The Covid pandemic has changed the way we work forever. As a result, employers have had to re-look at the ways they boost morale and retain their workforce and alumni in uncertain times.

According to Author, Keynote Speaker, and top HR Global Thought Leader, Jill Christensen, one of the most important ways is through talent recognition.

By recognizing employees’ and alumni’s contribution to your organization, you fulfill a basic human need that your company will benefit from down the line. Let’s unpack Jill’s insights.

What Happens When Talent Isn’t Recognized?

People leave. Leigh Branham, who is the author of The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, says 89% of employers believe employees quit for better pay. It helps them avoid facing their people management deficiencies.

The truth behind most resignations, however, is a lack of recognition, reward, acknowledgment, and appreciation.

Jill maintains that employee recognition is not anywhere near where it should be in the talent management process. She cites OC Tanner’s research that shows 79% of people who quit their jobs do so because of a lack of appreciation.

The Benefits Of Talent Recognition

Benefits For The Employee

  • Feeling appreciated, important, and acknowledged is a basic human need that lifts people’s spirits.
  • It encourages a repeat of good performances.
  • The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology features studies that found those who were shown genuine gratitude and appreciation were more willing to help again.
  • Recognizing employees regularly creates an environment where workers feel they can reach new heights, in turn creating a positive attitude that helps companies meet or exceed their goals.

Benefits For Organizations

Employees who feel recognized are more productive and stay longer. Happy, engaged employees, says Jill, create happy, engaged customers that increase the bottom line.

Margie Warrell, the author of Stop Playing Safe, says recognizing employees strengthens the relationship, supporting a company in good times and bad. She writes that studies show the way we support and celebrate people when they’re successful impacts our relationships more than how we support them in a crisis.

Smart Ways To Recognize Talent

In her book, If Not You Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Engagement, Jill explains the importance of sincere, timely, and specific recognition.

A neutral or belated ‘thank you’ email has little positive effect. Instead, forget about email and engage in face-to-face communication, a video call, or even a hand-written note.

During these personal engagements, be sincere and speak with confidence. Show that you recognize the person’s specific role in the project’s success or accomplishment.

Don’t wait to recognize their achievements. Instead, do it as soon as possible or even in real-time.

This includes your alumni network as part of your talent ecosystem. Congratulate them on key milestones and maintain relationships that make them feel valued. In turn, they’ll be happy to help you when the need arises.


There is a rocky road to recovery ahead. Don’t abandon your organization’s biggest asset – it’s talent. By recognizing and acknowledging their contribution, they will be more inclined to repeat positive behavior and be motivated to support your company when you need them most.

Want early access to The Alumni Advantage? Sign up for the mailing list! Authored by James Sinclair, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni, the book provides an end-to-end understanding of how organizations are recognizing and leveraging their former employees.