It‘s happened to the best of us. You think things are going well with your best-performing team members until they up and leave. When it’s least expected, they might just hand in that resignation letter, or request an “important meeting” at an odd time with a tone, unlike the one you’re familiar with. But why?
Lack of recognition
A lack of recognition plays a huge role. Leading researchers from across the globe, such as OC Tanner and oGoLead, have found that:
● 79% of employees who quit their jobs claim lack of appreciation was a major reason for leaving
● 82% of employees feel their supervisor doesn’t recognize them for what they do
● 60% say they are more motivated by recognition than money
The power of positive reinforcement is crucial, and the smallest of gestures coming from upper management to acknowledge contributions can motivate employees to go out of their comfort zone and do more for the business. It’s recommended for team leaders to praise in public, and criticize in private.
It’s the highest performers that are typically first to jump ship, and supervisors could figure that something is up when their most passionate team members become quiet on matters, especially when it comes to the particular arenas that fall within their line of specialties. For instance, if a top-performing sales associate shows indifference between options of new sales tools for implementation, that may be a red flag that they’re losing their zest (or may have already lost their zest and started accepting interviews elsewhere).
However, it’s not just recognition from their supervisors that top performers crave. It’s also the respect of their fellow colleagues they’re in close quarters with. This is especially the case for the silent heroes who are not as outspoken as other team members, who also desire to have a sense of clout amongst their peers without the need to shout over the rooftops.
Recommended For Further Reading
The best way to retain top talent
So there are a few problems at hand when it comes to giving proper recognition. For starters, it oftentimes doesn’t feel natural to frequently offer praise for a job well done. It might also set the precedent that everyone should expect to get recognition for everything. But at the end of the day, we’re all busy, and there just isn’t enough time under the sun to keep tabs on everyone and their progress or accomplishments.
The solution requires a different way of thinking about transparency and recognition, which of course is easier said than done. For a start, consider where, when, and through what medium this acknowledgment takes place. It can happen in private, in front of the team, or on a wider management scale. It can take place, weekly, monthly, or just when they outperform expectations. Finally, it can happen in person, via email, through slack or internal social media, or a hundred other places you interact with your team.
Ideally, this recognition should take place where the work was done, and as soon as possible after it was completed. For example, replying to an email thread or in a channel where the work was done, and as soon as the results are in, or even when the project is complete. This is easier to accomplish with Ment.io, a unique platform that gives all employees a chance to shine, where star contributors can increase their “score” as an indicator of their expertise and reliability, helping teams finalize decisions faster. Work should enable opportunities for team members to have more meaningful relationships with their managers through one on one interactions, not excessive meetings.
Timely recognition helps employees gauge the quality of their own work. It’s crucial for all team leaders to make an effort to please their best-performing team members, for the growth of the company and to strengthen the core of their foundation. Appreciation and recognition go a long way, especially at scale.
From Tzvika Katzenelson
Tzvika Katzenelson is a 15+ year veteran of business and technology innovation with experience leading scalability initiatives for Fortune 500 companies. He’s currently the Co-Founder and CRO of Ment.io, the leading AI decision-making platform enabling teams to workplace-decisions in a more streamlined manner. Tzvika was previously the Head of Business Analytics for NICE Actimize, a worldwide provider of financial crime, risk, and compliance solutions.