Think of what a newborn needs. A newborn needs someone to feed it, change its diapers, and just plain old keep an eye on it. Newborns need food, diapers and hugs — all of it, and more. Scientific studies prove the hugs play a big part in their ability to thrive. And so it goes with adults in the workplace. They need more than pay. They need recognition, the metaphorical hugs for professional settings. There’s plenty of research to prove it. Go to your favorite search engine and poke around.
Put differently, there are two hemispheres to human capital management. One is concrete, and the other is abstract. Just like a baby needs concrete things like food and diapers, an organization’s employees need their pay and a workplace compliant with the law. And, just like a baby needs abstract things like hugs, whose benefits to the baby may not accrue right away or be as readily apparent, an organization’s employees need recognition.
By the way, did you think of hugs when quickly thinking about what a baby needs? If you did, then you may be more apt to understand this essential importance of recognizing people for the value of their work and efforts — that work is far more than a dispassionate exchange of labor for remuneration.
The Efficiencies to be Found in Employee Recognition
Are there efficiencies to be found in ensuring that everyone who needs a metaphorical hug at work gets one? Yes, and these efficiencies are critical to introduce to the workplace. Recently, Achievers CEO Jeff Cates joined us for an episode of the #HRTechChat videocast. We discussed many things, and you should check it out. In HCM, efficiencies that matter are in the eye of the beholder. Put differently, efficiencies or a lack thereof reside in the conventional places everyone sees as necessary to run a business: payroll, time and attendance, compliance, things like this. But employee recognition is necessary, not just nice to have. Just as science shows that hugs and love cause a baby to flourish and mature into adulthood properly, so, too, does employee recognition cause a workforce to flourish and contribute the most it can, willingly and eagerly, to organizational success.
Organizations that do not value employee recognition probably wouldn’t even fathom that there are inefficient and efficient ways to go about carrying out and getting the most out of employee recognition. But there are. And, for organizations with workplace cultures that appreciate and foster employee recognition, efficiency in carrying it out is a priority. Administrative work related to it can be automated. Data from it can be captured. Natural language processing can be utilized. Employee recognition can be optimized, and leaders predisposed to praise their employees can become as effective at it as possible.
If you’re an organization that has concluded that your employees will thrive in response to metaphorical hugs — recognition for their good work — you will be interested in the efficiencies to be found in employee recognition, part of the ground Jeff and I covered. The key to much of it is in having the right technology for it. Take a break from your day and watch our conversation.