The Purpose of Recognition

Managers are waking up to the importance that recognition is playing in the workplace. Recognition as a standalone value is becoming increasingly relevant to organisations across the country as more employees seek greater purpose at work. Largely driven by increasing numbers of millennials entering the workforce, this drive for purpose at work is causing a sea-change in how management motivates their workforce and how individuals build their career plans.

The new economy

The purpose economy refers to the idea that our current economic era is driven by people wanting to connect to some greater purpose. Epitomised by the rise in tech start-ups and local-focused small businesses, it’s considered a key driving force for workers in companies of all sizes across all industries. Where there’s a disconnect between an individual’s current role and their purpose, their satisfaction at work is likely to dip, potentially leading to them leaving for something that they feel more closely aligns with their purpose.

Not keeping purpose in mind when assessing an HRIS is a misstep on the part of managers. Making small changes to your human resources processes could lead to you retaining talent you’d otherwise lose to following their purpose.

The importance of purpose at work

While building purpose into your business can sound like a daunting task, a deeper understanding of how individuals experience purpose can simplify its implementation. According to Jeremy Salter in “Fit for Purpose” a sense of purpose is something we get when working with others on something bigger than ourselves. It is about relationships and personal growth. About learning new things and experiencing a sense of progress.

The role that recognition plays

While some individuals are able to feel a sense of progress without external reference, the majority of your workers will require some kind of feedback to let them know that yes, they are progressing and they are moving forward in their careers.

Making recognition a part of your business’ culture is a way to let all your employees know how they are travelling. This means going beyond the standard annual or quarterly performance review and investigating alternative systems of recognition. A growing trend in businesses around the world is the concept of social or peer-to-peer recognition, whereby recognition from other employees is given equal weight to that from managers. Being freeform and 360°, social recognition provides crucial real-time feedback to employees, reinforcing their sense of purpose on a daily basis.

Read more about the Practicalities of Purpose here.

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