ITB 2024 Special Reporting
The Importance of Employee Recognition.
By Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist
Saturday, 7th July 2012
We have good news and bad news: the good news is that employee recognition programs are increasing; the bad news is that over half (55 percent) of the employees responding to a recent survey would leave their jobs for a company that recognized employees for their efforts.
According to the spring 2012 Workforce Mood Tracker from Globoforce, reconfirms the importance of connecting consistent recognition with performance. It also demonstrates marked improvement in employees' opinions of their company's culture and their own job satisfaction. In fact, the percentage of employees who said they were recognized increased by 13.6 percent, going from 44 percent to 50 percent in a matter of six months.

Thankfully, some companies are catching on to the value of recognition.

Not surprising to us, 81 percent of employees said receiving recognition made them more satisfied with their work and/or position in the company. That number is up from 73 percent in fall 2011. Moreover, 54 percent reported being satisfied with the level of recognition they received for doing a good job, up from 48 percent in last fall.
In addition to being more satisfied with the recognition they received, the survey found a high positive correlation between recognition and retention. Of those respondents who have been recognized in the last three months compared to those who have never been recognized in their job, the survey found that 23 percent plan to search for a new job, compared to 51 percent of those who have never been recognized---a significant difference!

On top of that, of the people who have been recognized, 89 percent feel appreciated at their job, compared to 17 percent of those never recognized. In addition, the recognition registers, because a full 90 percent felt their manager effectively acknowledged and appreciated them, compared to 21 percent of those never recognized. And perhaps most telling of all, 67 percent of those recognized love their jobs, compared to 37 percent of those never recognized.

This survey shows what we have long known, that recognition is vital to employee engagement and retention. People want to feel appreciated. Ignore your employees at your own risk.

Imagine a 5-foot long yellow fish swimming through the shallow waters of Gijon Harbor in Spain; however, this fish is no marine animal, rather, it is a well-equipped robot patrolling the waters of the harbor, looking for polluters.

A product of the technology consultancy BMT Group in the United Kingdom, this robo-fish works autonomously to find contamination in the water, then feeds the information back to shore. The company is part of the Shoal Consortium, a European Commission-funded group from academia and business.

Inspired by nature, the fish measure about 5-foot long and their movements closely mimic their real-life counterparts. They can work in very weedy environments. Ordinarily, environments like this would snag propellers. Because they swim like fish, they very agile and can change direction quickly.

Providing real-time monitoring of pollution, the fish work together to report if someone is dumping chemicals or something is leaking, so that they may address the problem right away. At this point, they are taking samples in the harbor about once a month. Eventually, the researchers hope to see robot fish swimming around the harbor all the time, constantly checking for pollution.

According to the researchers, there are other advantages to this fishy design, compared with some other autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). The robo-fish do not use propellers or thrusters for propulsion; instead, they use the fish fins to propel themselves through the water.

Fins are particularly useful in shallow water, where there is debris. The fish use microelectrode arrays to sense contaminants. They can detect phenols* and heavy metals such as copper and lead, as well as monitor oxygen levels and salinity. Once the fish have detected a problem, they use artificial intelligence to hunt down the source of pollution.

These robo-fish are not the first in nature-inspired robots. Drones, used in warfare, are shaped like birds and robots, used to search for life in the debris after earthquakes, mimic rodents.

Expect to see more nature-inspired robots to consistently handle all kinds of menial and repetitive that humans find less pleasant. These robots will be especially valuable in spaces and places that would be dangerous or inaccessible to people.

* Phenols are a type of pollutants, characterized as being estrogen-disruptors.

© Copyright 1998-2012 by The Herman Group of Companies, Inc., all rights reserved.  From 'The Herman Trend Alert,' by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. (800) 227-3566 or www.hermangroup.com

The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group of Companies, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
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