Recognition Key to More Productive Employees

June 3, 2009 ( - A new white paper series from Towers Perrin helps managers understand that they can improve company performance by raising employee engagement levels through manager-delivered recognition of employee performance.

According to the 2008 Global Recognition Study conducted by Towers Perrin for O.C. Tanner, a major provider of appreciation awards, training and consulting, in organizations with low scores for development opportunity and perception of senior management concern for employee well-being, an increase in manager recognition of employee performance increased engagement by almost 60%, from 33% of employees giving a favorable engagement score to 52%. Even in organizations where opportunity and well-being are clearly part of the culture, strong manager recognition of employee performance resulted in an increase in favorable engagement scores from 77% to 91%, according to the first white paper in the series.

Towers Perrin asked survey respondents to specify the organizational context in which they had received their most fulfilling recognition, and the majority said that their best experience had occurred within their teams or work groups (35%) or at the department level (37%) – showing that employees value most recognition from those who work more closely with them.

According to the white paper, the research determined that effective recognition from managers has three basic requirements: inclusiveness, communication, and trust. Towers Perrin found the most glaring deficiencies appear in the inclusiveness category – failure to recognize employee performance often enough and ensure that opportunities for recognition are sufficiently available throughout the organization. Managers did slightly better in communication, but the scores for reciprocal trust were low. More than 40% of respondents gave neutral or negative responses regarding their trust of supervisors, and scores for the perception that management trusts employees came in even lower.

The second white paper describes steps companies can take to make their recognition programs more effective in all three areas.

The whitepaper series can be accessed here .