A Culture of Appreciation and Its Effect on Employee Engagement

Customer Experience | Customer Experience Strategy | Customer-Centric Culture | Employee Experience

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In a previous post titled Employee Recognition and the Customer Experience, we looked at how customer experience leaders can use employee recognition to align employees around their customer experience goals. The benefits of recognition, however, extend beyond just encouraging your direct reports.

Taking the time to appreciate great work is the kind of simple practice that can dramatically change the tone of a workplace culture. The following are four more ways that a culture of appreciation and recognition can improve customer experience.

 

1. Employee recognition will benefit your health.

Jeffrey Froh, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Hofstra University, reports:

…they found that grateful people who counted blessings were more likely to exercise, more likely to report better sleep; less likely to report these physical complaints. There’s even some research done, we’re looking at, when you have a sense of appreciation your heart rhythms are more coherent and smooth, which of course is healthy.

  • What This Means for the Customer Experience: Leading change is hard work; a healthy dose of recognition could be just the thing to keep you going.

  • Source: The Health Benefits of Being Thankful

 

2. Employee recognition counteracts the negativity bias.

Our brains, hardwired to focus on the things that will kill us, instinctively spends time on the negative versus the positive. Positive psychology coach Renee Jain says:

This [negative] bias developed over millions of years helps us survive threats in our environment. Fortunately, we no longer have to worry about a saber-toothed tiger attacking us on the way to work. Unfortunately, we still have this bias, which makes us hone in on negative events, emotions, and interactions in our lives.

  • What This Means for the Customer Experience: Forcing your brain to pay attention to the positive contributions of your co-workers helps to counteract our natural tendency toward negativity, and in doing so creates a more positive (and effective) work environment.

  • Source: The Science of Thankfulness

 

3. Employee recognition builds a stronger team.

Northeastern University psychologist Devid DeSteno conducted a study on the benefits of gratitude. DeSteno says, “Gratitude leads people to act in virtuous or more selfless ways. And it builds social support, which we know is tied to both physical and psychological well being.”

  • What This Means for the Customer Experience: A stronger internal team means you have the support and trust needed to solve the big customer experience issues that are often deeply embedded in an organization

  • Source: Say ‘thank you’ – it’s for your health

 

4. Employee recognition has transformative powers.

Best selling author Malcom Gladwell writes:

As human beings, we always expect everyday change to happen slowly and steadily, and for there to be some relationship between cause and effect. And when there isn’t – when crime drops dramatically in New York for no apparent reason, or when a movie made on a shoestring budget ends up making hundreds of millions of dollars – we’re surprised. I’m saying, don’t be surprised. This is the way social epidemics work.

  • What This Means for the Customer Experience: Recognition has the potential to be the kind of social epidemic Gladwell is referring to. And evidence suggests it could be the motivator that moves your organization from a company that is internally focused, to one that is aligned around the customer.

  • Source: What is the Tipping Point?

 

Our clients have seen the powerful effect that employee recognition can have on the improving the customer experience. If you are interested in learning more about how we help companies use Voice of the Customer software to create a culture of recognition, contact us. We would love to talk.

~Janessa Lantz

Chat with one of our experts and get smart about your customer experience.

Topic: Employee Experience

Posted on 09-12-2012