A ‘silver bullet’ for motivating 72% of your workforce

If I told you there was a way your company could reduce turnover, increase productivity, give a boost to company morale and increase collaboration, would you be interested? Would you consider doing it? Of course you would, we’d all jump at this ‘silver bullet’, this solution to overcoming these challenging problems.

thank you

Now don’t worry, I’m a rewards professional and not a used car salesperson, so I’m not going to try to sell you something, just share data our recent survey which I believe will show you that recognition may be just the ‘silver bullet’ you need at your company.  

In a recent survey conducted by Reward Gateway of 500 employees and 500 senior decision makers based in the UK:

●     72% of employees said a simple thank you would make them feel more motivated and help build morale - that’s every 2 in every 3 of your employees would be more engaged and productive if they were recognised.

●     50% of employees said they would leave their company if they weren’t regularly thanked for their efforts - that’s every 1 in 2 of your employees will walk out the door if not recognised.

Sounds good. Recognition contributes to more of our employees being engaged, and less of them leaving, not a bad combination. Then why doesn’t everyone buy into this?  Why did 41% of managers participating in this same survey not believe that regular recognition and thanking their employees has an impact? The good news is that 59% of managers have bought into the idea of recognition, but what about the other 41%?  What can we do to get them on board? 

Here are four tips to help you:

1) Get the ‘fit’ right

The first place to start is with your recognition programme(s), making sure you have the the right ones in places. You are unique, so make sure your recognition programmes are unique, making it ‘fit’ the needs of your business (e.g. drives business strategy and objectives and aligns with company values) and ‘fit’ the needs of your diverse workforce. 

For example, I’ve been interviewing companies around the world for my new book, and each one has a completely different recognition programme, ranging from Zappos’s Zollars, to Virgin’s Star, The Hershey Company’s SMILE, to Coleman Group’s ThankMe week.  They are all great, but all very different, so find your perfect ‘fit’!

2) Make it continuous

In my last blog, I shared data from this same study saying that 80% of employees are asking for continuous recognition. So, why not give it to them? I’d suggest either adding a new programme offering continuous recognition (e.g. products such as eCards or some kind of instant manager or peer awards, which provide recognition instantly), or changing an existing programme to tick this box. Don’t make your employees wait a year, five years or even ten years to be recognised, it’s too long.

3) Make it social

As we all know, the world has gone social crazy. In fact, a report from Small Biz Trends says that 97% of adults have visited or used a social network site within the last month (I want to know who those 3% are who haven’t!). 

I recently wrote a blog talking about how I’ve converted from being a skeptic to an embracer of social recognition, as I’ve seen first-hand at my current and previous companies how it encourages continuous recognition, connects our workforce and creates collaboration. So cater to the 97% of your workforce, and find ways to make your recognition social (e.g. create a social recognition wall on your company intranet, create a special social group, or if you don’t have an intranet use good old fashioned Post Its).

4) Get the word out

Equally important to designing the right recognition programmes, is getting it right with how you communicate and train your workforce. Get it right, and your employees and managers will embrace your programme, get it wrong, and it will quietly sit on a shelf collecting dust. 

The best way to convert the 41% of disbelievers (and keep the 59% of believers on board) is to make sure they understand the importance and impact of recognition, and how and when to do it at your company. Get the word out there, and make sure it’s something that’s talked about and used.

Let me end by stating the obvious, which is that unlike a silver bullet, which you’d use once to solve your problem, what I’ve suggested is not an easy one-time fix. You’ll need to put time and effort into your recognition programmes, but don’t worry, it will reward you time and time again with lower turnover, increased productivity, company morale and collaboration. 

And to make it even sweeter, the survey found that 59% of employees said they’d prefer recognition over a higher salary with no recognition for their work, so it could even save your company money.  I wish you all well in your recognition journey, and in the spirit of recognition, thank you for reading my blog!

Debra Corey is group reward director at Reward Gateway.

This article was provided by Reward Gateway.


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