Tuning In To Employee Preferences

Eight ballIn a survey conducted earlier this year, I looked at what makes recognition meaningful. There are four elements to recognition: Praise, Opportunity, Respect, and Thanks. Since the publication of Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works, I have stated that Respect is the element that must always be present and the others can be mixed and matched in various combinations. I had also observed that Opportunity seemed to carry more weight with employees that did Praise or Thanks (appreciation).

To determine employee priorities when it comes to the more subtle aspects of recognition I asked respondents about the importance of various behaviors that demonstrate to employees that they are valued.

Test yourself.
Rank the following in order of employee priority:
  Praise for achievements    
  Regular feedback from my manager/supervisor  
  Knowing my manager/supervisor listens to me. 
  Involvement in the decision-making process  
  Being able to take on new challenges  
  Having development opportunities   

Survey respondents listed a manager who listens as most important, followed by development opportunities, involvement in decision-making, new challenges, feedback, and in last place, praise.

As you can see in the table below, the gap in preferences was small (all were shown to be important). Still the results do underscore that showing employees that they are valued goes far beyond praise and rewards:

How important are the following to you (5 being most important and 1 being least)?
  Praise for achievements     3.82
  Regular feedback from my manager/supervisor   4.09
  Knowing my manager/supervisor listens to me.  4.42
  Involvement in the decision-making process   4.29
  Being able to take on new challenges   4.23
  Having development opportunities    4.32

The survey demonstrates that employees look beyond praise when deciding how recognized they feel, They consider all the elements of recognition (Praise, Opportunity, Respect, Thanks) with respect and opportunity being the most critical.

Copyright Cindy Ventrice 2007

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1 Response to “Tuning In To Employee Preferences”



  1. 1 A Scenario for Your Consideration « Make Their Day Trackback on July 11, 2008 at 11:42 am
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My name is Cindy Ventrice. I am the author of the best-selling book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works and the companion guide Recognition Strategies That Work.

My work has been quoted in The New York Times, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Tim Sanders' book The Likeability Factor.


Visit my website www.maketheirday.com today!


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