You know that recognition has some serious ROI. It lead to improved teamwork, morale, productivity — and 31 percent lower voluntary turnover rates! But did you know there’s scientific reason for that?
It’s true! Satisfying your Team Members’ appetite for recognition is vital for a healthy, engaged team. In fact, psychologists have found that “needing to belong” and “needing to feel respected” are the third and fourth highest needs in humans — right behind food and shelter.
See? It goes way beyond frilly feel-goods. It’s chemistry!
“Studies have shown that when we feel loved our appreciated, our bodies create oxytocin, a [feel good] hormone. Even shaking someone’s hand … can create a burst of this hormone. Recent research also shows that people who work under the influence of oxytocin perform better and are more trustworthy at work.”
This month, conduct a recognition experience with your team. Tell them what areas you’d like to work on (such as Helpfulness) or behaviors you’d like to reinforce (increasing the number of peer catches.)
Recognize this behavior every time you see it. Have a stash of thank you cards on hand so you can write down a specific note of appreciation (“John, is was so good to see you help Mrs. Griffith fix her flat tire. She felt a lot safer knowing she could rely on you for help or directions.”) Or get creative! Give a plastic magnifying glass with a note that says, “Thanks for paying attention to the small things!”
At the end of your experiment, thank your scientists with something that answers another important need: food! Hold a team potluck and discuss the results with your team. Figure out ways to keep your results where you want them, and turn your recognition experiment into a recognition theory.
Posted on Jul 1, 2013