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Creating a Rewards and Recognition Program to RULE THEM ALL

By Alex Shubat, CEO of Espresa

Employees who feel respected listened to, and are recognized for their hard work are over 90% more focused, motivated, and productive than those who feel underappreciated and ignored. Seems obvious, right?

Imagine the kind of growth your company could accomplish if your employees were 90% more productive – not to mention how much the overall atmosphere and mood of your workspace would improve! Hello, Glassdoor ratings and Best Places to Work lists.

Employee recognition should be one of your top priorities when you’re evaluating employee satisfaction, especially if you aren’t seeing the kind of people retention and productivity that is expected from your HR and people organization.

But what are some of the biggest benefits of implementing an employee recognition program, and how can you implement the tools that will help you to keep track of both rewards and recognition?

Read on to find out!

Employee Retention – Your Greatest Asset

Why do close to 80% of employees quit their jobs?

Hint: it’s probably not because they don’t get paid enough. It’s more likely that it’s because they don’t feel they’re getting enough recognition for their contributions at work.

Not only does hiring new employees consistently cost you time and money, but it can also hurt your company’s reputation amongst job applicants if, for example, your Glassdoor ratings start to plummet in stars.

It’s tough to attract the level of talent you want and need to be able to keep up with competitors if your company is seen as having a revolving door of employees, or the ones that are there “feel stuck”. As you are well aware, that is an environmental atmosphere killer, even if those unhappy people are working in a home office.

With the right platform technology to help you do the heavy lifting, you can keep track of employee rewards and recognition, and ensure that no employee slips through the recognition cracks.

Create a Culture of Empowerment

Make certain that employees feel empowered and actively encouraged to share their ideas with one another and with you. Recognition at work makes this happen. If an employee feels as though their opinions and past work are valued, they’ll be much more likely to speak up in the future.

Plus, you don’t hire people to be machines. You buy machines to be machines. You hire people to individually and collectively make an impact, which, if done right, has a positive ripple effect across your organization.

People are the butterfly effect! And your competitive advantage.

Recognition Promotes a Sense of Healthy Competition

Employee rewards and recognition can also help to promote a sense of friendly competition (or coopetition, as we like to call it), which usually goes hand-in-hand with greater productivity. Winning!

You can incentivize your team by offering up rewards like a VIP parking space for a month, in-office massages, dinner with the CEO or an executive, a spa visit (plus one!) or even a travel voucher to their favorite destination. We also suggest that you consider hosting an award ceremony, both in person and on video conference, so that your superstars feel especially appreciated.

You can also include the results of competitions in newsletters that you send out to clients and prospects, who will appreciate that you take care of the people that take care of them.

The POWER in Peer-to-Peer Awards

Employee recognition should be 360 degrees, not top-down. From managers, peers, cross-functional teams, you name it – no opportunity to recognize an employee’s awesome work should ever go unsung. And people love being recognized by their peers.

By encouraging and enabling simple and social peer-to-peer nominations for awards or recognition, you give employees the opportunity to give and receive one of the rewards they value most.

This boosts productivity and makes employees more willing to collaborate with one another. This means faster and stronger results, lasting relationships with one another and with clients, and streamlined communications.

Plus, the office that works together within a culture of gratitude achieves more every day, and with more happiness built in!

Making Rewards Thoughtful and Meaningful

Countless studies have shown that today’s employees and future workers value flexibility, a company with a strong sense of ethics, and the chance to get to the top of their chosen field.

However, recent research shows that employees also want to work for a company, whether it’s a large or small business, that values them as individuals and truly cares about their well-being.

This can mean implementing employee-led fitness programs, hosting teambuilding events, and enabling team members to teach skills and lead workshops in the office or out of it, or remotely and online.

Recognition in the workplace needs to be not only consistent but also tailored to an individual employee. Personalization matters. Say Anna loves coffee, but let’s face it, she’s a hardcore coffee aficionado. You wouldn’t give Anna a Starbucks gift card – maybe instead, you give her a gift card to her favorite roaster with a message that says something like, “I know you love Blue Mountain beans from Jamaica. Sorry, I couldn’t fly you there today to get them in person, but I know a place where you can get them and right in your neighborhood! And I hope you get the same buzz you just gave us with that amazing social media campaign you launched!”

In other words, if it’s a gift card, make it meaningful and personal. If you’re giving something like a gift basket, make sure it’s filled with their favorite things. Also, never underestimate the power of celebrating with a flurry of inside jokes.

Employees will always work harder for a company that sees them as individual people with their own interests and lives outside of the office. If you can prove your company has that view, then you’ll reap endless benefits.

Need a top tier, fully featured Employee Recognition platform to help you super charge you super stars?

Employee recognition increases employee retention, encourages team members to share new ideas, and allows you to show your workers that you care about them as people.

Of course, it can be tough to keep track of the rewards and recognition programs and events you have in place.

Espresa enables all your Culture Benefits, including rewards + recognition, employee resource groups, inclusion and diversity, wellbeing + fitness, reimbursements, and corporate events management – all on a single and simple-to-use platform that people love.

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