By: Len Adams, CPC, CTS
In 2013, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 87 percent of workers surveyed in countries all over the world were disengaged with their jobs. Only the remaining 13 percent stated that they were satisfied with their jobs and felt deeply engaged with the companies they worked for. Higher levels of engagement have proven, time and again, higher levels of employee satisfaction, greater increase in productivity, greater company loyalty, higher profits, and better customer satisfaction. One of the best ways to increase engagement is to make sure that employees feel appreciated and that hard work is suitably rewarded both financially and in some other ways. Having a strategic recognition program in place is one of the most effective ways to get results and take advantage of the following three key benefits:
1. Improve Business Results
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that happy and motivated employees are better equipped to address customer concerns. Staff members need to feel that they have a vested interest in selling the brand and its products and services, while also offering impeccable customer support. Around 40 percent of companies that have adopted peer-to-peer employee recognition programs claim to have increased customer satisfaction. Many senior managers consider them an investment rather than an expense. People want to be rewarded for good work and they’ll be mentally far better equipped to face the monotony of modern corporate culture if they know there’s a good bonus and other rewards waiting for them.
2. Decrease Employee Turnover Rate
While money is obviously the main motivator in almost any job, offering a pay raise isn’t the most effective method to hold on to employees. In fact, studies have shown that about half of employees leave within two years after accepting a raise, a statistic that clearly indicates that salaries and job satisfaction don’t always correlate. Often as important is employee recognition, which has proven to lower turnover rate significantly. Employees who are widely recognized and rewarded for their work are about 30 percent less likely to leave the company. Other benefits include increased happiness and productivity and reduced stress and frustration levels. A lower turnover rate also saves money, since a direct replacement can cost up to half the previous employee’s annual salary.
3. Increase Engagement and Productivity
An employee recognition program is all about clear communication, transparency, and having a solid rewards-driven system in place. Such a strategy leads to greater employee engagement, since it makes members of staff feel like they’re a part of something bigger. An employee who has a vested interest in the direction the company is heading will be genuinely concerned about the day-to-day operations of the business. By contrast, someone who counts themselves in the 87 percent of people who claim to be disengaged with their jobs will be more likely to sleepwalk through each workday while looking forward to nothing more than the paycheck at the end of the month. Additionally, the aforementioned Gallup survey showed that two-thirds of employees considered praise from managerial staff to be the top motivator.
There are many ways to implement an employee recognition strategy and most of them don’t require a huge investment. Some of the most popular methods include publishing the company’s greatest achievers in email newsletters, using staff meetings as an opportunity to include praise, or preparing regular status reports. However, a more original and engaging employee recognition program might include an achievement- or score-based system complete with rewards and prizes for top workers.