The importance of staff recognition can often be undervalued by business leaders. However, taking the time to show your appreciation does more than keep your team happy — it also helps attract potential hires to your business and drives engagement and success.
A Globoforce survey revealed that businesses that make it a point to reward their employees' hard work have a turnover rate that's more than 24 percent lower than companies that don't. These businesses are also 48 percent more likely to report highly engaged staff members. Research by software company Cvent found that when employees are engaged, customer retention rates can increase by nearly 18 percent.
Consider these five tips to ensure that your employees are happy, engaged and loyal to your business.
1. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition
Encouraging your employees to recognize one another for a job well done is an effective strategy to create a more team-oriented environment, which will lead to better engagement and leave a good impression on your customers. In fact, the Globoforce survey also found that companies that use peer-to-peer recognition report increases in customer satisfaction and that this type of recognition is 35.7 percent more likely to positively affect financial results than manager-only recognition.
Establishing a peer-to-peer recognition system can be as simple as setting up a dry erase board where employees can write praise for co-workers. You can also incorporate peer praise into your company's social media posts. For example, if there are certain employees who have shown exceptional work ethic, post a picture and short summary of their achievements in a Facebook post. Then, invite their colleagues to leave comments.
2. Reflect on individual achievements
As the leader of your small business, it can be challenging to remember all of the achievements made by your team members. Try keeping a book where you jot down the name and situation every time someone on your staff succeeds. Note these successes to your team and how they've contributed to the progress your business has made.
3. Host team-building activities & outings
Host an employee lunch or have an after-work celebration once a quarter (or any day, really). Consider holding the gathering at a nearby vendor and invite your team to enjoy a free meal where you can make a short speech and also acknowledge valuable employees. This is also a great way to boost morale and increase motivation.
4. Offer small gifts for employees
If your budget allows, consider providing each of your staff with a small gift on Employee Appreciation Day or another special occasion. Something affordable and practical, such as a desk organizer, or even a framed picture of your team, will serve as a daily reminder of your appreciation and make sure that they know their dedication and hard work will pay off during high-stress projects.
5. Set aside time to say “thank you”
Consider inviting individual team members — or standout employees if your staff is too big — to grab a coffee, or simply pull them aside to say "thank you." Although it's not the most creative way to show employees gratitude, many managers fail to do even this. A simple face-to-face thank you can go a long way toward showing your staff that you've noticed their efforts and recognize that the business couldn't succeed without them. It just takes a few minutes of your time, but it can result in higher employee satisfaction and lower attrition rates.
Mark Cerminaro is Chief Revenue Officer at RapidAdvance, a leading online financial services company that offers flexible financial solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses. Mark has spent his career advising business owners on investments and helping them access the capital they need to grow.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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