Recognition is a basic human need. Why do we need it, and how often should you provide it, are questions frequently asked by managers, and understanding the psychology of recognition can help answer them.
Employee recognition is more than just a thank you for doing a good job. It’s something our brains are hardwired to need. In fact, recognition results in the release of dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain. Dopamine stimulates the parts of the brain (ventral striatum and nucleus accumbens) that processes rewards and creates positive emotions like satisfaction and enjoyment.
Gallup’s article about praising employees states that, “Receiving praise and recognition releases dopamine in the brain, which creates the feelings of pride and pleasure. Better yet, that dopamine hit cements the knowledge that more of that behavior will create more praise, resulting in another dopamine drench, and so on.”
Based on this, it’s no surprise that employee recognition results in higher levels of motivation, engagement and productivity, lower staff turnover, and an increased ability to retain and attract top talent.
Here are some recognition and engagement statistics that might blow your mind:
For more recognition statistics, check out our article ‘Employee Recognition Generates Amazing ROI’
The affects of dopamine wears off fast. This is why after a pay rise or promotion you’re extremely motivated to do a good job for the first month or so, but after that the motivation starts to dwindle.
It’s impossible to determine how long positive effects of recognitions lasts on an employee as there are many factors that affect it;
“Recognition is a short-term need that has to be satisfied on an ongoing basis - weekly, maybe daily.” says Gallup’s chief scientist, Jim Harter.
At minimum, Gallup advise that you should praise someone verbally once a week.
Further more, you can never give too much recognition as long as it is honest and deserved, according to Gallup.
Using employee recognition software like Bucketlist, it provides employees and managers with an easy way to publicly acknowledge their peers. The recognition software integrates with platforms you use daily, such as email, Microsoft Teams or Slack, or you can also use the recognition app to do a quick shout-out.
According to Advisor Websites CEO Alex Wingert, “Bucketlist has helped me and other managers see the one percenters that would otherwise go unnoticed.”
Dopamine is a human need, but most people feel like they don’t receive enough praise.
Looking into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, at every level there are needs that can be satisfied by employers.
Starting at the bottom for the greatest basic need and working your way up to the top level, workplaces have the ability to provide great impact.
Additionally, Studies show that if you express gratitude, it raises your happiness by 25%. Using an employee recognition and rewards program not only helps the person receiving the recognition to feel satisfied, but also it helps the person giving the recognition express gratitude. It’s a win-win-win situation as the company benefits with increased productivity and higher levels of engagement.
There is endless research available to demonstrate the importance of why humans need recognition, and the positive results of recognition to employers.
Bucketlist is listed as one of the best employee recognition software programs available, with a 4.9 star rating out of 5 on G2.
To find out more about how the Bucketlist employee rewards and recognition app can help your business, contact us for a free demo. We’d love to help you improve your company’s employee recognition program!