The desire for recognition is not a new concept. It is a fundamental human need to feel appreciated for the work that we do. Yet, 51% of Americans feel undervalued at work. Understanding how employee recognition plays an important role in the functionality of the workplace is essential for any business to succeed.

According to American Psychological Association’s recent Employee Recognition Survey, 53% of employees reported feeling that recognition and rewards were utilized ineffectively or insufficiently. If the majority of employees do not feel recognized or rewarded for their work, even if programs exist, a deeper look into the programs in place must be made.

In order to drive specific workplace behaviors while boosting engagement and satisfaction, employees need reinforcement. As each employee is unique, his or her motivation and recognition needs will vary. The most common form of recognition (39%) in the study cited above came in the form of salary increases. However, a 3% annual raise is not enough to make most employees feel valued. This is where creativity and feedback becomes highly useful.

For employee recognition and rewards programs to work best, they should be designed to suit the employees. Since they will be the people receiving the rewards, their feedback is most important.

What works in one company, may not work in another. That is why there are many different types of recognition and reward programs. For example, some organizations run better with peer-to-peer recognition, while others may prefer to be recognized by their managers. Understanding the kinds of recognition they value and how they would like to be recognized is a vital step in the right direction.

Employees who felt their employers recognition programs were fair reported higher levels of job satisfaction and a greater likelihood to work harder. When employees are motivated to do their best, everyone wins. For more information on custom employee recognition and rewards programs, visit CS Recognition Solutions online at or give us a call at 919.847.2240.