A Guide To Employee Recognition
No one wants to feel unappreciated, but unfortunately a lot of American workers aren’t feeling the love from their employers. Only about one-third of American workers report receiving any kind of recognition or praise from their employers within the last week. The lack of apparent appreciation may not be the deciding factor in whether or not an employee seeks a new position, but it can have an impact: Employees who say they are not adequately appreciated at work are twice as likely to say they’ll quit their jobs within the next year. Sounds like employee recognition is critical!
That’s why it’s important for employers to include some type of employee recognition program as part of their retention efforts. Compensation and benefits are essential, of course, but regular gestures that demonstrate how much employers value and appreciate their employees’ efforts can go a long way to improving retention and boosting morale overall.
Programs for Employee Recognition
What’s surprising about recognition programs is how cost-effective they can be. Although many employers might scoff at the idea of adding an employee retention program because they feel it’s a frivolous expense, the numbers tell a different story. Even spending just 1 percent of a company’s payroll on an employee recognition program has been reported to have a positive impact on morale and retention 85 percent of the time. Plus, more than two-thirds of employees report that regular praise from their employers is more important to them than financial considerations. Having a formal recognition program in place also translates into a more than 30 percent reduction in a company’s voluntary turnover. The benefits are clear — spending even a small amount on an employee recognition program can produce big returns.
Receiving recognition from supervisors is a great motivator, but programs that encourage peer-to-peer interactions and recognition are even more effective. Peer-to-peer recognition has been shown to generate 37 percent better financial results for a company than recognition programs that feature manager-only recognition. Peer-to-peer recognition programs also result in a more than 40 percent improvement in customer satisfaction.
Employee recognition programs can take many forms. They can be goal-oriented — such as programs that recognize the employee with the highest sales numbers or customer satisfaction ratings for the month. Other types of goal-oriented recognition programs honor employees who meet specific safety goals or fitness goals. Employee recognition programs also can be geared around general morale-boosters like themed lunches or points-based reward systems.
No matter what form a recognition program takes, implementing it within the workplace is a six-step process for HR professionals:
- Evaluate: Determine the goals your company wants to achieve and all the performance factors that go into meeting those goals; as well as general employee engagement and satisfaction.
- Create: Build a recognition program that focuses on rewards for activities that contribute toward achieving the company’s goals, with a concentration on keeping it simple, measurable and scalable.
- Sell it: Get company leadership to buy in and make sure to get pre-launch feedback from employees to help fine-tune the program before it is implemented.
- Communicate: Be sure to communicate consistently about the program and the results it is generating, focusing on creating an energetic and emotional appeal that will keep everyone who is involved engaged with the program.
- Measure: The success of a recognition program depends on the HR professional’s ability to measure the program’s results accurately.
- Assess and improve: No recognition program is perfect right away. HR professionals should be careful to take feedback into consideration and make running changes to their recognition programs.
Employee Recognition Infographic Guide
Feeling unappreciated is reported as the top reason why employees leave their positions, but with a solid employee recognition plan in place, that’s less likely to happen. Follow the guide below for some basic tips about how to build a recognition program at your workplace and make sure everyone feels like they are valued.
Julie Feece is Vice President North America – Marketing for RPG Card Services, a sales and marketing organization specializing in offering gift card program services to nationally recognized retailers for their B2B and B2C programs. She has held various leadership roles in the incentive gift card industry for over 17 years.