Our Reaction: Meaningful Employee Recognition Can Help You Retain Valued Employees

We recently came across a helpful blog series from Cisco Systems entitled: Cisco Partner Talent Series. The series focuses on helping partners attract, develop, and (most importantly in our opinion), retain talented and dedicated employees. While the audience for the majority of the articles seems to be big business—small, growing companies can certainly pull some useful tips and advice from the series.

The final post in the series really brought it all home for us; Meaningful Employee Recognition Can Help You Retain Valued Employees. This eye-opening article showed, through exhausting polls, questionnaires, and research, that how you recognize an employee for their work is as important as recognizing them at all. According to Maritz Research, a renowned marketing research firm, the most sought out form of recognition at work was cash (surprise, surprise). The study revealed that only 25% of employees are actually acknowledged with greenbacks. Here’s a full chart for ya!

Maritz Research Chart

Notice the disparity between the column on the left and the one on the right? In all categories, except verbal praise and group/individual achievements, there’s a noticeable lack of supply for the  recognition demand.

This is a good chart for managers to keep in mind next time the thought occurs to reward an employee for extra effort—along with this tip from report:

“The cost of turnover may be as much as 1.5 times an employee’s first year salary. Cut turnover in half and you could see tremendous savings in your bottom line.”

The article (and the blog series for that matter) leave us with a few quick tips for improving your recognition program. We selected a few solid ones and added a few of our own. Take a look and if you can think of any other ideas we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

  • Give everyone a chance to receive meaningful recognition
  • Be consistent with the way recognition is given
  • Communicate clearly why the recognition is being given
  • Employees should recognize one another whenever possible
  • Try to take the time to understand how each employee is motivated


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