Employee recognition programs are designed to make it easier for managers to acknowledge staff successes. By praising accomplishments, these programs aim to retain employees. When someone leaves a job, it costs the business between 16-200% of the employee’s salary to fill the vacancy. These replacement costs are tied to the employee’s salary, which means that the highest earners are harder to replace. Since recognition is a helpful way to minimize turnover, here are some ideas to help managers recognize their employees.
- Ask new employees how they prefer to be recognized and what they like to do outside of work. Record this information in their employee file.When it is time to recognize this employee, choose a method that’s consistent with what they originally told you.Other options—while appreciated—may be less impactful.
- Verbal recognition: Simply saying thank you is a great start. Then take the time to specifically describe the positive impact of their work.
- Verbal recognition with an audience: If an employee’s actions positively impacted the larger organization, announce their success at a meeting.
- Written recognition: Writing a card or email to an employee gives them the opportunity to revisit the kind words later.
- Gift: There are a lot of possibilities here. Some managers have gift cards and movie tickets. Other organizations offer branded items (like reusable shopping bags and water bottles) for managers to give away for recognition reasons. If recognition items are not provided by an employee recognition program, there may be room in the budget to purchase items to have on hand.
- Time off: People love getting extra time off, whether it’s the day or simply the afternoon.
- Free meal: Everyone loves a free meal. Before offering this option, determine the employee has any dietary restrictions. Pick an appropriate place and take your employee to lunch.
- Meetings with executive level managers: This option can only be offered if the organization’s highest leaders are dedicated to spending time with employees. Since this is not true for many leaders, it is important to determine this prior to offering to an employee.
Recognition programs were created to foster an appreciative workplace that celebrates successes. After all, retaining employees is easier than replacing them. There are countless ways to recognize employees. Use these 8 ideas as inspiration. Take what works, and feel free to leave disregard the rest.
Merhar, Christina. Employee Retention: The Real Cost of Losing An Employee. Zane Benefits, 2016 February 4, https://www.zanebenefits.com/blog/bid/312123/employee-retention-the-real-cost-of-losing-an-employee. Accessed March 25, 2017.
Recognizing And Rewarding Your Staff. Harvard University Faculty of Arts & Sciences Human Resources Department, http://hr.fas.harvard.edu/recognition. Accessed March 25, 2017.