We have a secret to tell you: Employees are people. Okay, okay – that’s not a secret at all. But too often, organizations lose sight of the people when pursuing a business objective. The irony is that keeping sight of employees, their needs and accomplishments leads to meeting objectives faster.
The HR department has been in on the “secret” for years. It’s why they go to battle for employee recognition and engagement programs. They’re on the front lines and see what happens when a business focuses exclusively on money versus putting employees first.
You’ve probably seen a lot of chatter about employee engagement, too. It’s one of the trending topics of 2015. But do you really need to allow everyone’s pets in the door? How can your business, whether a scrappy startup or a frugal mid-sized business, justify the expense of an on-site coffee bar?
Have no fear. Employee recognition doesn’t have to put you in the red. You’ll likely have to spend some money, but it’s money with a huge return on investment.
Let’s first look at some of those returns, then discuss a few employee recognition ideas that you can implement today.
Don't Ignore Recognition
Most employees are intrinsically motivated, meaning they aren’t compelled to act because of some carrot dangled in front of them. All they need is to be recognized for the good work they do. Simply put, they want a pat on the back now and again.
Sometimes, it’s enough for a manager or executive to acknowledge an employee in private. But to build culture and reinforce desired behaviors, it’s important to recognize employees in front of their peers. This can happen with an actual physical reward, or it can take the shape of a digital one.
For example, your CMO could post a note on your social intranet thanking an employee for the time and effort put into a recent project. It can occur peer-to-peer, too. Encourage employees to thank each other publicly; it’ll establish a culture of gratitude and recognition. Everyone has a part to play in the company’s story; nobody’s contribution is too insignificant.
Give Morale a Boost
When everybody in your organization has his or her noses to the grindstone, morale can dip. You’ve likely witnessed it. With a laser focus on individual tasks, work chatter ceases, and you literally could hear a pin drop in the workplace.
Without daily camaraderie, moods can take a nose dive. Not only that, efficiency and productivity drop, too. Workers need to get away from the desks and visit with one another, maybe even take a break and have a laugh with someone outside their department.
Make Talent Retention a Priority
Employee retention and talent management are chief priorities for HR and company executives. In today’s world, workers tend to jump ship every few years – around two years for Millennials. So what can you do to keep top talent at your company?
The answer may be found in employee recognition programs. Create opportunities for employees to grow. Get to know them and what drives them. Empower them with the tools and recognition they need to succeed – and they will.
Implement Employee Recognition Programs
Employee recognition programs don’t have to be (and really shouldn’t be) complicated, time-consuming affairs.
Keep the programs simple. Think about how your social intranet could be used to recognize employees, both for who they are and what they do. Celebrate milestones. Offer congratulations for work anniversaries. Talk about the difference Molly in sales has made in the life of a customer.
Add to the internal chatter with things like “champion dinners.” These monthly events are hosted by a C-suite executive who personally invites the top performers from each department. At the dinner, employees are recognized for their work. The effects are two-fold – upper management recognizes them, as do their peers.
Another effect is “cross-pollination.” With large organizations and social intranets and other technology making remote workforces a reality, some of your employees might have never met before. Champion dinners and other team building events perfect opportunities for them to meet someone they don’t know and possibly find a new collaboration partner for an upcoming project.
Employee recognition is vital to any organization that wants to attract and retain top talent in today’s competitive workforce. Having tools and programs in place such as social intranets and other collaboration-centric initiatives can help ensure that the right people feel appreciated – and stay around to make your company the best it can be.
Learn how a social intranet can impact your employees from the start, download our eBook: "Onboarding Made Easy: The Secret to Quickly and Effectively Taking on New Employees!"
Incentive is a leading provider of a complete, socially powered enterprise collaboration platform for mid-market organizations and enterprise teams that want to achieve improved profitability, increased efficiency and accelerated business results. With an easy-to-use interface, Incentive’s platform enables businesses to capture, collaborate and secure knowledge all in one place by tapping the power of their employees – the collective brain trust – to be better, stronger and faster than their competitors. Designed for organizations using Microsoft apps, architecture and services, Incentive allows users to take advantage of existing workflow apps, storage systems, and document management tools such as SharePoint in one central location, with single sign on and intelligent search. Its features include wikis, blogs, micro blogging, document collaboration, file sharing, instant messaging, video conversations, social behavior UX and API-based platform for app development. Founded in 2008, Incentive has helped thousands of customers worldwide accelerate positive business outcomes through improved collaboration and communication. The company has headquarters in Los Angeles and Malmo, Sweden. For more information visit www.incentive-inc.com and follow on Twitter @IncentiveInc