Recognize Achievement: The Seven Habits of Empowered Frontline Teams.
If you’ve followed the seven habits to this point, your frontline teams should understand the service promise, be focused on improving delivery each day and getting daily customer feedback that tells them whether they’re hitting the mark or not.
The next step is recognizing staff for hitting that mark.
This is habit #4 - recognizing achievement.
It’s critical that organisations have systems in place for regularly recognizing the achievements of frontline teams.
First of all, recognizing achievements makes your frontline team feel GOOD. We know from phycological studies that recognition for good work releases dopamine in the brain, which creates feelings of pride and pleasure. Before your frontline team can go out there and achieve their goals, talk to customers and deliver awesome experiences, they need to be feeling good in themselves. Through regularly recognizing achievements, you can help them do that.
Secondly, recognition drives productivity. That dopamine hit cements the knowledge that more of that behaviour will create more praise, which motivates people to continue to achieve.
“40% of employed Americans would put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often” — OGO.
A survey by OGO found that the lack of recognition in the workplace dramatically impacted their productivity. If no one cares, why should I do it? - is the question looming among many unempowered frontline workers. It is the job of managers to show the frontline that they care, their customers care and the work they do makes a difference.
On the other end of the spectrum, a study from Socialcast found that 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated, proving that recognition really does drive productivity. It’s no different to back in grade school. Teachers rewarded students with a gold star for their awesome work, and that, in return, pushed students to work even harder to get those shining badges of recognition. Who’s to say the same theories don’t work for adults?
Recognizing achievement also increases employee retention and decreases turnover. We know that training and empowering current employees is much more cost effective than new hires, and the simple solution to keeping your awesome team is yes, you guessed it, recognizing the work they do.
“63% of employees who are recognized are very unlikely to look for a new job” — Bonusly.
SurveyMonkey partnered with Bonusly to find out how recognition and retention are related. Out of 1,500 respondents, 63% of those who were “always” or “usually” recognized said that they are “very unlikely” to job hunt in the next 3–6 months. In comparison, only 11% of those who are “never” or “rarely” recognized would agree.
When you recognize employees for the work they’re doing, which by the way, can be as simple as saying “Thank you. You’re great at what you do. We can’t possibly do this without you.”, provides a sense of purpose. This sense of purpose and belonging, means frontline workers are more likely to feel fulfilled in their job, and less likely to look elsewhere.
Finally, strong lines of communication where achievements are recognized builds trust between managers and the frontline.
“50% of employees believe being thanked by managers not only improved their relationship but also built trust with their higher-ups.” — Cicero Group
Like all strong relationships, trust is the essential ingredient. Trust between managers and the frontline strengthens when employees are shown gratitude, appreciation and recognition. When employees feel seen for the work they do, they know that their leaders have their backs.
So happiness, productivity, retention, trust - sounds pretty sweet right? There’s just one issue…
“Only 14% of organizations provide managers with the necessary tools for rewards and recognition” — Globoforce
Companies aren’t doing this very well.
Organizations aren’t providing the right tools for leaders to motivate and empower their frontline employees.
We happened to know of a pretty awesome tool that helps you do just that…
Learn more about the AskNicely products here.
For a practical guide to implementing this habit, as well as a deep dive into the remaining six habits, check out the Frontline Coaching Playbook here.