And the key to employee engagement is …

Just what do employees really want, anyway?
New research from the staffing firm Office Team tells us: recognition. And they want it badly enough to cause nearly half of survey respondents to say they’d at least consider jumping to a new job if they don’t get it.
Forty-nine percent of the 431 office workers surveyed said they would be somewhat or very likely to leave their current position if they didn’t feel appreciated by their manager.
And what form do they want that recognition to take? Cash.
Thirty-eight percent said they’d prefer to be recognized with a monetary bonus; another 21% said they’d be OK with “growth opportunities” at work.
Other responses:

  • Praise — 19%
  • No need for recognition — 20%
  • Don’t know (we’re betting these aren’t the stars of their workplace) — 2%.

It’s not rare that employers screw up the recognition process, Office Team said. Among the common mistakes:
Messing up the key details: Getting a person’s name wrong is the most egregious error, or course, followed by incorrectly describing what the individual did to deserve the recognition.
Failing to make the reward fit the accomplishment: Giving someone a stapler for his or her five-year anniversary probably isn’t going to go over well.
Being too vague: Just telling people they “did a good job” kinda falls flat in most situations. Better idea: Congratulate the person for a specific action or behavior and explain why it benefitted the organization overall.
Overlooking contributors: There may be one individual that stands at the forefront of a successful effort, but it’s important to single out the team members that helped in a less-visible role.