and the company.  

The "In Crowd" of Employees

Let’s use the example of middle school students. Generally speaking, students want to be part of the “in-crowd.” They work very hard on their social skills, appearance, and personality to get "in." Once they are “in”, they continuously improve those efforts so they can remain in the crowd. On the other hand, students that do want to be in or have been rejected from the “in crowd” don’t make those efforts because they don’t see any benefit from it. Employees too desire to be in the “in-crowd” at work. Getting “in” requires hard work, dedication, engagement, and determination. Those attributes have to be maintained, and further developed. When they are, the employee grows, and they see how they contribute to the big picture. Employees that don’t have that connection to their work and to their company don’t see the use in engaging their efforts and they end up being the low performers. 

Empowerment Not Freebies

We have all been there. We have had jobs or employers where there was no connection between our work and the company. Although we may not want to admit it, we most likely did not perform at our highest potential. We cut corners, left steps out, and probably did not see how that poor performance contributed negatively to the bigger picture.  Employers need not only focus on further developing employee recognition in high performers, they also need to look at those that have potential but are not feeling pride in their work. We need to look at the ones don’t know how their performance affects the big picture and the ones that don’t feel like they have a voice and give it to them. Empowering and recognizing employees, not providing freebies, is the key to giving employees what they want. 

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At C.A. Short Company, we are your partner for increased employee engagement resulting in increased performance outcomes to grow your bottom line. Our process and research-based platform help you engage your team in order to increase your bottom line, motivate your staff to the benefit of the entire organization, and reward your people for the positive changes they make. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here. 

Topics: Employee Recognition, Employee Engagement, Employee Recognition Strategies, SMB, Employee Engagement Strategies

Jeff Ross, CPA, CRP, CSM

About the Author
Jeff Ross, CPA, CRP, CSM

Mr. Ross, a certified public accountant, joined the C.A. Short Company as its controller in June 1993 and was named Chief Financial Officer in November 1996. From there, Jeff was promoted to President and Chief Financial Officer, and in 2017, was appointed CEO. Before joining C.A. Short Company, Ross was employed as an accountant by Hausser + Taylor, a large public accounting and consulting firm. Jeff presently serves on the Board of Directors of 2XSalt Ministries, Charlotte, NC and is a member of North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Ross graduated from The Ohio State University with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1989.

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