Posted by on July 5, 2019

by David Novak

a person sitting at a table
© CNBC LLC

If you go to work every day just going through the motions, you aren’t alone.

According to Gallup, only 33% of employees are engaged at work.

So, how can nearly 70% of the workforce be disengaged?

I believe it’s because there is a tremendous lack of recognition in the world today, or what I call the global recognition deficit. And there are statistics to prove it.

According to OC Tanner research:

• 79% of employees who quit their jobs claim that a lack of appreciation was a major reason for leaving

• 65% of Americans claimed they weren’t even recognized one time last year

My company, oGoLead, fielded national research and found even more evidence for the lack of recognition in the workplace:

• 82% of employees feel their supervisor doesn’t recognize them for what they do

• 60% say they are more motivated by recognition than money

a person posing for the camera: Former Yum Brands CEO David Novak
© CNBC LLC Former Yum Brands CEO David Novak

Give recognition

If leaders give their people the recognition they’ve earned, show genuine appreciation and acknowledge the unique things people have to offer and do, then they will drive significantly better results. At the same time, they will lift the spirits of everyone involved, including themselves, and create a positive energy that becomes contagious and creates a ripple effect across the organization.

So why aren’t more people using the power of recognition in the workplace?

For one, people aren’t using purposeful recognition. In order for recognition to drive results, it has to be earned. And the team has to know how to earn it. Therefore, bosses have to clearly define what they recognize and how it links to performance outcomes. When they do this, it becomes a catalyst for driving results. This is called purposeful recognition.

Second, there are all kinds of barriers that hold people back from recognition. And trust me, I heard them all when I launched the recognition culture at Yum! Brands.

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