Forty-seven percent of employees say that a lack of recognition from their previous employer was the reason they’d left a job. Here are a few simple reasons to put an employee recognition program into practice and how to do it.
Regardless of how much pride your employees may take in your company’s mission, the facts are the facts: Employees show up to the office because there’s a sense of security involved — their salaries, their long-term career potential, and benefits such as health care, retirement, and possibly, a bonus.
Just as you need more than the dangling of a paycheck to approach your work with focus and enthusiasm, so do your employees.
Here are a few simple reasons to put an employee recognition program into practice and how to do it.
Don’t expect your human resources department to do the job. TinyHR, a website focused on workplace issues, recently reported some stunning data about employee recognition that should make all managers sit up and take notice: Forty-seven percent of employees say that a lack of recognition from their previous employer was the reason they’d left a job.
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Amazingly, nearly 80 percent of companies have had some kind of employee recognition program in place for more than a decade. The takeaway? An “employee of the month” program dictated by your human resources department, an annual bonus or that token item (pen, watch, pin, coffee mug) given out for years of service may not be enough to make employees feel important. Ultimately, they need to get the accolades directly from you, their manager.
Be the eyes and ears. Of course, scoring the company’s biggest account of the year is worth some accolades, but what about the little things your team members do each day that add up to major results?
This might be the office manager who went the extra mile to arrange a client’s travel plans, the person who volunteered to get that last-minute proposal out the door by deadline, or simply the employee who had the best attitude in a stressful week when the mood was collective doom and gloom.
People want to feel that they are noticed, and that they matter. Recognize the challenges your employees face and how they overcome them, especially when it comes to the contributions that aren’t in their job descriptions.
Be aware of these “small wins” so you can be timely and genuine in expressing your appreciation.
Make it meaningful. Of course, money talks to some extent in employee recognition, but dollars and cents are fleeting in motivational value. Make your “thank you” more personal with a handwritten note that expresses your sincere appreciation, and recognize a job well done publicly, among the team, and other managers in the company.
Learn about your employees’ interests outside of the office so that you can create meaningful rewards that will truly make them feel “seen.” An employee who loves yoga might cherish a month-long pass to the studio he or she regularly attends (and be even more touched that you took the time to find out).
A team member who loves a certain type of coffee might be thrilled to receive it delivered to her desk first thing in the morning for a week.
These customized tokens of recognition will probably cost you far less than monetary rewards, but can be invaluable in making employees feel truly valued.
Get your team involved. Discover new ways to recognize your employees by getting them involved in a team-based employee reward plan. Ask them regularly who they feel is doing a stand-up job, and why. Give them the opportunity to choose the reward that they would most appreciate. Agree on what “qualifies” as an accomplishment worthy of recognition, from their perspective.
If they have a say in the design of the program, they will know that it is credible, and will likely feel more personally vested in it.