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Building Emotional Capital: How to Maintain Enthusiastic, Engaged Employees

By: Bill Hogg


In our current economic climate, many companies are wondering how to maintain an enthusiastic, engaged employees. Employee Recognition and Employee Engagement experts agree that recognizing employees with thank-you’s and small rewards are the foundation of all strong Employee Recognition Programs (ERP).

They answer the basic human need for something fundamentally important; Emotional Capital. When integrated into a rewards program, this approach to recognition is more powerful and has more lasting impact than financial compensation. We have all heard that people join an organization for money, but leave because of lack of recognition.
A recognition program that appreciates, thanks and rewards employees can lift staff out of the recessionary downer that many are falling into. This Emotional Capital builds on our need for belonging, self-esteem and feeling good about the contribution we make. Cash cannot meet this need.
Recent studies that support this philosophy include:
  • Spot awards to employees resulted in 10 times greater return on investment than an increase in base pay. (McKinsey and Company Compensation Round Table 2008)
  • Paying people a compliment appears to activate the same reward center in the brain as paying them cash. (The Japanese National Institute for Physiological Services)
  • Acknowledging staff achievements (praising employees) had the same impact on job satisfaction as a 1 per cent increase in pay. (2008 White Water Strategies)
  • Non-cash incentives were 24 per cent more powerful at boosting performance than cash incentives. (University of Chicago 2004).
MY PERSPECTIVE: The key underlying imperative is that these type of recognition activities must be ingrained into the culture of the organization. A “way to go” that is is out of character will be seen as disingenuous and potentially have more of a detrimental impact that saying nothing.
So make sure these initiatives are evolutionary and build credibility and trust.
This article was originally published by Bill Hogg
Published: May 8, 2015

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Bill Hogg

Bill works with senior leaders to stimulate change – that excelerates passion, productivity and profits! For over 30 years, Bill has been the go to guy when the world’s most recognized brands are faced with challenges that require change -- to improve bottom line results. Bill takes no prisoners, and his clients love him for it! For additional articles and information on how to transform your organization visit us online at www.billhogg.ca

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