The Psychology Behind Recognition

The Psychology Behind Recognition

Can you actually remember the last time that you received some sort of recognition at work? Do you remember how it impacted you? Receiving rewards and even just a little bit of recognition is very important and a great way to keep staff feeling motivated.  

When people get some sort of recognition for something they have done, they end up feeling a deeper and more trusting connection with the person giving them the award. Once you get positive feedback from something like your quality of work or efforts, you are more inclined to try and do better every time. You actually get the motivation to continue trying your hardest, with the proof it pays off! Something as simple as a name badge identifying someone as a ‘manager’ can boost confidence, making the individual feel appreciated.

Just how does recognition affect us mentally?
Recognition encourages what is referred to as prosocial behavior. The positiveness in this promotes more well-being in the workplace through more selfless acts. Having this attitude within a company allows for more teamwork to generate, more productivity, and better communication in team situations. Even something as simple as a thank you will give someone the push to try and go above and beyond. 

What occurs in our brains when we are recognized?
Did you know our brains actually crave the feeling of being recognized? There are two areas of the brain that get affected by recognition which are the dopamine and hypothalamus receptors. The dopamine receptors get the dopamine chemical reaction which is what creates happiness and tries to beat depression. The hypothalamus is what controls the functions like sleeping and eating. When we are recognized, we get a stimulation within the hypothalamus which then creates an increase in dopamine, which improves the productivity and the quality of the work being done—having an increase in dopamine often can work at keeping you healthier and happier. Gratitude has been proven in studies to create more activity within the hypothalamus, which decreases pain, increases your energy levels, and improves your sleep. 

How important is it?
The more that we are educated on the psychology of humans, the more we are able to improve our lives and the environment of our workplace. Understanding the concept of recognition and the psychology behind it is the main ingredient to help you grow the business, further having a competitive advantage. If you have the chance to make your business more productive and make the lives of your employees happier and healthier, then why wouldn’t you do it?

Positive recognition like awards or name tags is actually very important. The longevity of careers is improved along with staff well-being. This can drive the employees to feel a sense of pride and dedication to their jobs. You can always test this theory by picking an employee and giving them an award with positive recognition and seeing just how they are towards you and other members throughout the day. Do it more than once and see if you can notice a change in productivity. 

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