4 Reasons Why Employee Recognition Is Important For Managers Too


It can be a lonely place at the top. The buck stops here, there can be few people to truly rely on and it’s often a cut-throat, dog-eat-dog environment too around the highest boardroom in an organisation. There are good reasons to make sure managers are recognised just the same as employees. Here are 4 reasons why employee recognition is important for managers too:

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You’d be forgiven for thinking that the most experienced and accomplished employees that sit at the head of the business structure don’t require the same level of recognition and appreciation as the rest of the workforce.

After all, their salaries are likely 10x that of the general teams they manage, and that their annual bonus must surely be a big enough motivational tool as well to ensure maximum input and results.

But senior leaders are still people and the same rules should apply when it comes down to showing gratitude and appreciation - albeit the outcomes and behaviours that trigger recognition might be at a far higher level.

Here are just some of the key reasons why recognising executives within an organisation is actually pretty vital.

1. Executives need support too

Recognition and gratitude are effective for all people at all levels from the office temp to the CEO. Showing personal recognition in particular, such as a quick unscheduled chat or an emailed ‘well done on that project’ all help meet key human needs such as approval seeking, affiliation and build self-esteem.

Research by CEB found that half of all executives hired from outside of business will fail within just 18 months. Marry that with research by Navalent that found 55% of the top Fortune 1000 executives lack any feedback whatsoever and a correlation starts to appear.

Executives need support too. Especially those who are brought into an organisation from outside, recognition and positive feedback from their peers can really help get their feet under the table and guide them on a successful path.

2, Motivating the motivators

The next consideration is how much it costs your organisation to have demotivated leaders at the top of the organisational pyramid?

Unmotivated executives are going to struggle to inspire those who report directly into them, and they, in turn, will fail to effectively motivate their wider teams. Lacking interest and reduced drive can quickly seep down from the top to the bottom of the workforce.

But demotivation-creep aside, your executives should be leading your business in a successful direction - really driving the positive changes required to garner success. Demotivated executives, even with the best will in the world, are going to struggle to accomplish the organisation’s goals and visions.

Recognition is intrinsically motivational and delivers longer-lasting levels of engagement that pure rewards alone, including financial reimbursement, can offer in terms of full job satisfaction. It increases affinity and loyalty and that sense of belonging within a company, not just sitting at the top of a business.

Recommended reading: SME Growth Plateaued? Try This Approach to People Management To Spur Your Business Forward

3. Increasing company loyalty

And loyalty is a critical word in the reasons why businesses should recognise executives as well.

Whilst retirement is the primary reason why many executives and CEOs, in particular, leave a business, a report by Deloitte found that one of the key reasons driving some of the best people away from a business was a lack of engagement within the company culture itself. As noted above, they didn’t feel like they were really part of the company.

But having a high turnover rate at the top of an organisation is a serious issue. For one, publicly listed companies can take a short-term share-price hammering if there’s a growing lack of stability at the top of the organisation.

Second, your top execs are going to be taking your organisation’s trade secrets with them wherever they go next, quite possibly one of your market competitors.

And on another financial level, the costs of frequently hiring new executives to replace those who are leaving can be extreme. Sure, if your business is doing so well it can afford to pay the top brass £500,000 a year then spending a few (tens of thousands of) quids might not make too much of a dent on the balance sheet. But it’s an avoidable cost and employees who feel they’re recognised for their work and appreciated by their peers are far more loyal.

4. Reducing executive burnout

And finally, let’s talk executive burnout. Brought about through sustained periods of high stress, intense work engagement, burning the midnight oil and increasingly demanding workloads, burnout has become a far more recognised ailment of modern corporate culture.

Burnout can have a serious effect on an employees overall health and mental well-being too, but also have a prolonged impact on their work. Executive burnout can lead to lower productivity, cynicism, emotional exhaustion and a sense of detachment. And ultimately, it leads people to quit.

Around half of highly engaged workers who are very focused in their work but less likely to burnout will have the right resources to do the job, the freedom to work without the constraints of micromanagement, manageable workloads and critically, high levels of supervisor support, recognition and goal-oriented rewards.

And whilst the above applies to all high-performing employees, it’s equally true of the top echelon as well.

Recommended reading:  Tips For Avoiding Burnout at Work

How has your organisation looked to ensure recognition takes place amongst executives as well? Let me know in the comments below!

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