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Element 4 Recognition and Praise

Explore Gallup's research.

Learn how to lead productive and engaging meetings. The kind of meetings that make people actually want to show up.

Recognizing good work is a powerful, cost-effective method of improving organizational performance -- yet it is underused.

Worker burnout and stress cost German employers more than 9 billion euros in lost productivity annually.

The holiday season comes with a heightened sense of urgency and even chaos for employees, especially those in retail.

Burnout affects an estimated 2.7 million German employees. Better managers are the key to preventing this feeling.

35% of U.S. Managers Are Engaged in Their Jobs

U.S. employees with female bosses are more engaged than employees with male bosses. Female managers are also more engaged at work.

Personalized feedback and recognition aren't just "frills" that make workers feel good about themselves -- they're crucial predictors of positive performance. Yet a global study of employee engagement shows that they're among the lowest rated workplace elements worldwide.

How does employee engagement move through an organization? Does it begin in the executive suite and move down through managers to frontline workers? Or does it come from all different directions? Gallup researchers set out to tackle these essential leadership questions.

Employees may be motivated by many different things, but they all strive for recognition and praise. And they need that positive feedback at least every seven days, according to the authors of 12: The Elements of Great Managing -- a New York Times bestseller that draws on 10 million workplace interviews.

Employees who report they're not adequately recognized at work are three times more likely to say they'll quit in the next year. That's a shame, as this problem is completely avoidable. Frequent recognition is a surefire -- not to mention affordable -- way to boost employee engagement, and to keep good people.

This supervisor in Poland had many obstacles to overcome, not least of which was being a diminutive woman in a paper plant dominated by burly men. What's more, a palpable malaise permeated the place. But by giving her employees something they hadn't received before -- large doses of praise and recognition -- she turned around this formerly government-run warehouse. Her approach was downright radical.

The number-one reason people leave their jobs is because they "don't feel appreciated," according to the U.S. Department of Labor. What's a manager to do? Start by offering praise to employees that's individualized, deserved, and specific.

Disengaged and poorly managed workers could be chasing business out the door, write the authors of How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life. What's more, workgroups drained by excessive negativity also have higher turnover, more accidents on the job, and lower customer satisfaction, innovation, and quality scores.

Research shows they are critical to increasing employee productivity and engagement, according to the authors of How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life. What's more, people who receive regular recognition and praise are more likely to stay with their organization, receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers, and have fewer accidents on the job.

Dietitians at St. Mary's/Duluth Clinic Health System were at a crossroads. Their team didn't have enough people and felt ignored. Their workspace was "dismal." A few were quietly threatening to resign. Here's how one manager attacked this problem and raised employee engagement from average to extraordinary -- in just a year.

Some managers inspire excellence. Some inspire loyalty. But a very few, such as Diane Marinacci at the federal General Services Administration, inspire people to the highest quality of work, the sincerest forms of loyalty, and passionate engagement. Find out what makes Marinacci so special, and successful.

A survey of German employees last summer revealed that a staggering 69% are profoundly disconnected from their work -- a surprise, since German workers are highly skilled and generously compensated, and they produce some of the best products in the world. What accounts for the low German engagement? And what can be done to improve it?

The best sales managers know how to provide their star performers with just the right rewards to feed that drive for success. In fact, finding the perfect "fit" between motivation and rewards may be the key to focusing great sales reps toward even greater achievements -- or sending them into a slump. Here are some strategies to motivate your sales stars.