We don’t have to tell you that retention is crucial, if you’ve been in business for any length of time, you already get it. High turnover rates get expensive quickly, and the associated costs like onboarding and training just pile up. Retention is vital to the success of any organization and employee recognition programs are a really effective way to maintain and even increase the retention of your key workforce.
This might all be old news, but the fact of the matter is that even when organizational leaders fully understand the importance of recognition programs, the programs themselves wind up feeling thoughtless and not being very effective. Here are our suggestions to improve your recognition program…
Be Timely with Recognition
Have you ever taken time out of your work week to participate in a yearly, nerve-wrecking performance review, only to get absolutely nothing out of it? Yeah, that sounds about right. Once yearly, isn’t enough to recognize employees, especially when the program doesn’t translate to actual recognition.
Positive reinforcement is basically what we’re talking about here, and it needs to be timely in order to be effective. Cut out middle men and unnecessary approvals in your recognition program. Be sure the actions you want to reinforce are recognized and rewarded as quickly as possible. If the process or workflow needs to be reconfigured, so be it. Recognition doled out weeks or months after the fact will likely be too late, as discretionary effort in the workforce must be reinforced to continue.
Don’t just reward with tangible things, be sure to discuss why this effort or action is being celebrated. These conversations are an important, personal part of employee recognition. Gift cards and logoed mugs are cool, but they’re faceless and they don’t reinforce healthy, professional relationships.
Big picture conversations about how the employee is contributing the future success of the organization are the perfect platform to talk about professional plans. This is where the company is headed, we think you are a part of that, and this is why… That’s the kind of conversation that creates loyalty and fortifies retention.
Know What Recognition Means to Your Employees
In order to be effective, your reward has to be relevant to the person receiving it. Personalization is ideal for the more substantial rewards, but on a smaller, day-to-day level, that doesn’t make sense, resource wise. Consider offering choices on tiers. This way, employees are rewarded in the way that means the most to them.
The other half of this whole equation is how best to track and measure performance. You will need technology that creates transparency and accountability and offers objective scoring and timely reporting on matters of performance. It just so happens that’s exactly what we do. Let’s talk. 402.934.3733.