The importance of employee recognition for women in tech

Employee recognition is an important part of management, and something which is often neglected. The competitive nature of today’s world means that candidates have more options when looking for a company to join and stay at. A big part of retaining skilled employees comes down to their satisfaction & how they’re treated. In this article, we look at why employee recognition is so important, especially for women in tech.


employee recognition


What is employee recognition?


One of the most important things you’ll learn as a manager is to give regular feedback, good or bad. Much of the time, feedback is only really given when a mistake happens. However, it’s equally as important to reinforce great performance and praise an employee for going above and beyond. Employee recognition is defined as the acknowledgement of a company’s staff for exemplary performance – simply put, it’s showing that you recognise and appreciate the work someone is putting in. Workhuman say that employee recognition is one of the most important factors in driving workplace engagement, productivity and retention.


A lack of employee recognition


So, we all know what employee recognition is, but what happens when people aren’t given this well-needed praise and reward by their managers? Wildgoose recently surveyed employees from 133 different UK companies, and asked them for their views on recognition in the workplace. The survey uncovered a significant lack of praise, with nearly a staggering 3 in 4 UK employees saying that they feel they deserve more recognition for the work that they do. Furthermore, these employees who feel they are underappreciated are 131% more likely to lose faith in the management team and the core values a company holds. This can lead to people looking for new jobs, with a third of the people who feel unrecognised stating that they’ve now left the role or are looking to leave.


How does the lack of recognition impact women?


Aside from a widespread lack of recognition, Wildgoose found that underappreciated women at work are 34% more likely to suffer from mental health problems than their male counterparts as a result of the neglect. As well as suffering mentally, employees are more likely to lose interest in their job, with 40% of employees becoming less productive after suffering from a lack of recognition. The fact that women are more likely to suffer from poor mental health as a result of being underappreciated could mean that women have higher ‘recognition needs’ which managers should take into account when considering management styles.


The benefits of employee recognition

Ensuring regular, sincere and meaningful recognition will have a big impact on your business in many ways. Some of the benefits of employee appreciation are:


  • Decreased employee turnover
  • Happier employees
  • Increased productivity
  • Higher levels of engagement from workforce
  • Decreased stress / leave from work due to stress and mental health related concerns
  • Enhanced employer brand and company values


Different types of employee appreciation

In their survey, Wildgoose found that men and women value different methods of appreciation differently. Females prefer to receive recognition for their work via regular in-person conversations with management and respect from their peers. On the other hand, male colleagues placed a higher importance on receiving a high salary compared to industry average.


Besides these methods, there are others ways which companies can recognise their employees:


  • Monetary bonus schemes
  • Gifts/vouchers
  • Appreciation days
  • A recognition scheme e.g. employee of the month


It’s clear from Wildgoose’s survey that currently, employers are missing the mark on making their employees feel appreciated and this can have a detrimental knock-on impact. Companies should carefully understand how best to approach a recognition scheme, and enforce a culture of regular feedback meetings and appraisals. In turn, they should begin to see the benefits of a happier workforce with increased retention and satisfaction.


Read about 5 ways to spread kindness at work and 5 actions tech employers can take to retain women.