How much does feeling appreciated matter to your energy levels and engagement in your work? The simple reality is most people need to feel valued to be at their best. Reflect for a moment on the draining impact of feeling undervalued or taken for granted. Irrespective of the income we earn or seniority of the position we hold, to thrive, most people need fair acknowledgement of the value they bring.

Leading research and consulting company Gallup suggests: “Workplace recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work. Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.”

So, what does it mean to feel recognised? Put simply, most people feel recognised when both their efforts and successes are acknowledged.

Acknowledgement can come in many forms including through praise, congratulations or reward. In turn, rewards that help people to feel appropriately recognised are those that typically acknowledge what they believe they have earned and deserve.

While money unquestionably plays a role, far more important to engagement are the words of gratitude people hear. A recent survey by Robert Half reveals several factors that drive happiness at work. Respondents named pride (51%), fairness and respect (51%) and feeling appreciated (50%) as the ingredients they associate most with happiness.

The CEO plays an essential role in ensuring people across their organisation feel recognised. The Gallup survey asked employees to recall who gave them their most meaningful and memorable recognition.

Unsurprisingly, the direct report manager was ranked first, followed closely by the CEO, with 24% of people saying the most impactful recognition they had received came from the person in the top job.

Some things any CEO can do to ensure every member of their team receives the recognition they deserve are, to:

  1. Be grateful

    Take the time to reflect on the contributions the people on your team make and recognise the ways in which they make a difference. In a fast-paced world with constant challenges coming at you, it can be easy to overlook the great things people do and the significance of the impact they have. Recognising how people enable not only their own success but also that of the team is an essential first step.

  2. Look for opportunities

    Look for opportunities to vocalise your appreciation for the energy invested, talent leveraged and results achieved by people every day. Observe your team in action and deliberately point out the ways in which their efforts are appreciated. Whether it be one to one or in a team meeting, take the opportunities that present to say well done and thank you.

  3. Make time

    Don’t allow busyness to stand in the way of you seeing the things that deserve recognition. Taking the time to say well done, can go a long way to maintaining engagement through even the most challenging times. Be present in the moment and give people your full attention when saying thank you.

  4. Focus on your top performers

    Even the most talented and energised member of a team can disconnect over time if they fail to receive the recognition they believe they deserve. Avoid the all too common mistake of focusing on underperformers while failing to let the high performers on the team know they are valued.