7 Employee Behaviours That Deserve a Pat on the Back (or More)

7 Employee Behaviours That Deserve a Pat on the Back (or More)

82% of employees want more recognition for their efforts. 92% feel that when they are recognised for an action, they are more likely to repeat it, according to a new Achievers Engagement & Retention Report.

The stats prove recognition is not just essential to retain and engage employees but also to spur extra effort and innovation. Moreover, it is tightly bound to creating a positive company culture.

When people feel they are recognised at work, they are 2x more likely to say other employees are willing to go above and beyond and 2.6x more likely to think that promotions are fair.

However, most organisations are in the dark on where to start, unsure of which behaviours deserve a pat on the back or more. With that as the backdrop, we talk about some positive employee behaviours like building leadership skills, working on feedback, pursuing opportunities to grow that should be recognised and rewarded by every company.

Employee Behaviours Worthy of Recognition

Appreciate it when an employee values the positive behaviour of another employee in real-time. By prizing those who recognise others, you build a cycle that cultivates a constructive and engaged workplace.

Typically, organisations recognise measurable, quantifiable performances like surpassing sales targets, finishing a project within deadline, or reducing turnaround time. While achieving these KPIs does deserve a reward, they are not the only thing that needs to be acknowledged.

Employee behaviour is every bit as important as any other success metric. How do you define employee behaviour? It is the reaction of a person to a particular workplace situation. They are pivotal in curating a productive and favourable work environment, which is why it is crucial to appreciate the right behaviours.

1. Recognise Those Who Recognise Others

Appreciate it when an employee values the positive behaviour of another employee in real-time. By prizing those who recognise others, you build a cycle that cultivates a constructive and engaged workplace.

Furthermore, it creates a ripple effect. Say, for instance, a team member sees someone from the leadership show respect to an employee. The team members are very likely to mimic the behaviour and treat their peers, partners, and others with the same respect. Essentially, this creates a top-down cascade of recognition.

2. Be Grateful to Those Who Accept Their Mistakes

Taking credit is easy. Every employee loves to boost their efforts. But it is a rare person who is upfront about their errors, even though mistakes occur every day in organisations.

So, when someone freely accepts their mistakes and takes accountability head-on, recognise their strength and their willingness to learn and make things right.

When you pat those who show humility on the back, you can bring about an organisation-wide change. A discussion on why the mistake happened, how it can be resolved, who should deal with the aftermath and how to prevent future instances is a good start.

3. Appreciate Those Who Enable Company Culture

An organisation’s culture is not written words, edicts, or policies. Culture is built through real employee behaviours performed consistently. That’s why, when individual acts in the way that defines the core values of the company, encourage them and thank them. The recognition will guide the actions of others, steering the course to a path that better aligns with a more positive culture and happier team members.

4. Credit Those Who Drive Teamwork

Organisations, where one employee views the other as a threat, don’t succeed for long. Teamwork is pivotal. So, that’s the next behaviour you should acknowledge.

When team members communicate freely, openly and regularly, praise them in a public forum. When they collaborate more often, give them tangible rewards for positive reinforcement of good behaviour.

5. Incentivise Learning and New Skill Development

Employees who learn a new language or gain an industry-specific certification, show an eagerness to grow. Leaders should recognise these team members. By rewarding one employee for working on gaining a new skill, they inspire others to do the same, and that leads to job performance improvement.

6. Validate Flexibility and Adaptability 

The demands of an organisation evolve with time, more so during difficult periods like the pandemic. Employees who display resilience and the flexibility to change according to needs must be validated. Appreciate those who face challenges and perform beyond expectations.

Recognising this behaviour is especially critical in a startup where pivots happen quite frequently. Without a team that is ready to adapt, a startup would find it testing to succeed. On the other hand, when the leadership team acknowledges such talent, they build trust and prove to employees that their actions during hard and troubled times are marked.

7. Support Those Who Offer Feedback

Feedback and surveys are common channels for listening to the voices of employees. But they work only if employees offer that feedback. So, that is one behaviour organisations should recognise. Every time an employee answers a survey or feedback, automatically reward them with points. This also ensures that you receive employee insights with each survey.

Similarly, appreciate those who act on the feedback provided, because what good is giving your employees a platform to speak if you don’t implement their suggestions?

Recognising Employee Behaviour: The Linchpin


Recognising positive behaviour has always been the linchpin to effective employee management. But in the current era, when successful retention is a major hurdle, it becomes imperative.

Showing your employees that you value them, be it with a pat on the back or a more tactile reward, benefits the entire organisation. Quite similar to performance appraisals and bonuses.

So, the next time someone in the workforce displays desirable behaviour like those discussed above, or problem-solving or dependability, take the time to appreciate and acknowledge them.


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