A business is more than its brand. More than the colour scheme of its website or the artistry of its logo. It’s more than the elegance of its mission statement or the values upon which it’s built. Any business is the sum total of its employees’ contributions.
HR managers and business owners alike understand the contribution that each and every member of staff makes in asserting and reinforcing the values and standards that make a business special and unique.
With that in mind, it behoves them to have a system in place that recognises and celebrates their achievements. While an employee recognition programme can take some logistical wrangling to develop and implement, it also brings a range of significant benefits…
1. It can significantly improve employee retention
Nobody likes losing employees. But if you don’t have an employee recognition programme in place, it’ll be harder to get employees to stick around. Here are some sobering statistics for you: according to Gallup, employees who aren’t recognised are twice as likely to quit their jobs. On the other side of this, businesses that have an established employee recognition programme in place enjoy a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate.
High employee turnover rates are costly, disruptive and prevent you from being able to establish the kind of team dynamic that makes coming into your business every day such a pleasure. When you’re regularly losing employees, you have to go to the expense of finding, recruiting and onboarding their replacements. And it’s likely that productivity will suffer.
Employee recognition — it’s easier than you think
A good employee recognition programme doesn’t even need to be costly or difficult to implement. You don’t have to spend a fortune in bonuses. Many employees consider open recognition more meaningful than reward.
In fact, there are numerous customer recognition platforms that just work like the social media apps your employees use in their free time. However, the key difference is these are designed specifically for the purpose of recognising, sharing and celebrating employees’ achievements.
Using these platforms is cost-effective and easy to implement… and can save your business a lot of money and disruption in the long term.
2. It can boost productivity by improving engagement
The UK is currently fighting its way out of a productivity gap. Our productivity rates are the lowest of the G7 and the recovery we’re making is embarrassingly sluggish. If your business is to remain ahead of the curve and do its bit to boost our nation’s ailing productivity — as well as your business’, as a result — you need to make an effort to engage your workforce.
The great thing about an employee recognition programme is that it helps your workforce to realise that their contributions are recognised and that your company’s success is their success, too.
Employees tend not to be as productive when they feel like they’re labouring away with their efforts going unnoticed and unappreciated. In fact, 69% of employees believe that they would work harder if they felt that their efforts were better appreciated by their employers.
If businesses like yours ignore the value in employee recognition, how can we possibly hope to bridge the productivity gap and get the most out of our nation’s workers?
Again, employee recognition needn’t be about huge bonuses and grandiose gestures. Even something as simple as taking a few minutes to sincerely thank an employee for their efforts or achievements can go a long way towards helping them to feel like a driving force behind your company’s success rather than an anonymous drone.
3. It can help you to perpetuate a culture that makes employees feel valued
What is your brand? Is it the colour scheme on your website? Is it your logo? Or is it the culture that you strive to create and perpetuate? A culture that embraces and values the contribution the workforce makes to the company’s growth and evolution rather than attempting to belittle and undermine it?
Your workplace culture isn’t just something that you can brag about on your social media feed or on job posts for new applicants. It’s something tangible that your employees can feel, experience and contribute towards on a daily basis.
More and more of today’s workers actually appreciate company culture over financial compensation. While anyone can write some compelling text on your homepage, your workplace culture is about more than that. It’s about ensuring that your employees feel valued and respected. It’s about ensuring that employees can see the effects their contributions and ideas have on the company’s growth.
It’s about creating an environment where people are happy to come to work every morning… not just the mornings where you bring in free bacon rolls.
4. When employees are happy and engaged… your customers will notice
Have you ever been in a shop, cafe or restaurant where the member of staff serving you looks like they’re having a thoroughly miserable time? The service is lacklustre, the platitudes they spout are empty and meaningless, and they seem like they’d rather be anywhere else than there with you — isn’t it utterly soul-crushing? But as much as you may be tempted to blame the member of staff, the true blame lies with their management.
You don’t want to offer your customers that kind of experience.
Your customers deserve better and your staff deserve better.
When you take steps to implement an employee recognition programme, employees can see that the work they do every day is noticed, valued and appreciated. They get to leave the workplace every day knowing that their hard work has made a difference. They get to feel engaged and happy to be doing their part.
And when you’ve created that kind of workplace environment, you can bet your customers will notice and appreciate it!
5. It empowers employees so managers can focus on strategy
Let’s face it… nobody likes being micromanaged. Not only does it take time away from management that could be better spent elsewhere, it can have a thoroughly demoralising effect on staff. For example, one business found that chronic micromanagement resulted in 68% of employees feeling that their morale was dampened. Furthermore, 55% said that it led to a decrease in productivity.
But when you don’t recognise employees’ efforts and endeavour, it’s hard for them to feel confident, empowered and autonomous. And when employees are under-developed in this way, they’ll tend to cling to the apron strings of their line managers.
On the other hand, when you have a system of employee recognition in place, it can be extremely empowering. Not only can managers share and celebrate employee achievements, a programme can incentivise peer-to-peer recognition. Employees can nominate one another for awards and share one another’s achievements in a public forum either on your intranet or through a dedicated recognition platform.
And that can help employees feel empowered to do their jobs without oversight, so your managers can focus more on the strategy that will steer your business towards a brighter future.
6. It can help to make your business more profitable
Finally, employee recognition programmes can have a direct impact on your business’s profitability. As we’ve already discussed, an employee recognition programme can make your workforce more engaged both in their daily operations and in the workplace culture and identity of the organisation.
The figures show that businesses with higher employee engagement levels enjoy 22% more profitability. And given that employee recognition programmes are highly cost-effective and easy to implement, you have absolutely nothing to lose but so much to gain by piloting one.
Embrace employee recognition and you can enjoy a vastly more pleasant, productive, dynamic and profitable workplace!