Recession Fighter - Recognition Keeps Employee Morale High during Tough Times

Share Article

While organizations across the country are trying to stay afloat amid the layoffs and budget cuts, employee morale is taking a dive. Though managers can't change the economy, they can help boost their workers' morale - the key is meaningful recognition.

While organizations across the country are trying to stay afloat amid the layoffs and budget cuts, employee morale is taking a dive. Though managers can't change the economy, they can help boost their workers' morale - the key is meaningful recognition.

In the book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition that Works, author Cindy Ventrice reveals that with the right recognition, managers will discover:

  • Employees more willing to tackle problems on their own.
  • Employees' increased concern in quality and reputation.
  • Increased teamwork effort.
  • Decreased absenteeism.
  • Increased morale.

Ventrice points to a simple fact: people who feel valued perform at a much higher level. This increased performance level, in turn, energizes and revitalizes the workplace. "People can tell when someone really cares about them," says Ventrice. "That can't be faked. When it comes to recognition that works, nothing can replace sincere respect and the positive relationships that it creates."

"I'm too busy!"
Today's managers have a lot of responsibilities and obligations, and the unfortunate state of the economy only adds to the burden. They simply don't have the time or stamina to think about implementing creative or personalized modes of recognition - so they think.

"When you delegate, add a little praise of past accomplishments," recommends Ventrice. "When you receive project updates, thank employees for their promptness, thoroughness, or accuracy. When you hold a team meeting to talk about a new challenge, express confidence in the group's ability to meet that challenge." This is what Ventrice refers to as "making recognition the header of your 'to-do' list."

By finding ways to make recognition a part of every employee interaction, recognition will become inherent within the workplace. And, once a system of personalized and thoughtful recognition is set into motion, a motivated, loyal, and industrious team will begin to emerge. Managers will soon see their jobs get easier.

Recognition that works, works! Even in crisis.
In 2001, Remedy Corporation was acquired by competitor Peregrine Systems, and soon the company experienced a turmoil of challenges: layoffs, budget cuts, stock decline, and an accumulation of class action stockholder lawsuits. Yet, by providing consistent and meaningful recognition, Remedy Support Services division was able to maintain morale and improve customer satisfaction ratings, all the while continuing to grow its revenue stream.

The key to Remedy's recognition success was valuing each individual employee. The managers knew each employee by name, how many years in service, and where each had worked previously. A genuine caring for and valuing of employees allows managers and employees to create a sense of trust and commitment that will stand firm against the hardships caused by economic downturn.

When employees give high ratings to the recognition they receive, their organizations typically have lower turnover and higher productivity and profitability than other organizations in the same industry.

More about the book

Make Their Day! Employee Recognition that Works
Second Edition releases 5/11/09
By Cindy Ventrice, foreword by Robert Levering
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler

This book shows managers how to create meaningful and memorable recognition in their own work environment. In the process, they will reduce their workload, improve productivity, and create a workplace where people love to work.

Make Their Day! offers examples from highly successful organizations that know the payoffs of meaningful recognition:

  • Tip 1: Focus on quality. In the 2007 survey employees completed for Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, nearly all Google employees said they were proud to tell others where they work. Googlers, as they are called, are proud of their product. One hundred percent of employees use the Google search engine over the competition. They believe their product is the best and adds value to people's lives.
  • Tip 2: Focus on results. Best Buy managers give their employees the freedom to choose how, where and when the work gets done. The only measure is whether the work gets done. This freedom and flexibility shows employees they are valued, and the recognition does not go unnoticed. "She treated us like grown-ups," says now-manager Amy Johnson. "It made me feel so energized."
  • Tip 3: Focus on fairness. Cisco System's VP of Public Sector Service Sales, Doug Purcell, advocates making sure that every employee has the opportunity for recognition. He realized that his sales people had more chances to receive recognition than did the supporting members of the team. He knew that sales support provided a critical role, without which salespeople would have difficulty succeeding. As part of his efforts to provide more balance, he implemented a quarterly award to be given to an outstanding individual whose works support the efforts of the sales team. According to a recipient of the award: "It is always meaningful to be recognized in front of your peers, especially when your contributions are less obvious."

Make Their Day! is filled with examples and tips from employees and managers alike. This book illustrates how simple and effective praise, thanks, opportunity, and respect contribute to a boost in productivity and profits - not to mention a boost in employee morale!

About the author
Cindy Ventrice is an advocate of manager-driven recognition and has helped hundreds of companies successfully embrace this approach within their organizations. As a recognition advocate, she has worked with managers and supervisors from around the world in both the public and the private sectors, teaching them how to improve loyalty and productivity with recognition. Her clients have included Cisco Systems, MIT, Bell Canada, Wells Fargo, and State Farm Insurance.

A frequent keynote speaker and active member of the National Speakers Association, Cindy addresses audiences on issues ranging from motivating volunteers to retaining the best employees and keeping them happy and productive. A longtime member of the improvisational theater community, she brings what she has learned as an improviser to her programs, injecting fun and interactivity into every keynote and training session.

She has been quoted for her expertise by media as diverse as the New York Times and the Costco Connection and has been interviewed on major radio stations nationwide on "How to Give Your Rotten Boss a Makeover."

Cindy Ventrice


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Cindy Ventrice
Visit website