Why recognition matters.

By: Sowmyanarayan Sampath
SVP & Chief Revenue Officer

Building a culture of acknowledgement.

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Why recognition matters

From the sudden shift to remote working, to the operational balancing act that followed, the past year or so has not been short of organizational challenges.

In just several months, the disruption created by COVID-19 presented employers with a lifetime’s worth of hurdles, and leaders have been tested in ways many would have never imagined.

I am the first to admit that navigating this period has taught me a lot.

I have been reminded that empathy in business is a strength, not a weakness. I have learned that flexibility is no longer an advantage, but a necessity. And I have concluded that our capacity to grow is hindered only by our unwillingness to do so.

But, more than anything, I have come to appreciate the true value of recognition, and the transformational impact it can have on an organization’s culture. As we planned for Verizon Business’ first dedicated “Day of Recognition” on September 8, 2021, I have been thinking a lot about the importance of recognizing achievement, as well as the strategic and social arguments for doing so.

So, what is recognition, and how does it manifest itself in the modern workplace? Let’s start by first defining it. Recognition in the workplace can be described as the act of appreciating or acknowledging an achievement or accomplishment by a colleague. It is - in its purest form - the act of recognizing the value that someone has brought to your organization.

And why is recognition important? First, it has been shown that the more recognition and gratitude there is in an organization, the better it performs1. Comprehensive recognition programs improve a business’ ability to retain talent2, and can have a transformative impact on improving employee morale3.

When you look at the statistics, it’s no surprise that creating this sense of shared success is the endgame for most leaders. If a team is happy, working with purpose and buying into the “mission”, they work harder and outperform their disenfranchised industry peers.

Over the course of my career, I’ve been fortunate to work under some truly fantastic leaders, and they all had one thing in common - they made empowering their employees, and recognizing their efforts, a priority across their respective organizations.

Being part of a team that is driven by recognition, both internally and externally, is so important in the modern era. As the world moves into a more hybrid way of working, instilling that sense of belonging will only become more and more important.

At Verizon, building an inclusive culture, where genuine recognition is instilled throughout the business, is central to the leadership team’s strategy.

Since arriving at Verizon several years ago, I have witnessed a comprehensive organizational effort to improve recognition programs for our employees across the business, and build better platforms so that their peers can fully recognize the outstanding work they do every day.

In an era that will be defined by the impact people made on the world around them, I am proud to work for an organization that puts recognition at the heart of everything it does.

1 https://mcgrawhillprofessionalbusinessblog.com/2019/06/19/the-roi-of-gratitude-in-the-workplace/

2 https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/rewards-and-recognition/employee-recognition-and-retention-statistics/

3 https://hbr.org/2021/03/research-a-little-recognition-can-provide-a-big-morale-boost

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About the author:

Sampath is the executive vice president and CEO of Verizon Business, a global leader in 5G technology serving 97% of Fortune 500 companies. Sampath and his team help businesses, governments and communities reimagine their employee, supply chain and end-customer experiences. With $31B+ in annual revenue (2021), Verizon Business is leading the way into a new 5G-based era of technology-led innovation for its customers.

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