How to improve government employee recognition programs—and agency performance
Eagle Hill Consulting research finds that government employees want to receive more recognition for their work. Agency workers voice that recognition impacts their drive and motivation, and if not acknowledged, can lead to retention and agency performance issues. Yet, workers indicate government employee recognition programs need improvement.
The recognition gap
Government employees signal that agencies should increase their efforts to thank employees for their efforts.
would like to receive more recognition for their work
are never recognized for a job well done
Recognition drives government employee performance
Government employees say recognition impacts their work, retention, teammates, and citizens.
When their hard work is recognized:
will go above and beyond their responsibilities
are more likely to stay at their organization
are more motivated to support their team
will go above and beyond for customers
How to improve government employee recognition—government workers share how they want to be recognized
Government employees have recognition preferences, but many aren’t asked for their input.
Only 36% of government employees have been asked how they would like to be recognized.
Top ways government employees want to be recognized:
Top ways to improve government employee recognition and rewards
Government employees have ideas for how recognition programs can be improved.
Employees say recognition should be:
More broadly shared across the organization
Quick and easy ways to recognize government employees for a job well done
Public sector employers can quickly set up regular recognition that is cost effective and will get results. The key to success lies in creating a culture where thanking employees is woven into the fabric of day-to-day operations from the top to the bottom. Here are three quick and easy ways to get started:
- Ask your employees how they prefer to be recognized.
- Personalize recognition with simple thank you notes or emails.
- Regularly give public shout-outs to government employees at team meetings or virtually using existing platforms or recognition-specific platforms.
The results are based on the Eagle Hill Consulting Job Well Done national survey conducted by Ipsos from October 5-10, 2022, among 1,347 employed adults aged 18 and older, including 750 federal, state, and local government employees.