Given this tough economic period, when many organizations are dealing with layoffs and financial instability issues, retention programs to keep the best talents in the company should be a top priority for anyone. Given the competitive business climate, with many companies struggling to get the best candidates available on the labor market, knowing how to offer reward and recognition programs for employees is more than an art – it’s a sincere way of showing your sincere appreciation for their good work.
The new concept of the workplace, in this context highly populated by Generation Y members, a.k.a. Millennials, talks about collaboration, transparency, trust and ethics, as the principles of any healthy organization. Nowadays leaders should earn respect from their employees by the way they are treating them. Needless to say, motivated employees will be the most engaged ones and also generate performance in the workplace. According to a new survey realized by Office Team, motivation is an essential key for employee happiness and it’s widely important to keep them engaged with new challenges, projects or new responsibilities, as well as by having one-to-one discussions with them, about their future careers. However, rewards also important in this equation that doesn’t necessary involve a lot of costs, if you are on a tight budget. Take a look below and see a few inspiring and simple ideas for reward and recognition programs for employees.
1. Offer your employees different opportunities
It’s no secret to anyone that people love getting recognition from their employer, whether it’s a small or large organization. Remember that financial incentives aren’t always the most efficient ones and you don’t always get a guarantee with them for the results you are after. Therefore, one of the most important reward and recognition programs for employees can come as specific professional opportunities for the employee, letting them know they are a valuable and appreciated asset for the organization. Depending on each company, it can involve mentoring or coaching, an educational opportunity, or the chance to go to another country for a professional conference.
2. Say “thank you” more often
Here’s another simple and cheap idea to keep your employees happy, while showing your appreciation for their efforts. In a fast-paced environment, between so many tasks and responsibilities, we often forget to say “thank you” for the small successes or contributions made by our team members or employees. Thanks is actually a form of validating their efforts and making them feel important for your organization. This simple gesture can also inspire others, while also motivating the staff and improving relationships between employees and managers.
3. Offer individual rewards
As you may be aware, humans have different views on life and different needs, so it is important for leader or manager to individualize rewards and give each person what he/she wants. Moreover, before you give someone a new project, pay attention to what really makes him or her excited and see if it fits his/her own personality.
4. Give them flexible work hours
In a time when the workplace is also undergoing changes, allowing your staff the luxury of a flexible working schedule is another great idea for reward and recognition programs for employees. Thus, you can offer a better work/life balance to your staff, which is an essential part of ensuring their happiness. As long as you allow them to work from home for one day per week, for example, or leave work earlier on a specific day, they will surely be more engaged and productive at work.
5. Offer your employees gift cards
Depending on whether you have a limited budget or not, you can give your employees certain gift cards to be used at the coffee shops, clothing stores, online stores or book stores, depending on their own personal preferences. However, the best option is to let them choose one particular gift card for their needs, which they can then redeem at any time they want.
6. Nurture your employees’ self-esteem
Every time you encourage your employees by giving them a motivational and morale boosting speech, or by offering positive yet realistic feedback about their contribution, potential, values or achievements, their self-esteem naturally increases. This way, they develop more confidence in order to reach their personal goals or attain other challenging objectives.
7. Let employees take part in reward and recognition programs
Don’t think you need to have a substantial budget in order to implement such a program for your employees. You can be on a limited one and still keep your employees engaged and happy. A good idea when creating such reward and recognition programs is to actually involve the staff members themselves, so they can know exactly what they need to do in order to have access to it.
8. Create a fun workplace environment
Everyone likes to work in a relaxing and fun workplace environment, where they can feel right at home, don’t they? While developing a reward and recognition program, managers or leaders should consider all the opportunities they have for creating a healthy workplace for their employees. This aspect is widely important, as it generates a healthy organizational culture, while also boosting staff productivity and performance.
9. Give your employees days off
Try to give your employees a certain number of days off during the year – aside from the legal holidays – in order to allow them to relax and rest as they please. This can be a great idea to use for reward and recognition programs for employees, as it especially helps avoid those awkward moments when your employees pretend to be sick, just to get the day off and stay home.
10. Reward the entire team for their success
Choosing to reward the entire team for a recent successful project can be a great idea to use as a part of the implementation of your reward and recognition program. It’s a great idea to encourage collaboration, not competition, between employees since the latter can generate conflicts. However, there will always be some employees who could work harder, which is why many companies prefer to offer individual rewards for the extra work. Obviously, each company/organization is free to choose its own program.
What about you? Do your employers use reward and recognition programs for employees, to make them more engaged and motivated at work? If they do, feel free to share your ideas, or provide some concrete examples used in your organization/workplace.