Studies have consistently shown the relationship between employees who feel appreciated and the outcome of company goals. Highly engaged employees are those who are thanked regularly by their employers in a strategic way to boost productivity. This is evidenced in a 2012 GloboForceinfographic The Value of Thanking Employees, concerning how the act of showing appreciation to employees can be key drivers of employee happiness and satisfaction. In this study, it was indicated that:
- 67 percent of employees respond positively by management praise alone.
- 78 percent of people would work harder in their jobs if they were regularly recognized.
- 60 percent of employees who don’t get appreciation are actively looking for new jobs.
- 80 percent of employees who feel recognized are staying put in their jobs.
- There is 46 percent more turnover in companies who lack employee recognition programs.
Additionally, in a joint survey with The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Globoforce asked companies about their employee incentive programs – whether they were tracking them and how this affected overall employee engagement. The results were as seen above. More than two-thirds of the polled companies actively track their incentive programs based on performance metrics, while more than half actively encourage employees by having managers recognize their achievements.
It’s growing increasingly obvious that employers need to be providing more than just paychecks and benefits. In order to reduce employee turnover and turn up the productivity, they need to be finding meaningful ways to thank individual employees on a consistent and fair basis. In his white paperIndividual vs. Team Rewards, Snowfly’s Dr. Brooks Mitchell advises that employers should enlist a 75/25 rule when administering incentive programs, stating, “a well-balanced performance-reward program consists of 75% emphasis on individual behavior and 25% emphasis on team behavior.”
Ten ways to say thank you to employees
Fortunately, even for smaller companies who have limited incentive budgets, there are some relatively cost effective and even free ways to say “thanks” to employees for a job well-done. Here’s just a few.
- Recognize Achievements – Whether big or small, all employees bring value to the workplace. Management should regularly look for ways to recognize the achievements of their staff in front of their peers.
- Free Food Fridays – Who doesn’t love a free meal? Plan ahead and provide on-site lunches or breakfasts for your employees on Fridays. This is well-deserved after putting in a long work week, and you can use this as part of your wellness program so employees can steer clear offast food lunches.
- Offer Flexible Schedules – When it comes to work-life balance, having the ability to choose from a variety of work schedules can be a very effective incentive for employees.
- Gift Certificates – For employees who go over and beyond the call of duty, why not purchase some gift cards or certificates to give out? Buy them at a discount and have a few on hand for spontaneous rewards or for remembering birthdays.
- Corporate Discounts – Many community entertainment and shopping venues offer discounts to businesses. Why not put together a corporate discount program and give out a special pass that gives all your employees access to these perks too?
- VIP Parking – It costs nothing to give your top performance employees a special incentive with a special designated parking spot closest to the business entrance.
- Break Room Comforts – The break room should be a place where employees can unwind or distress. Instead of a cold institutional feel, why not add some soft seating and lighting arrangements, a gourmet coffee machine, a flat screen television, and a healthy vending machine?
- Gamification Incentives – Employees often respond well to interactive methods of incentivizing their workdays. Provide access to game stations at work, and use more creative and fun ways of delivering information and training.
- Work Environment Update – While you are improving the break room, why not take it a step further and replace those cubicles with more collaborative work environments? Open up work areas and encourage more open dialogue and team building with social media.
- Just Saying Thank You – Sometimes, the only thing an employee needs to hear from a supervisor or another co-worker is a thank you. Make sure your management team is reminded that all it takes is finding ways to recognize and respect employees to make them feel important.
Remember, an employee incentive program doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Keep it simple and consistent for the best results.
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