Keeping good employees is essential to a company’s bottom line, so why is it so tough to retain them? The answer has more to do with feelings than workload, or even excellent benefits.
Corporations put a lot of time and money into recruiting, hiring and training new personnel because keeping good employees is essential to supporting the bottom line. Yet research shows fewer than one in three workers feel valued on the job. Those who feel under-appreciated are the ones most likely to leave despite competitive salaries and excellent benefits.
How do you stop this exodus? By recognizing staff members for their contributions and efforts through employee recognition programs. Companies with successful employee recognition programs see a 31% lower turnover rate than businesses that do not make these efforts.
An employee who feels valued by a company takes pride in their work. You see it in the way they interact with management, fellow employees and the clientele. An employee wants to know that their efforts are noticed and appreciated by their peers and boss – and all it takes is for a simple thank you. Product development expands, customer service improves and productivity soars.
No rule says recognition must happen only once a year. Routine employee-of-the-year awards and once-a-year bonuses may be the bedrock of a good employee recognition program, but they can be perceived as being too impersonal. Start focusing on individual contributions at the time they happen. A simple note or verbal thank-you go further than you might think. Spread awards and acknowledgments throughout the year.
4 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Employee Recognition Program
What does employee recognition gain the company? These programs are not warm and fuzzy gestures designed to placate individuals. They produce a real return on investment. Studies have shown that 69% of employees feel they would work harder if they thought their efforts are appreciated. Everyone wants to believe that his or her job has meaning.
- Increase the frequency – Spotlight a member of the staff once a quarter with a gift like a personalized picture frame. Start a peer-to-peer recognition program. Forty-one percent of businesses that use this type of acknowledgment see a definite bump in customer satisfaction.
- Make it personal – If a worker is a vegetarian, don’t give them a gift card to a steakhouse. Gifts explicitly created for them (like a custom wood pen set) show you took the time to learn something about them. This attention to detail improves trust and engagement between the staff and management.
- Be specific, not generic – Start recognizing individuals and teams when they do an exceptional job. Let employees know why they are earning praise. If a big project is successful, reward the team’s hard work with matching coffee mugs or flash drive keychains. Show them you are proud of their achievement.
- Make it fun – Have fun with the prize. Show the staff that management can have a sense of humor, too. If the person honored is a stickler for being on time, a customized clock would be a humorous yet much-appreciated gift.
A Gold Star for Effort
In grade school, a gold star from our teacher meant she knew we do our best. Students would try to get as many as possible to show their parents. We felt proud of our accomplishment. That feeling never goes away. Workers like being recognized for their hard work. Employee recognition programs show that the company appreciates and values them.
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