Employee retention is absolutely critical to the success of any business. According to Forbes, a lack of recognition is one of the driving forces behind high employee turnover rates. Your staff is the lifeblood of your business, and keeping them motivated and committed should be the primary focus of any good team leader.
Countless studies have proven that money isn’t the only motivator at work. According to CNN, one study shows that when employees were able to see firsthand how their work was helping others, their productivity more than doubled. Another study showed that employees were willing to give up nearly $30,000 in annual salary to be recognized for high praise at work.
While compensation is undoubtedly a very important factor in employee satisfaction, it’s clearly not the only one. Here are five easy ways you can recognize your employees’ performance and achievements without breaking the budget.
- Acknowledge Specific Accomplishments. Simply showing gratitude is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to keep morale up. However, saying “thanks for doing a good job” isn’t nearly as effective as recognizing a person’s specific achievements. For example, if your sales staff just surpassed the company’s monthly goal, show them your gratitude for their hard work by treating the whole team to lunch. Sometimes just knowing that your victories don’t slip through the cracks is enough motivation to keep your team productive.
- Give a Physical Award. Giving exceptional employees a raise or even a bonus isn’t always feasible. However, corporate awards are cost-effective solutions and tangible reminders to your staff that they’re valued. A trophy or a plaque instills pride in the recipient, and it fosters a workplace environment of excellence.
- Make an Example of Outstanding Employees. Who doesn’t enjoy being praised publicly? If you’re hosting a training session, or if an employee has a question, use one of your best performers to show how the task should be done. For example, you could have a new trainee listen to a sales call to get an idea of how it should be done. Not only does this help the new hire, it also lets the outstanding employee know that their performance doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Give Excellent Performers More Responsibility. Showing your employees that you trust them is one of the biggest compliments you can give. Showing someone that you trust their opinion and expertise is more valuable than verbal appreciation, bonuses, and perks, notes Business News Daily. While you should always be cautious when delegating important duties and decisions, sometimes you need to allow your employees to feel like they can genuinely make a difference in your organization.
- Create a Positive Work Environment. When your staff performs well, they should earn more freedom and perks. For example, you may want to reward your team with a longer lunch break or an early day. Sometimes just breaking up the monotony can really add a positive atmosphere to the workday in general. Just knowing that there’s potential for something fun to happen creates a more upbeat and fun atmosphere at the office.
Be Aware of Employee Accomplishments
When it comes down to it, you really just need to make sure you don’t get so overwhelmed with your own tasks that you forget about the effort that your staff puts in every day. It’s easy to overlook the small details that keep your company running, and your employees really will notice if you’re not actively noticing their performance.
You can never be too thankful, and it’s easy to appear ungrateful if you don’t actively express gratitude. Remember: the best team leader is also a team member, so get involved and don’t forget to give your employees a well-deserved pat on the back.
Jeffrey Brauer is a human resources consultant with over ten years of management experience. He also works as a freelance writer, focusing mainly on progressive managerial strategies. Jeffrey currently resides in Northampton, PA with his wife and two daughters. When he’s not hard at work, he enjoys basketball, reading, and spending time with friends and family.