When it comes to growing a happy workforce and keeping staff turnover low, one of the key things to concentrate on is employee recognition and rewards. However, it is important to be aware that most team members aren’t just after a big bonus, pay raise, or free vacation days, as so many managers think.
In fact, according to various analysis, including Gallup’s 2016 report “Employee Recognition: Low Cost, High Impact,” money isn’t the only form of recognition that respondents find most memorable; nor does it even sit at the top of the list. Most of the types of acknowledgment that make workers more engaged in their roles come at a nice low cost for companies but still have a high impact.
Read on for some of these affordable recognition strategies you should be implementing today.
Private and Public Recognition
For starters, it’s important for workers to be acknowledged for their efforts and results on a regular basis. People want to hear from their managers, top bosses, and even co-workers and customers that they have done a good job and that their hard work is noticed and appreciated. As such, all leaders within an organization should be encouraged to sit employees down in a private meeting to say thank you and talk about how their contributions are making a difference to the company. Handwritten notes are also usually much appreciated by workers. As well, whenever possible, team members should be told about any positive feedback that is received from customers; and teams should be prompted to recognize the efforts of their peers through surveys and discussions.
Public validation by way of employee recognition awards and certificates presented every month or quarter is recommended too, as are things like office parties, picnics, restaurant meals, and other celebrations where an outstanding worker is feted for their hard work and/or top results. (Virtual parties and ceremonies are also possible if you have a team spread around the globe.) These ways of noticing employees don’t have to cost much at all but can do a lot when it comes to helping people feel they are a valued part of the team.
It is also worthwhile conducting regular evaluations and reviews with staff members. This way, when people achieve excellent results they can see in writing just how much they have contributed to the business over the previous period, and feel proud of the goals they have achieved. Keep in mind, too, that people often like others to realize they are more than just their work persona and skills. As such, it can be a nice idea to put together events that enable your workforce to have their non-work related talents recognized. For example, you could run an employee talent show or host a stand-up comedy contest.
Similarly, mentioning the philanthropic efforts of your employees in a company newsletter, on social media, or at company meetings can be a great way to recognize the fundraising work of employees or the time they have dedicated to helping others.
Workplace Rewards and Gifts
Of course, there is still much to be said about providing employees with workplace perks, rewards, and gifts, too. Don’t think that these need to cost a huge amount of money. While you can, of course, shower workers with large bonuses, raises, or extravagant holidays, most people feel pleased just to receive things like bottles of wine, movie vouchers, hampers, free meals, massages, bonus time off, a better parking spot, free lunches at work, gift vouchers, and so on.
Be aware, too, that personalizing gifts for individual workers can be a nice touch and shows that you have taken an interest in what your employees like to do as hobbies, what their family life is like, and other personal traits. Purchasing presents which are tailored for people enable you to find things that are easy on the budget but show you care at the same time.
Promotions, Additional Work Responsibilities, and Training and Development
Lastly, it is worthwhile looking at ways that you can reward top employees with promotions, additional work responsibilities, or training and development opportunities. After all, people often go the extra mile in their jobs because they are keen to move up through the ranks of the company, or because they want to be given extra responsibilities or receive training that they can feature on their resumes.
These days most workers, particularly millennials, are also very focused on continually developing new skills and experience in different areas. As such, it is important to cater to this demand.
When you conduct employee reviews, this can give you the opportunity to discuss each worker’s goals. Find out their career aspirations for the next quarter, 12 months, and five years, and talk about ways you can support them to do this. You can help employees to set goals, and commit to rewarding them with particular advancements or training when they achieve them.
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