Employees, now more than ever, have become a key differentiator for companies, making employee appreciation critical to today’s business success.
As Aaron Lazenby, editor in chief of Profit, Oracle’s quarterly journal of business and technology, writes in Forbes Magazine, HR executives need to ask themselves whether they’re paying enough attention to the customer within (aka employees). His article is titled “The Customer Within: How ‘Employee Experience’ Is HR’s Competitive Differentiator.”
He notes that skilled labor is demanding premium wages, benefits, and perks as a “skills gap” leaves many essential positions unfilled.
“In a highly competitive climate, it is imperative for executives to develop strategies to retain their top talent … Companies that win outperform others in their ability to connect and motivate [employees].”
At AllBusinessExperts, in “Employee Appreciation Is Vital to Productivity,” Maria Elena Duron cites U.S. Department of Labor statistics, which indicate that people voluntarily leaving their jobs report lack of appreciation as a primary reason.
“And even though a large majority of employers and supervisors can attest to having shown gratitude to employees that perform well, only about 17% of employees report those supervisors do a good job at appreciating them,” she writes.
“Does your work environment resonate a culture of gratitude and appreciation?” Duron asks. “Appreciation has to be woven into your company culture.”
She says this requires four things. Appreciation must be:
- Conveyed in the Language of the Recipient
According to Gary Chapman and Paul White, co-authors of the New York Times bestseller, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Duron writes:
“Every individual has a unique language of appreciation. These languages include tangible gifts (cup of coffee, gift cards), words of affirmation (thank you, nice work), acts of service (going out of your way to help on a project), quality time (spending time with individuals to demonstrate support), and appropriate physical touch (celebratory high-fives and pats on the back).”
Employee Appreciation Leads to Success
Employee recognition is an influential success factor to an organization’s bottom line.
“Companies atop Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list consistently outperform their competitors in the measure of average return to shareholders; many of these companies are known for their employee perks, recognition practices and incentives.”
That’s part of Brad Darooge’s article, “Employee Recognition Best Practices Lead to Success in Current Economy,” at Forbes’ site.
“Employee recognition motivates, engages and retains employees—all of which make or save companies money,” he continues.
Develop an Employee Appreciation Strategy
As fall approaches, and with it the annual business planning cycle, incorporate employee appreciation as a vital strategy.
“In order for employee recognition to deliver results for your organization, develop a strategy that links the practice of recognition to business goals and objectives. A recognition strategy identifies what behaviors you will recognize, and how they contribute to accomplishing goals,” Darooge writes.
He notes that recognition strategy is the first best practice standard as identified by Recognition Professionals International (RPI), a nonprofit association dedicated to the study and promotion of employee recognition. His company, Baudville, a founding member of the association, has implemented those best practices in its recognition strategy.
He provides an overview of RPI’s Best Practice Standards:
- Recognition Strategy. Document the programs you’ll use in your organization, what behaviors they recognize and how they contribute to company goals or objectives.
- Management Responsibility. Get management support by presenting the recognition strategy. Be up-front about the costs of recognition and more importantly, the savings and earnings your organization will experience.
- Recognition Program Measurement. What gets measured gets done. Develop rigor for measuring the success of recognition in your organization and accountability measures for key implementers, such as managers.
- Communication Plan. Inform all employees about the recognition strategy and consistently communicate the program’s successes, changes and happenings.
- Recognition Training. Most often, managers are the ones responsible for administering recognition on a regular basis. Equip managers for success with training that covers when to recognize, how to recognize and explain any tools you may be using.
- Recognition Events and Celebrations. Employee recognition is often implemented through grand events and celebrations.
- Program Change and Flexibility. Every great program must experience change during its life cycle. Stay on top of employee and management preferences and make changes as needed to keep recognition successful in your organization.
“The regular and sincere practice of recognition can keep employees engaged and satisfied with their work,” Darooge writes.
How will you make employee appreciation strategies part of your business plan this fall?
Learn just how easy it is to build a culture of appreciation and gratitude in our FREE eBook, “The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving”. Click the image below and start today!
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