In order to continue to grow and prosper, most companies must periodically review their structure and evaluate internal programs to ensure that resources are being allocated appropriately. In times of upheaval, it may be tempting to cut back or eliminate employee recognition programs, but this would be a mistake. Employees are the lifeblood of a business, and having them engaged and motivated is critical.
Employees are generally aware of the scrutiny that comes during transitional periods and are likely to feel a great deal of stress and decreased morale. In the worst scenario, they may begin to explore other employment options in a search of stability. Implementing, maintaining or improving employee recognition programs at a time when cut-backs are happening in other areas seems counter-intuitive, but will pay off in the long run.
Recognizing and rewarding your top-performing employees increases the likelihood of retaining them while giving their co-workers a goal to strive towards. When other companies are making cuts, you may be able to position yourself as a highly desirable employer, giving you the opportunity to potentially poach highly qualified employees from other companies. Implementing one or more of these low-cost employee engagement ideas can help you to create a culture where employees are enthusiastic about their job and positive morale spreads like wildfire.
If the nature of your business is conducive to it, flex time can be a highly valuable benefit to employees. Studies have shown that allowing employees to set a portion of their work schedules reduces stress, decreases the incidence of work-family conflict, and has positive effects on overall health and well-being. Employees who have a positive work-life balance are better able to handle responsibilities and exceed employer expectations. Offering flex time as a reward will ultimately benefit the employer with a productive and loyal employee base.
For employees who have already demonstrated a superior work ethic, the ability to occasionally work from home can be a coveted reward. Employees are often able to be more productive when given the ability to eliminate the time spent getting ready, commuting to and from the office, and leaving for lunch. The benefit to the employee lies in the ability to sleep in, enjoy breakfast, and possibly run errands or take care of other responsibilities during the day while still putting in a full day of work. This is also ideal in situations when an employee may need to care for a sick child or attend an important appointment during traditional business hours.
Rewarding a high-performing employee with a new desk, chair, or other office accessory shows recognition for a job well done in a way that is highly visible to other employees. It also acts as a constant reminder of your appreciation and helps to make the employee’s office a more comfortable place to work. For maximum impact, be sure pay attention to the employee’s personal preferences when choosing the reward. Depending on your budget, when you run payroll and the personality of the individual, the appropriate item could be anything from a plush leather chair to a high-tech humidifier or personal mini-fridge.
Recognizing your top employee by allowing him or her to choose the menu, entertainment or theme of periodically held staff appreciation events helps to bring attention to the benefits of exceptional performance while also providing a perk for all employees.
Paid Days Off
Designate an employee of the month and offer an additional paid day off as the award. Employees who are going above and beyond to meet the demands of their employers will always appreciate the opportunity to unwind, and providing extra time off helps to prevent burn-out.
Malcolm Rowlings – Business Management & Staffing Consultant