What is the powerful driver of retaining staff?

Posted on: 04/02/2022

Effective Recognition is more than simply saying ‘good job’ to someone. It stems from having a deeper understanding of our purpose in the workplace, and ‘recognising’ that person’s contribution toward it. True collaboration means having shared knowledge of each other’s goals and helping each other get there. Linking recognition with achievement strengthens the power of the message. Indeed, there are numerous psychological mechanisms that underpin Recognition as being a powerful driver of retaining staff.

Firstly, recognising a person’s efforts or their mastery of the work (competence) reinforces a person’s link to meaning at a deeper level. Understanding the why we are here and aligning oneself with that sense of purpose builds resilience. Purpose is the reason that a person bounces back after hardship or failure. It creates willingness to persist through difficulty until that goal is achieved. Retaining staff is aided through reinforcing this link to purpose.

Secondly, Recognition contributes to both building a positive climate in the workplace and positive emotions in individuals. Being in a positive state broadens our ability to take information in and to use that information to perform better. This leads to higher quality care outcomes. It also accumulates so builds people’s reserves to be able to work sustainably through hardship.

Thirdly, positive psychology emerged in the 90s and was more interested in building on what works well, and not being focused on what’s wrong. In other words, taking a strength-based approach is found to be powerfully effective in improving and sustaining human performance. Open positive recognition reinforces actions, contributing to a person’s development and sense of wellbeing in a workplace. Interestingly, another central tenet of positive psychology shows offering recognition (in effect, performing a Random Act of Kindness), also has a positive effect on the person giving the praise. It makes us feel happy to share positivity.

Here are 5 ‘top tips’ for cultivating more effective recognition in your workplace:

1.Be specific by linking your praise to something that the person did that either demonstrates their contribution to achieving something, or an instance of a high standard of work.
2.Include the outcomes, or the ‘so what?’ For example, add more power to your recognition by commenting on the positive impact that person had on others because of their actions. If someone tries to ‘brush it off’ then be genuine and let them know it’s important to acknowledge.
3.Act straight away as recent recognition is more powerful. If you see something worthwhile acknowledging, then go ahead and recognise the person for their actions. Don’t over think it!
4.Build recognising others into a regular habit. Push yourself to actively look for opportunities to provide recognition to others. You never know how much of a positive difference a few well-chosen words or email to someone will make to their day!
5.Learn how to accept praise from others. Most of us are modest and play down praise. Instead of downplaying it try to accept the offer with grace, a smile, and simply say ‘thank you, that means a lot’. Use this sentiment to feel the positive emotions that will help you through your day.

If you are curious about how well praise is done in your organisation, or if you want more information about what levers you can pull to improve employee retention contact the team at datadrivesinsight.com to organise a CISCA assessment.