After attending a recent Investors in People event in late 2017, I had my eyes opened to how businesses, big and small, fail to understand or have an established recognition and/or reward culture in place.
Personally, I believe that rewarding and recognising your employees and team members for the work they do is a vital component in keeping a happier and more productive workforce. I came across a quote from Richard Branson once which really stuck with me ‘Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.’ Simples. According to the infographic in Jason Harney’s recent article, 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated.
I think what needs to be understood here, is that rewarding or recognising employees doesn’t mean breaking the bank and it doesn’t mean that it should only happen for outperforming or hitting targets. There’s a whole array of qualities you can recognise employees for, of course, outperformance and high achieving is great and employees should be aiming for it, but there are also attributes that can be monitored and noted. Examples include an employees loyalty to the business, attendance, attitude, employees that come in early or stay later without being asked, always acting with integrity and professionalism, representing the companies values, maintaining good working relationships with other employees, creating a positive atmosphere or culture in the office, coming up with new ideas and initiatives, problem-solving, always being reliable and there to help, the list goes on.
Working in the recruitment industry, we already offer a vast range of monetary and recognition incentives to spearhead performance and acknowledge high achievers, but regardless of what industry you work in, there is an endless list of recognition and reward methods you can implement to show your appreciation of your staff. Below I’ve listed my top 5 that I personally think can go a long way in making your employees feel like they aren’t just another cog in a machine.
- Praise – a simple thank you or appreciation for the work someone has carried out can make all the difference, especially if it’s from senior management. You don’t need to wait for an appraisal or a meeting to let them know they’re doing well. Praise doesn’t need to be secret either, why not let the whole team or even world know? Sharing praise creates a positive open culture that lets employees know that their work is acknowledged and appreciated, you can be as creative as you like from company-wide emails to Linkedin posts or even posters in the office.
- Company Events – One of my personal favourites. Everyone loves going out and getting treated to a couple of drinks and a nice dinner or even a fancy event once in a while, it’s really good to allow staff to let off some steam and enjoy themselves in a more social environment. We have company events every quarter and a Christmas party to celebrate the end of the year. Giving employees something to look forward to and celebrate as a team makes all the difference!
- Attending events, Travelling and Networking – Sometimes, sitting in the same chair, in the same office every day can get a bit (dare I say it) boring! Nothing says I trust you and your ability as an employee to represent the company more than allowing individuals to go out and attend events, network and allow them to travel about and meet new people. Another thing that I’m passionate about is charity work, it’s great for companies to take part in various charity events over the year as a team or allowing individual’s time to part-take in voluntary work to support a good cause.
- Early finishes and Flexible Time – We’re all human, we don’t like to be tied down to the same commitments every day, early finishes and more flexible working hours is a great way to let your employees feel like their not completely devoting their life to work, it allows them to make other plans and establish a solid work/life balance – a happy employee with more time on their hands will make a more productive one.
- A Healthy work environment – This is something that I feel is so important in today’s society. People spend the majority of their time at work, so it is imperative that their working conditions promote a healthy lifestyle for employee well-being both physically and mentally. Things like offering a variety of free fruit and beverages in the office, a clean and safe working environment, corporate gym memberships and ensuring you have a culture where employees feel they can be open about their feelings or situations that may be affecting them outside of work without getting penalised. This shows you really care about the employee as an individual and want to promote a healthy lifestyle for them.
If you’re looking to kick-start 2018 with new plans to improve and implement your employee recognition structure and need some inspiration, try reading through some of the articles below for some great ideas that can be implemented across all industries.
40 Employee Recognition Ideas
25 Staff Appreciation and Recognition ideas that won’t break the bank
101 Ways to Reward Employees without giving them cash