Healthy workplaces are a necessity, and employee recognition policies in organizations are the key employee mental health and wellness
Employee experience, work-life balance, employee growth and development, health and safety, and employee recognition are part of winning company culture. Researchers link healthy workplace practices to employee well-being and organizational improvements.
Several studies have highlighted the importance of promoting employee recognition policies in organizations to influence employee mental health and wellness positively. According to the model of effort-reward imbalance (ERI), the failed reciprocity between effort and rewards is likely to elicit negative emotions. Conversely, appropriate rewards evoke positive emotions and well-being. The simple solution to ensure a healthy workplace is to support employees’ mental health today and in the future – with employee recognition.
Employee health and well-being is a long overdue concern. The uncertainties surrounding the world in the aftermath of the pandemic have negatively impacted employees, especially their emotional and mental health. Remote work and other changes to the workplace have also caused many employees to experience increased stress, anxiety, and isolation. It is known that employees with poor mental health are often less productive and may have increased absenteeism, which impacts their ability to work in the long run.
All these factors bring mental health into focus more than ever. There is a paradigm shift in employee expectations and priorities when it comes to choosing the organization they want to work with. Organizations, too, are choosing to be healthy workplaces. They focus on employee mental health and offer better flexibility and work-life balance. In return, the organizations reap benefits with increased productivity and reduced costs associated with disinterest and turnover.
What constitutes a healthy workplace?
A healthy workplace promotes the well-being of its employees and supports their physical, mental, and emotional health. Some critical elements of a healthy workplace include:
A healthy workplace constitutes a culture of work-life balance, and employee recognition is one of its main characteristics.
A healthy organization is more capable of sustainable success. Organizations must tread a more holistic, healthy path with a corporate culture that benefits all stakeholders. Four vital features constitute the concept called vibrant workplaces. These components are relationships, jobs, environment, and organizational support. Employee recognition plays a role in the last two.
As per research, recognition enhances variables such as employee performance, engagement and retention. It boosts morale, motivation, and job satisfaction creates a sense of belongingness, and elevates organizational and professional commitment. On the contrary, the lack of recognition is a key factor for psychological distress at work. It is responsible for burnout, attrition, and a low sense of well-being.
We can categorize recognition into formats to ease exercising effective employee reward and recognition programs. Four formats of Recognition can be classified:
According to a study, work performance recognition is one of the essential recognition because of the proportional relationship between work performance and well-being. Employees are every company’s greatest asset, and it should be a priority to ensure they are happy and healthy. Frequent recognition means employees are valued at work and are more likely to report good outcomes. Here are some that are crucial for the employees and the organization.
Optimism is an attitude that anticipates a positive and favourable outcome. Workplace optimism fosters a positive outlook and is one of the most critical factors in increasing well-being and engagement. Giving genuine and honest recognition for outstanding work accomplishments and contributions is one way to encourage a positive attitude. Employee recognition improves psychological functioning and fosters a sense of well-being in employees, resulting in healthier, more engaged, and more productive workers. Employee engagement suffers in its absence as a result of unrecognized contributions, and workers’ psychological health and performance may suffer as a result.
Mindfulness has the power to improve self-regulation and enhance social relationships in the workplace. It makes employees more resilient in facing challenges and increases task performance. Mindfulness in the workplace reduces stress-related problems and improves employee productivity and well-being with increased focus and engagement in their work. Recognition can encourage employees to be more mindful of their performance and the contributions of their colleagues as they work towards being recognized. This leads to increased collaboration and teamwork and a greater awareness of the organization’s goals and values. Recognition can also serve as a reminder for employees to be present at the moment. It promotes positive attention and appreciation of their work and the people they work with. Mindfulness is positively associated with employees’ work-life balance, job satisfaction, citizenship behaviours, and job performance and negatively related to employee exhaustion and nonconformity with company values and goals.
Recognition can promote an appreciative culture by making individuals feel valued and appreciated for their contributions and efforts. Research has found that when people are recognized for their work by their coworkers and superiors, they feel more motivated and engaged, leading to improved performance and increased job satisfaction. Peer to peer recognition can foster community and teamwork as individuals build strong connections with their colleagues and the organization. Awards serve as a model for others, encouraging employees to recognize and appreciate the contributions of their peers.
Recognition contributes to a culture of inclusion, equity, and diversity. It promotes the notion that everyone’s contributions are essential and valuable. Individuals who receive credit for their contributions feel more connected to the organization and accepted by their coworkers. Team members’ loyalty and commitment may increase thanks to the appreciation, as will their relationships and collaboration. Individuals feel valued, included, and connected to their colleagues and the organization, creating a sense of belonging. The award recognizes and celebrates the organization’s diversity, creating a more inclusive and equitable environment.
Employee experience is prioritized in healthy workplaces. Employee recognition isn’t just a nice-to-have program; it’s what employees want. Investing in a practical and effective, long-term recognition strategy enables organizations to take a holistic approach that supports employee well-being and their sense of belonging, connection to their company and colleagues, and, as a result, their productivity.