The Link Between Employee Recognition And Team Collaboration

Are you looking to improve team cohesiveness using employee recognition? Here’s an effective tool you can use.

March 25, 2024
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Ever been part of a group where everyone just clicks? Ideas flow freely, and there's a sense of camaraderie that's hard to beat? Chances are that the team has mastered the art of recognizing each other's contributions. Whether through a high-five for a killer presentation or a shout-out in a meeting, these small gestures go a long way in building trust and cooperation. 

Despite the diversity of talents and personalities within teams, a common bond always exists based on their achievements. There's a powerful connection between patting someone on the back for a job well done and how well a team works together.

So, harnessing that to maintain high levels of employee engagement is vital to every company’s success. Using employee recognition to create a collaborative work environment is ideal for boosting company-wide productivity.

In this article, we'll explore how saying “Well done!” can strengthen teams and explain how recognition in the workplace contributes to overall organizational success.

Let's get started!

What are the benefits of employee recognition in an organization?

According to Workhuman, when employee recognition is implemented correctly, 73% of an organization’s workforce is less likely to experience employee burnout, and 56% are less likely to be actively job hunting. 

Similarly, in SHRM’s study on employee recognition, 68% of HR professionals believed that recognition positively affects employee retention and aids recruitment efforts. Also, consistency and intentionality are key to fully leveraging recognition benefits. 

The main benefits of employee recognition are:

  1. Increased productivity
  2. Improved retention rates
  3. Strengthens workplace culture
  4. Boosts employee mental well-being
  5. Enhances the company's brand image

  1. Increased productivity

Recognizing employees creates a positive work environment where employees are constantly encouraged to perform well. Ultimately, this cycle of positive reinforcement leads to improved work output and increased overall productivity.

Recognition at work is a powerful tool that inspires intense workplace collaboration. It allows team members to draw on their expertise to solve problems and develop new ideas for product development and improved service delivery.

If your organization lacks an inclusive recognition program, follow Assembly's guide to create one.

  1. Improved retention rates

Engaged employees tend to stay with their employer for an extended time. An organization may spend considerable resources and money to attract top talent. Still if it fails to provide regular and timely recognition to new hires, these employees may soon start looking for opportunities elsewhere, which can increase turnover rates.

According to hrdrive, employee turnover costs organizations an average of $15000 per employee exit, in addition to the loss of knowledge and morale.

Celebrating important milestones of employees, such as their work anniversaries, plays a vital role in creating a sense of community in the workplace that every employee would want to be a part of and, more importantly, continue to be a part of. According to a report by Forbes, companies that ranked in the top 20% for creating a recognition-rich workplace had a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate.

  1. Strengthens workplace culture 

Organizations can boost workplace culture by aligning rewards and recognition with their core values.

Recognizing employees for behaviors that reflect a company's values, such as teamwork, effective communication, and innovation, also creates a strong connection between an organization's workforce and its culture. 

It's important to understand that not all employees may prioritize an organization's core principles. Therefore, creating specific action items aligned with company values is a better means of ensuring they uphold these values. And by attaching rewards to these tasks, employees are incentivized to act according to the company's values.

  1. Boosts employee mental wellbeing 

Recognition improves employees’ mental well-being. 

At some point, employees may experience exhaustion and a lack of energy. They may also have mental wear and tear, such as anxiety and depression. 

Employee recognition can help alleviate these effects by ensuring employees feel appreciated and content. Incentives offered through wellness programs can also help employees recover from depressive episodes and get back on track.

Recognition is also beneficial in reducing the incidence of employee burnout, especially for employees working remotely. Without social interactions with colleagues, they may be working in isolation, leading to a perception that they are either not putting in enough effort or that their work is not appropriately acknowledged.

  1. Enhances company brand image

Employee recognition is a mutual process. 

When employees receive recognition, it motivates and engages them, making them feel connected to the company. In turn, employees often feel a strong sense of responsibility to promote their company in a positive light by acting as brand ambassadors. They could do this by spreading positive messages to potential clients about the company's products and services. 

Additionally, by promoting the company as a great workplace, they help attract new, talented employees.

How can recognition impact the team member experience?

Recognizing the individual efforts of team members can improve collaboration within a team. 

Promoting team collaboration through recognition goes beyond providing positive annual reviews or giving bonuses. It requires more than just acknowledging that the task has been completed.

Recognition can profoundly impact employee experience in the following ways:

  1. Fosters a sense of value
  2. Boosts employee morale
  3. Improves employee engagement
  1. Fosters a sense of value

According to a report by Gallup, the desire to be acknowledged is inherent in all individuals. 

Staff appreciation is essential as it fosters a sense of belonging and demonstrates that employees are valued. Recognizing and acknowledging employees' efforts enables them to see how their work positively impacts the organization, helping to enhance employee engagement. By tying employee recognition to teamwork, you can reinforce your organization's core values and promote collaboration in the workplace.

Recognition initiatives can take various forms, including tangible and intangible recognition options. One example of such initiatives is team-building activities, such as peer-to-peer recognition, where employees can nominate their colleagues to receive awards for their outstanding work. This activity helps establish camaraderie and respect in the workplace.

Both formal and informal feedback are crucial for strengthening team collaboration. Meaningful feedback not only celebrates employees' achievements but also identifies areas where staff can improve work performance. It creates a psychologically safe environment where employees can learn from their mistakes and be motivated to improve.

Thus, timely employee recognition is an effective way to combat imposter syndrome in the workforce. It boosts employees' confidence and motivation by showing them how well they perform their duties.

  1. Boosts employee morale

Employee morale is like an organization's oxygen tank. Motivating employees keeps the organization's engines working at full capacity. Hence, knowing how to motivate employees is crucial.

According to a study conducted by Great Place To Work, most respondents identified employee recognition as a significant motivator. 

When you recognize and appreciate your employees' small positive actions, you foster a positive attitude toward their work. In essence, giving affirmations, providing feedback, and offering rewards are highly effective ways to motivate employees to perform their best.

Work motivation is vital for employees working extra hours or meeting ambitious growth targets to achieve their goals. Team members shouldn't feel their hard work went unnoticed or their sacrifices weren't worth it.

  1. Improves employee engagement 

Recognition is crucial for building employee trust, driving commitment, and fostering stronger team working relationships, particularly in organizations with hybrid remote teams.

Organizations can promote team communication and teamwork by recognizing and acknowledging team efforts. By facilitating a positive feedback loop, remote workers feel more connected to the company.

Likewise, when team managers fail to recognize the specific contributions of individual team members, it can negatively impact the team dynamic. Conversely, when team managers are observant and acknowledge individual contributions, it produces stronger team bonding, open communication, and a shared understanding of the core values that an organization holds in high regard.

How to implement effective employee recognition strategies

Recognizing employees for their work is essential for the growth and development of any business. However, it's necessary to customize your recognition program to fit the unique work culture of your organization to ensure its success. 

According to SHRM, recognition strategies that don't align with the overall company culture are an expense rather than an investment. Achieving maximum benefits from recognition strategies requires careful and thorough plan execution

Tips for implementing effective employee recognition strategies:

  1. Define recognition criteria.
  2. Get team managers involved.
  3. Integrate recognition into workflows.
  4. Adopt an easy-to-use employee recognition software.
  5. Evaluate impact
  1. Define recognition criteria.

For any employee recognition strategy you intend to implement, it is essential to start by outlining the specifics. That includes identifying the types of recognition awards, the behaviors to recognize, and the timing and frequency to give these rewards to deserving employees.

It's essential to carefully consider the types of rewards that your employees will value; using culturally diverse employee rewards will help ensure that all employees, regardless of cultural background, feel valued and appreciated. This approach also helps to ensure that the rewards are appropriate and meaningful. 

It is recommended that shout-outs and appreciation gifts be provided regularly, especially on special occasions such as birthdays, project completions, and work promotions. Additionally, weekly check-ins can be beneficial for offering public recognition to outstanding employees.

Assembly offers a variety of employee reward ideas to choose from. Take a look!

  1. Get team managers involved. 

When company leadership actively promotes recognition initiatives, it leads to better results. 

Team members tend to take cues from their managers. Therefore, when they witness their team leads making conscious efforts to recognize and appreciate the valuable work inputs of team members, they are more likely to follow suit and show appreciation to their colleagues, helping to foster a healthy work environment.

Managers should be involved early on and must buy into the initiatives. Start by targeting influential leaders, especially those who recognize and reward hard-working team members.

Once team managers are fully involved, you can train them on the necessary skills to provide impactful employee appreciation. Also, reiterate to managers the importance of using frequent and constructive feedback to communicate effectively with employees.

  1. Integrate recognition into workflows. 

The most effective recognition strategy integrates employee appreciation into all aspects of company workflow, making recognition a fundamental part of organizational culture.

Consider using collaborative tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams to ensure employee recognition becomes a daily practice. These tools help provide a platform for team members to celebrate each other routinely. 

Consider offering incentives for those actively engaging in peer-to-peer recognition on these platforms. As time passes, people tend to forget to keep up with workplace recognition efforts, so incentives can serve as a reminder to maintain the frequency and intensity of workplace recognition.

  1. Adopt an easy-to-use employee recognition software.

When an organization's workforce has to follow multiple protocols to celebrate their colleagues, many employees may choose not to participate. 

Recognizing employees for their excellent work should be a simple process, no more difficult than writing an email. You can incorporate employee recognition software into implementing your recognition strategy. 

Assembly is a digital rewards platform that serves as a centralized hub for rewarding and recognizing deserving employees. It ensures universal acceptance as it can be easily adapted to both on-site and remote work environments, enabling quick dispensation of rewards and prompt recognition of employees.

Use Assembly to maximize your recognition strategy. Get Started Today

  1. Evaluate the impact.

Monitoring and evaluating company policies is crucial for measuring the effectiveness of any strategy formulated. 

When recognizing your employees for their hard work and contributions, gathering feedback from them first is essential. This feedback includes their opinions about the company culture and work engagement. One effective way to do this is by conducting employee surveys. Once you have this feedback, you can develop a recognition program that meets your employees' needs. 

To obtain the most employee feedback, use open-ended questions in your surveys. Additionally, scheduling regular meetings with team managers can help you refine and enhance your recognition strategies. 

After launching the program, it's essential to gather feedback again from your employees to see if there are any significant changes in employee morale, engagement, and job satisfaction due to the recognition program. 

If you use recognition software to implement the program, you can observe these changes in real time, make any necessary adjustments to the program, and ensure that it continues to meet your employees' needs.

Methods for measuring the impact of employee recognition on team collaboration

Assessing key performance indicators (KPIs) is a reliable way to measure the impact of employee recognition on team collaboration and cohesiveness.

Although the specifics of these metrics are mainly determined by the particular objectives of the recognition program reviews, the relevant organizational KPIs should be assessed to estimate the impact of employee recognition, include:

  1. Productivity
  2. Results
  3. Turnover rates
  1. Productivity 

Research has shown that recognizing employees for their work can increase productivity. Therefore, when evaluating the impact of employee recognition on team performance, it is a good idea to start by measuring changes in productivity levels. 

There are several productivity metrics that you can use to assess this impact, such as the average time it takes to resolve complaints in the customer service department or an increase in the number of value-added products developed by the product design team.

  1. Results

An increase in productivity among teams eventually leads to an improvement in company revenues. 

Therefore, if one of your goals in implementing a recognition program is to enhance profits, you should consider monitoring the conversion rates of your marketing team, the closing rates of your sales team, and the overall revenue of your organization.

  1. Turnover rates

Employee recognition has several benefits, such as improved retention rates. Hence, tracking the number of employees leaving the company after implementing the recognition program can indicate if the initiative is effective and if teams work more collaboratively.

Promoting team cohesiveness and collaboration using Assembly 

Collaborative work environments thrive on high employee engagement, fostered by purposeful, meaningful, personalized rewards and recognition.

Implementing comprehensive recognition programs can help improve team cohesion, foster a sense of belonging, and strengthen employees' connection to an organization's workplace culture and values.

For a recognition program to be successful, workers must embrace it. The company will need to streamline the workplace recognition process for team managers and employees. More importantly, it should be implemented using the best practices available.

Assembly is an employee recognition software that promotes teamwork by enabling timely and frequent peer-to-peer recognition based on individual and company values. It is user-friendly and straightforward. Book a Free Demo Today.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

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Employee recognition guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at support@joinassembly.com.

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered