‘Cuddle Hormone’ triggered by remote employee recognition

Recognising the positive work of employees whilst homeworking can trigger the same hormone as a cuddle – that’s according to Access Group and a leading psychologist.

The business software provider has teamed up with performance expert, therapist and author Dr Phil Parker to assess the power of recognition and reward. It comes as The Access Group launches its new Access Applause software, as remote working continues for most companies across the UK.

“Recognition is more important than ever right now due to the impact of Coronavirus and the increase in remote working and social distancing at work,” said Dr Parker. “Expressing our gratitude for a colleague’s contribution can trigger the feel-good hormone Oxytocin, which is vital to well-being and a sense of connection to others. This can happen just as much by receiving praise in the virtual settings we’ve become familiar with recently, as it does from face-to-face interactions.”

Dr Parker also stresses the power of encouraging ongoing recognition by all team members, rather than relying on more traditional top-down feedback from direct managers.

“Many people think that meaningful recognition can only come from managers or those in a position of authority. Whilst that’s important, there’s something very meaningful in peer-to-peer praise. Building a team where there is a sense of mutual support and recognition is vital to the long-term health of the team and the individuals within it.”

A survey conducted by Gallup backs up these points, finding that employees who receive regular recognition not only display increased productivity, but also boost their engagement with colleagues, have better safety records on the job and are more likely to stay with their organisation.

Further research by Deloitte found that employee engagement and performance are 14 percent higher in those companies with a recognition programme, yet just 60 percent of organisations tie recognition to business goals.

The Access Group’s Chief People Officer, Claire Scott, said: “Combining recognition with company goals and values is the key to connecting and aligning your team and ensuring everyone is going in the right direction.

“At Access, we have a motto ‘Love Work. Love Life.’ We really value our culture and encourage every one of our employees to embrace our company values. When it’s done well, we know there’s immense power in social recognition and it has become a core element of our HR strategy. When we looked for a system that aligned social recognition with both values and rewards, we couldn’t find a solution that met our needs. I suggested to our CEO that we build one in-house, and our product team really delivered.

“Access Applause has helped us align our culture and values to a way of recognising and rewarding our employees. We launched it to our own employees six months ago, and the response has been overwhelming – people regularly give each other “shout-outs” and say that this social recognition feels great. It’s proved so popular that we decided to add it to our product portfolio to support Britain’s organisations to harness the power of saying ‘thank you’.”

The Access Group has already received a number of inquiries about its Access Applause solution from firms looking to increase people engagement while many of their teams are still working from home.

Designed to resemble a familiar social media experience, Access Applause, delivered through the Access Workspace platform, allows anyone within an organisation to give a colleague a ‘shout’. They have the option of adding a personalised reason and linking praise to company-defined values. The employee and their line manager receive a notification that they have been recognised, and the shout appears in a team-wide social feed, allowing others to ‘like’ it.

There is also the option for managers to allocate points to their team, which can be redeemed against a selection of rewards offered by the organisation.

For more information on The Access Group and Access Applause, visit www.theaccessgroup.com/hr/applause/. Further details on the work of Dr Phil Parker can be found by visiting www.philparker.org.

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