High Turnover Because of No Recognition

The correlation between intangible employee recognition and tangible measures related to employee turnover are astonishing. Employers who use relatively simple measures for recognizing their employees can actually reduce high turnover rates. High turnover occurs when employees aren't satisifed with their jobs. Job dissatisfaction occurs when employees feel unappreciated and taken for granted by their employers. When employee recognition improves, so does employee turnover.

Recognition Vs. Reward

  1. Some employers use the terms recognition and reward interchangeably. Generally speaking, employee recognition is nonmonetary, while employee rewards are often in the form of cash incentives, bonuses or spot awards, such as a $25 gift card when a supervisor notices an employee providing superior customer service. Recognition is a low-cost solution to showing appreciation for the work employees do and their commitment to the company. Using recognition as a retention tool can positively impact turnover.

Employee Recognition

  1. Formal methods of employee recognition include public acknowledgement of employee performance, such as asking members of an outstanding team to stand so their peers can applaud them for a job well done. Employers that have well-organized forms of employee recognition typically have employees who exhibit signs of job satisfaction, provided the employee recognition program is consistent, regular and gives everyone a fair chance of receiving accolades. Recognition programs that fall by the wayside are ineffective and can do more harm than good for an employer struggling with turnover. A reduction in turnover based on employee recognition can just as easily be reversed when the employer's recognition program is poorly managed.


  1. Employee motivation, according to professor and management consultant Frederick Herzberg, results from employee recognition. In other words, employees who receive recognition -- nonmonetary recognition -- are more likely to be motivated. Motivated workers have higher retention rates because they experience higher levels of job satisfaction because their employers recognize their talents and skills. The kinds of employee recognition that Herzberg believes are most effective are giving employees additional responsibilities, recognizing their strengths by putting them in leadership roles and affording opportunities for advancement. Employee turnover, therefore, could be much lower for motivated employees just by using simple techniques to give employees the recognition they deserve and want.

Turnover Reasons

  1. Dissatisfaction with wages isn't always the reason employees leave their jobs. Employees stay with companies that show they appreciate contributions their employees make. In a study that Saratoga Institute conducted between 1999 and 2003 using more than 19,000 exit interview responses, the distance between what supervisors think are the reasons employees leave and what employees cite as actual reasons for resigning couldn't be further apart. According to the study, an overwhelming percentage -- nearly 90 percent -- of supervisors think employees are simply looking for better salaries when they leave. Employees, on the other hand, cited in nearly the same overwhelming percentage -- 88 percent -- that pay had nothing to do with the reasons they decided to leave their employers.