August 23, 2023

2023 Employee Recognition Trends: Your Key to Success

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Employee Recognition for a Modern Workforce
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Key Employee Recognition Trend Takeaways:

  • Employees are still resigning—frequent recognition can be the solution
  • When recognition is central to culture, employees are happier and more productive
  • Recognition can help you offer flexibility and maintain work culture
  • Use digital recognition tools to reach all of your employees

The last few years have drastically shifted how employees and employers view work. Employee expectations are continually evolving, resignation rates have skyrocketed and remain high, and employee disengagement is steadily growing to worrying levels—all while unemployment rates remain low. It’s a confusing time, full of contradictory advice. 

These trends from 2022 reflect a struggling workforce with shifting needs and wants.

In order to set yourself up for success and meet your employees’ changing expectations in 2023, you need recognition. Employee recognition can be the key you need to stay afloat in these turbulent times, especially with the following strategies:

  • Make recognition more frequent and meaningful throughout the year
  • Make recognition more central
  • Make recognition more far-reaching
  • Use recognition platforms and tech to increase effectiveness

Let’s look at the trends from the past and strategies for the future when it comes to employee rewards and recognition.

More Frequent and Meaningful Recognition

One trend of the past few years is that job dissatisfaction, stress, and anxiety are all extremely high. Quit rates have broken records throughout 2021, staying high in 2022, and they show no signs of slowing in 2023.

Recognition can be the tool employers need to combat dissatisfaction and stress. In fact, a lack of recognition is the #1 reason that most people leave their current employer. And on the flip side, organizations with robust recognition programs have 31% lower turnover and are 12X more likely to have strong business outcomes.

Employees want to feel valued and cared for, and the absolute best way to do that is through more meaningful recognition throughout the year. Don’t settle for recognition on birthdays and service anniversaries only—use recognition to:

  • Encourage peer-to-peer collaboration and celebration
  • Incentivize behavior and reward employee efforts
  • Reward high-performers
  • Celebrate employee milestones and personal events
  • Show gratitude for all that employees do for the company

When recognition is more frequent throughout the year and more meaningful in general, you can buck the trend of disengaged, unhappy employees. Create a culture of recognition in your organization and watch as employees thrive.

Centralized Recognition for a Competitive Edge

A trend of the past few years was a shift in power to employees. If employees weren’t happy at work, they could quit and easily find a new job that would treat them better. However, as economic anxiety grows, the balance of power is shifting back toward employers.

This is the perfect opportunity for businesses to stand out from the crowd by investing in employee recognition and the employee experience. Rewards and recognition have the largest impact and provide the most ROI for effort—consider that 80% of employees state that more recognition improves their relationships, engagement, and happiness at work.

In other words, every single measure of employee morale, productivity, performance, and retention go up when leaders regularly recognize.

2023 is the time to invest in recognition. Implement more programs, more ways to recognize, and more reward options. Help employees feel welcomed and valued, and they’re going to want to stay at your company.

Bonus tip: Awardco makes it easy to implement custom programs in any industry—and with the largest reward network on the planet, employees will always be satisfied.

Recognition That Reaches a Flexible Workforce

Over the past few years, employees have come to expect certain things—and after the pandemic, flexible work arrangements is a top priority for employees.

We’re going to assume that flexibility is already a priority for your organization, as well. If it’s not, make it one. But for those organizations who are already offering things like remote work, hybrid work, and flexible schedules, you need to make recognition fit that increased flexibility.

With a recognition platform you can create peer-to-peer programs, manager-to-peer programs, home office remodeling programs, and remote recognition programs that reach everyone in your company. Custom create programs that keep employees engaged and excited, no matter where they work. 

When you offer the powerful combination of flexible work and far-reaching recognition, employees are going to love working for you in 2023.

Bonus tip: With AwardCodes, you can print out physical recognition cards, including heartfelt messages and reward points. These cards are great for reaching offline, remote, and frontline employees.

Modern Recognition Tools for a Younger Generation

The workplace is changing, with nearly 60% of global customer interactions going digital and 60% of all services and products digitized. The workforce is also changing, with more Millennials and Gen Z employees who expect digital work.

You can use technology to boost your culture and facilitate rewards and recognition that reach all of your workforce, both young and old. One of our clients tried this, and they saw a 33% boost in adoption of cultural values as a result.

Recognition platforms make rewards and recognition easy and simple. Digital tools allow you to automate processes, track reports and usage, and increase employee adoption in the most effective ways.

Learn From the Trends, Prepare for the Future

Now that you know more of the trends in employee recognition, hopefully you have more confidence moving forward this year. Build a culture around frequent, far-reaching, and flexible recognition, and you may be surprised how calm your organization stays, despite the turbulence of the business world as a whole.