How employee recognition can support wellbeing

Grateful boss handshaking colleague
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Online tools provide employees more opportunities than ever before to recognise the efforts of their peers, which in turn can have a positive effect on morale.

Everywhere we go, processes are becoming automated and we are therefore more reliant on technology than we have ever been. The world of HR and employee engagement is no different.

The prevalence of online recognition platforms has now made the ‘thank you’ process in business far more streamlined and impactful.

A system-based recognition approach effectively reinforces and facilitates positive interactions between employees, which is a valuable tool when used as part of a wider wellbeing strategy.

Rather than face-to-face gratification, employees see a message on a screen – a virtual ‘thank you’ from a colleague that gets shared across the business.

Despite this seeming less authentic and arguably less human than a traditional pat on the back, we believe that this technology complements face-to-face recognition and helps promote and support employee wellbeing by embedding a positive culture into the very fabric of an organisation.

Sharing emotions and building relationships

Technology doesn’t have to be devoid of emotion. In fact, with reward and recognition schemes, it can be harnessed to share emotions across a business through peer-to-peer recognition.

This helps build and strengthen relationships, which is key to social wellbeing.

Recognition schemes facilitate the expression of human emotions because employees can say ‘thank you’, ‘well done’ and ‘congratulations’ whenever they like and share it with every individual in the business too.

There’s no doubt that when we are able to express ourselves, it makes us feel good. At work, this is no different.

People thrive when they can connect with other people and interact with their peers in a positive way. In a business environment, it makes everyone feel like they’re part of a team that’s working towards a common goal.

Giving employees an outlet to appreciate colleagues is a fantastic way to support social wellbeing in your business because it allows them to build better working relationships across departments, locations and roles.

With better communication comes a better sense of community, so recognition and social wellbeing really do go hand-in-hand.

Utilising employee voice

Recognition can also be beneficial for emotional wellbeing, because it empowers employees to use their voices. This not only makes them feel valued within the business but helps to build their confidence too.

Having a platform in place that encourages employees to recognise colleagues gives them the freedom to exercise their voice whenever they like.

It doesn’t matter where or when an employee works – whether they operate from home, work abroad or have a part-time contract, everyone has the right and ability to show their appreciation for others on a recognition platform.

Employees who are recognised by their colleagues will feel more valued which can boost their confidence, morale and generally make them feel happier.

There’s no doubt that when we are able to express ourselves, it makes us feel good. At work, this is no different.

Employees who can share their gratitude or say ‘well done’ to a colleague, in front of other colleagues too, will feel valued as an individual because their voices are being heard by the rest of the business.

This is beneficial to employees’ emotional wellbeing because it helps boost their self-esteem and confidence – they are reassured that they matter.

Positive affirmations

We all like to hear positive things about ourselves, there’s no denying it. Positive affirmations make us feel good - they lift our spirits and make us happier.

A reward and recognition platform is a hub where all of this positive activity takes place, which is a real source of wellbeing support for employees.

The working environment can sometimes be highly pressurised and this can lead to stress, anxiety and poor emotional wellbeing and mental health on the whole.

A reward and recognition scheme gives employees the ability to give their colleagues a mental boost.

When employees get commendations from their colleagues, it can have a positive effect on their mental wellbeing. For example, an employee could be feeling stressed, anxious, or low – any kind of negative mental state, but if a colleague takes the time to recognise their work, it can instantly lift their mood.

Having that tangible reassurance that your efforts are acknowledged and appreciated by others really goes a long way.

Employees who are recognised by their colleagues will feel more valued which can boost their confidence, morale and generally make them feel happier.

Reward and recognition in the workplace is therefore a great way to support employee wellbeing, and the use of technology significantly enhances this.

While a face-to-face ‘thank you’ will always have its place, online recognition is arguably more powerful because it’s visible business-wide. This magnifies the effect recognition has on employee wellbeing. Why? Because not only are individuals able to connect with their colleagues and build relationships through the platform, their voices are heard by far more people and have a greater impact too.  

Interested in this topic? Read HR technology: how smart feedback transforms employee engagement and retention.

About Claire Newell

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Claire Newell is Head of Finance, Operations and HR at peoplevalue, a leading provider of employee reward and recognition, benefits delivery and wellbeing solutions.

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