Staff recognition and why it means so much

Staff recognition
Staff recognition is powerful. But, despite the value it brings, as a nation, we really aren't very good at it. This blog provides tips for quickly increasing your staff recognition.

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The power of staff recognition

We recently won an award. The reward recognised the impact NewZapp Trusted Delivery has had on NHS communications.  

The judges’ comments were: 

“A massive impact from a cracking comms company! [NewZapp Trusted Delivery] produced a game-changing specialist solution for the NHS which has had direct benefits for its staff, who now use a faultless IT system.” 

We’ve been on cloud 9 since! It feels so good to have recognition for something that you have personally and professionally invested so much in.  

Which led me to ponder the power of recognition.  

Ultimately, if you drill into our core, most of us get pleasure from helping people. In your case that might be crafting a fluid communication on behalf of a colleague. In our case, we get pleasure from providing a communication tool that overcomes the problems internal communicators faced.  

No matter how big or small the gesture, if we know we’ve helped someone, it feels good. But that feeling is only possible if we receive gratitude or recognition. Which means recognition is actually a vital part of a happy existence. 

But despite this, we really aren’t very good at it. Research found that one in five employees have never received recognition for their work and 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were more appreciated.  

Is there enough recognition in your team? 

If we all take a moment to pause and reflect on how much recognition and gratitude we show, I bet each and every one of us reach the same conclusion that we could do it more. With that in mind, here are our tips for quickly increasing team recognition: 

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5 quick ways to increase staff recognition

  1. Encourage everyone to ask for feedback – in our busy lives, we often overlook this simple task. When a project has finished it can be really valuable to ask the stakeholders for feedback. The trick here is not to fish for compliments! Instead of asking “did I do a good job” ask “did that project go as expected”?
  2. Encourage others to show recognition – showing simple signs of recognition is habit. A gentle nudge to a colleague after witnessing one of their peers helping them will help recognition become an engrained habit amongst everyone, not just yourself.
  3. Ensure 1:1s take place – regular meetings with line managers are the perfect opportunity to review performance but they often get pushed aside by other priorities.
  4. Just say thank you – recognition doesn’t need to be planned. If someone does something that helps you, just say ‘thank you’ or leave them a thank you note. It’s a small act that can go a long way.
  5. Start team meetings with recognition – rather than diving straight into a meeting, if someone has done something noteworthy, mention it at the beginning of that meeting.

Give yourself a pat on the back

As an internal communicator, most of your work is to inform and help people. But do you, and your team, have the recognition you deserve?

Unfortunately, the communications team is often reliant on person-to-person feedback to gauge how well the department is performing. This is a unique position to be in. Every other department you think of has some sort of statistical measurement to keep tabs on how well they are doing. HR can be measured by staff turnover, estates can be measured by the number of maintenance jobs carried out and finance can be measured by how well the books are balanced!

In every scenario, there are numbers, and those numbers can be equated to performance. For many NHS communication teams, those numbers just aren’t there.

If you use internal communication software such as Trusted Delivery you are an exception to this rule. When our customers send emails, they see detailed analytics on the performance of every email they send. These staff engagement figures are a direct representation of the performance of the communications team.

But if you are reliant on Outlook, or another non-analytical platform, to share messages, take a moment to appreciate what you and your team achieve. You are the team that keep staff informed. You connect people with the information and people they need to work, and live, better. That really does deserve a pat on the back.

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Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

With over 15 years’ experience in communications I have seen first-hand the difference strong internal communications can make. I am passionate about helping organisations reap the rewards of an engaged workforce and feel privileged to work for an organisation that has this same passion. We can achieve more when we work together towards the same goals. 

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