Why Celebrating Employee Success is Vital to Company Retention (and How to Do It)

Posted by Des Sinkevich on December 2, 2022

At this point, it’s clear that implementing workforce development programs is necessary to future success. Offering education benefits to employees not only improves retention and engagement, it can also be an effective recruitment tool. But just offering education benefits and training isn’t enough; employers need to demonstrate that they recognize and appreciate the hard work and skills of their employees who are putting in time and effort to better themselves. In fact, recognition and appreciation play a large role in engagement metrics and are essential to productivity and retention. Celebrating your workers’ success, then, isn’t just a nice thing to do – it's a requirement if you want to keep strong employees and increase your bottom line.

Boss high-fiving employee at work station.

The impact of recognition on employee engagement

In the era of the Great Resignation and quiet quitting, among other workforce trends that allow workers to be pickier about job opportunities, finding ways to increase employee retention is essential to an organization’s continued success. However, one easy way to improve worker morale, motivation, and satisfaction is often overlooked: recognizing workers' achievements and celebrating their accomplishments.

69% of employees planning to quit their jobs stated that they’d choose to stay in their current role if recognition and rewards for their accomplishments were offered. But, despite this, only 19% of leaders consider recognition a strategic priority. Without formal recognition programs and a culture of celebrating an individual’s successes, employees are more likely to feel unappreciated and search out new opportunities elsewhere.

Recognition, or the lack of it, impacts

  • Retention.
  • Productivity.
  • Morale and culture.
  • Employee growth.

1. How recognizing employee wins – or not doing so – affects retention

When an employee does good work, puts in extra effort, and gives their all to their job, recognition may not be expected – but it’s deserved. And, after a while, a lack of recognition and appreciation from direct managers and the leadership team is noticeable, slowly demotivating your best workers.

This eventually leads to higher turnover rates – employees who don’t feel their hard work is recognized are four times more likely to be actively searching for a new job - and higher turnover leads to a loss of revenue. That means that focusing on formally recognizing the work your employees do is more important than ever to ensure your company thrives.

2. Recognizing good work leads to higher productivity

Workers who know what they do matters in terms of the company mission and that it is appreciated by management are more motivated to keep up the good work and even work to take their skills to the next level. With 80% of employees saying that they are more motivated to work harder when their boss recognizes that hard work, making sure you show your appreciation to your staff is not only beneficial to them – it can lead to higher productivity, which, in turn, leads to larger profits.

3. High morale and a strong culture are maintained through employee recognition

A strong, clear company culture is essential to a successful business. It can drive employee engagement, attract talented new hires, increase productivity, and affect employee satisfaction. A large part of maintaining a positive culture is ensuring employees are recognized for their outstanding work and success on a regular basis. Recognition and appreciation can be as simple as a “good job” or a “thank you” from a supervisor, so it’s also important that your management and leadership team understand the importance of celebrating success.

Read more: How to Reduce Workplace Stress for Employees

4. Employees who feel their work is recognized have the confidence to grow their skills

An employee who knows that their boss and company recognize and appreciate their efforts is more likely to have confidence in themselves and in the business. This confidence then allows them to consider taking the next steps in their career with your company. They’ll want to grow their skills and knowledge to move up. This not only positively impacts culture and retention – employees who see others being recognized may be more likely to work for that recognition themselves – it can ensure more employees take advantage of your education benefits and training programs.

Read more: Best Practices to Help Learners Succeed

How recognition and appreciation affect education benefits adoption and program completion

If your company has a formal education benefits program or offers upskilling opportunities to employees, it can be frustrating trying to get workers to sign up. Even if they do enroll in a training course, it can be even more difficult to encourage them to finish. Clearly recognizing their efforts and publicly celebrating successful program completion can, however, be motivational to other employees, encouraging them to take advantage of the education benefits you offer.

How to celebrate employee success

Your company can celebrate employee success and recognize achievement in several ways, including

  • Internal communications. When an employee has achieved a milestone, such as a work anniversary, successfully completing a training program, or even just doing an exceptional job on a project, an easy way to recognize their work and show appreciation is giving them a shoutout through email or on your company’s intranet. Public recognition is important when you want to encourage other employees to do the same level of work, but even a simple “thank you” or “great work” from a direct supervisor can be impactful.
  • Tangible rewards. Monetary rewards, such as bonuses for excellent work, can be especially motivating. But employees also want to know that their efforts will lead to real growth in the company, so, besides bonuses, ensuring that employees who take their work to the next level get appropriate raises each year is important. It’s also essential to make sure that there are clear career paths available and that employees who successfully complete upskilling programs are able to advance their careers.
  • Company awards. Publicly showing your appreciation for hard work not only makes those on the receiving end feel good, it also motivates others to improve and grow. Department-focused and company-wide awards can be a great way to recognize and celebrate success. Awards could be a quarterly or yearly event and should celebrate those who’ve been outstanding in their jobs, making a positive impact on the company and their peers.

Adopting several methods of employee recognition is the best route to ensure workers know they’re appreciated. It’s important to remember that, when offering recognition, it should usually be relevant, timely, and occur regularly.

Read more: 5 Best Practices for Implementing a Successful Workforce Development Program

Invest in employee success with a trusted training provider

Employees can be most effective and successful when they’re given the tools they need to grow and advance. If you don’t already, offering pathways to career advancement through education benefits and formal training programs will often be the most effective method to build employee confidence outside of regular recognition. To learn more about building an education benefits program in your company, reach out to our training experts today.