‘Tis the Season for Recognition

By Daniel Forrester, CEO

In the midst of the holiday season, I am filled with deep gratitude for the work we have delivered to our clients this year. THRUUE is truly blessed to work with so many organizations dedicated to driving social impact at scale.

When I think about the role gratitude plays in a company culture, my mind is drawn to the importance of employee recognition. A little more than a year ago, I wrote an article on the importance of recognition and the human need for validation. At the time of my article, 65% of Americans received no recognition whatsoever in the workplace—not even a thank you.

Recognition levels have not improved much since then. According to the American Psychological Association, 49% of employees do not feel valued by their employers, 54% have never been recognized for their individual job performance, and 36% have not received recognition from their employers in any way.

It is extremely disheartening not to feel valued, which is why successful employee engagement and performance depends so much on building cultures where recognition is deployed in authentic and meaningful ways. In my experience, few organizations create cultures of recognition. Without recognition, employee engagement, fulfillment, and performance are lost.

At THRUUE, we measure what’s happening in our clients’ cultures and figure out what employees want in the future—and there is always a desire for more recognition.

Joan Shafer, one of the leading thinkers on organizational culture in the world, guides much of our strategic work, and she has taught us the power that comes from linking great strategies to high-performing cultures. Of the need for recognition, Joan says:

“Appreciation, thanks, feedback, acknowledgement, gifts, rewards – all of these are forms of recognition. Most of them are free. They fulfill one of our basic human needs – knowing that what we do matters and that we have had a positive effect on someone or something. The time that someone takes in valuing what we contribute tells us that we have succeeded and that it is worth doing again. We all have a story of someone affirming us or naming our potential, and those acts are often life changing. What greater gift can we give someone else?”

This season, I hope you will take the time to write a note and simply say thank you to the people you work with every day. Watch—they’ll likely save that note for years to come. The very act of saving a paper note tells you so much about why recognition moves our souls.

Merry Christmas.

Authored by Daniel Forrester

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