Is Employee Recognition Less Important Than Employee Engagement?

“Employee Engagement” has been steadily growing in popularity over the past 8-10 years. “Employee Recognition” on the other hand has been steadily shrinking in popularity over the same amount of time.

As you can see from Google Trends, Employee Engagement is has become much more popular than Employee Recognition — at least when it comes to search.

Is Employee Recognition Less Important Than Employee Engagement?

Absolutely not. Studies have proven a direct link between employee recognition and employee engagement. In fact, research has shown that a recognition program can boost employee performance by up to 44%.

In other words, you get engaged employees by recognizing them — frequently.

The cost of an unmotivated workforce is huge. In fact, a Gallup study found that disengaged employees cost companies $300 billion in lost productivity every year! It’s no wonder companies are beginning to put more time, money and energy into increasing the level of engagement amongst their staff.

Unfortunately, 71% of workers are not engaged with or actively disengaged from their work.

How can we be better at recognition?

We’ve found that recognition is a bit like a rusty old tap. It takes a bit of effort to get it started, but once it gets going, it’s hard to stop! The results are worth the effort.

Here are some ideas on how you can improve recognition in your workplace:

  • Implement a system for recognition
  • Encourage peer to peer recognition. It shouldn’t just come from management
  • Give recognition frequently
  • Make the recognition public so the whole company can see it

If you don’t have a recognition program in your company, I strongly encourage you to start one!

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About the Author

Jonathan Peacock is the CEO of, an online platform that facilitates daily, positive peer recognition in the workplace.

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