Depending on the nature of the company you work for, creating and maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be extremely difficult. When you work on the clock and have set hours, it's a bit easier to mentally separate time at work and time for yourself. On the other hand, if you're a new lawyer or working at a startup, your working hours are bound to bleed into your personal life.
Employee engagement is an increasingly important metric for companies of all sizes to track throughout their lifetime. From employee satisfaction and happiness to retention and productivity, there are a huge number of benefits correlated to improving the level of employee engagement.
Employee engagement has been getting a lot of attention recently. From the well-known Gallup survey to articles in Forbes and beyond, it's a topic that has infiltrated the world of business. And for good reason, too.
Engaged employees have been shown to perform better, be less likely to quit, and be happier and more motivated. For companies, this translates into higher profitability with the same number of employees. It's a win-win.
Whenever the topic of employee engagement and performance comes up, it isn't long before people start talking about the concept of discretionary effort. A truly engaged employee will put in discretionary effort when it comes to their career.
But what does discretionary effort mean? Discretionary effort refers to the amount of additional effort, beyond what is already expected, that an employee is willing to put in to their work.
Depending on where you work, the attitude towards recognition programs and employee engagement can range significantly. While some company leaders continue to believe that simply paying their employees is enough, a steady stream of modern research says otherwise. Rather than financial incentives, it's appreciation and the intrinsic motivation that comes from it that leads to optimal employee engagement and performance.
Let's jump into four of the most impactful benefits of peer-to-peer appreciation and what you can do to start getting those benefits today!
Inspiration for Complimenting Your Coworkers
As we know, employee recognition is one of the most important areas to keep up with in the workplace; it can help with many companies' greatest concerns such as diversity and inclusion and employee motivation. Most of all, recognition feeds employee engagement, which leads to more employee happiness.
Intuitively, one might assume that monetary incentives are the most effective reward system. People like money, so monetary rewards should increase effort and maximize productivity. Despite this common assumption, research shows that higher rewards don't always lead to more effort and employee engagement. Paradoxically, some studies have found the opposite can happen, a phenomenon known as "incentive reversal."
We’ve all had the life experience where a group activity is going smoothly and morale is high… up until that one person walks in with “negative energy.” It’s like the spell of positivity and efficiency is lifted, and negative emotions spread throughout the rest of the group. How by a single person or small group of people who project their emotions onto the rest of the team, whether it be consciously or subconsciously.
As highly emotional animals, humans pick up on other peoples’ signals like body language and energy levels, and often their own experience will change as a result. This type of mimicry is called emotional contagion, and it can apply to both positive emotions as well as negative ones. In both cases, emotional contagion has important implications when considering effective teamwork strategies and organizational culture in particular.
For many people, the office can be an exciting and interesting place to work and connect with others in the process. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone, especially those who face discrimination due to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Studies show that discrimination can lead to negative emotions like anger and fear, which in turn influence the overall satisfaction and happiness an employee experiences in his or her career. Although most of us try to avoid discriminating against others, the reality is that stereotypes and prejudiced thoughts are very much a social norm – one that we need to work actively against should we hope to reduce their damaging effects.
Having a significant number of your employees working remotely on any given day is the new normal, and for many managers, the management of people they can’t “drop in on” is a bit of a puzzle. But studies have shown that remote employees are, on the whole, happier and more productive than their in-house counterparts, so companies need to embrace effective strategies for keeping them engaged.