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Recognition Is a Force Multiplier

February 18, 2014

The following is a guest article by Kevin Kruse.

Kevin Kruse, Employee Engagement is for EveryoneA force multiplier—a term that is commonly used in the military—refers to an attribute that makes any given force much more effective than the same force would be without it. Consider for a moment your “force”—your employees, your team members, your colleagues. They have knowledge, skills, traits and attitudes all being leveraged for productivity. Wouldn’t you like to multiply their effectiveness?
The research is abundant and clear. Recognition leads to higher levels of employee engagement, which in turn drives a myriad of factors including sales, service, quality and ultimately profits. Recognition and appreciation can be that force multiplier for your team.
Unfortunately surveys suggest that this powerful factor remains elusive to most:

  • Only 47% of workers around the world are satisfied with the recognition they receive (source: Kenexa)
  • Only 10% of adults say “thank you” to a colleague each day (source: John Templeton Foundation)

How can the appreciation-deficit be solved? What can we do about it?
At the top, C-level executives need to immediately understand the power of new social, recognition systems. Long gone are the old days of relying exclusively on reward catalogs tied to tenure. Today executives should be deploying cloud-based, peer-to-peer recognition systems that provide global, visible appreciation tied back to values or strategic initiatives.
Mid-level managers need to realize that as part of their job as leaders, they need to deploy the power of a simple “thank you.” Verbal is fine, written is better, and a creative expression of gratitude is best of all. Thank you’s cost little and go a long way to motivating team members.
Individual contributors have a role to play in recognition, too. They say it’s like a mirror. The more you notice and acknowledge others doing something great, the more likely they’ll notice you when you do something great.
From the C-level to the front-lines, all employees need to maintain an attitude of gratitude so the power of appreciation can drive engagement, performance and profits.

Kevin Kruse is a New York Times bestselling author. His newest book is Employee Engagement for Everyone: 4 Keys to Happiness and Fulfillment at Work.


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