Posts Tagged ‘Employee Recognition’

How HR Creates a Culture of Recognition

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

When you take into consideration the high cost of turnover and its disruptive impact on the business, it should get you thinking about your own recognition strategies. How can you expect employees to stay at your organization if they’re not getting the appreciation they deserve?

We all know that retention is closely tied to recognition. Employees want to work for an organization that not only values their work but also shows them appreciation. Accordingly, there is a strong relationship between recognition and likelihood to stick around at the job.

We also understand that praise sways the perception of the work environment. No one wants to work at a place that ignores its employees. Here again, there is a positive link between recognition and an employee’s perception of the workplace.

Finally, a healthy employee-supervisor relationship relies on some sort of positive recognition. Simply put, employees want to work for someone who appreciates their contributions to the organization.

But getting occasional recognition from your boss is not nearly enough.

The Role of Peer-to-Peer Recognition

A quick telling stat: 70% of employees credited their peers for creating an engaging environment, while perks such as work functions, parties, or amenities only accounted for 8%. (Source: Tiny Pulse)

The following employee comments underscore the role that peers play in the workplace:

  • “I look forward to coming to work every day. The people are great, and we have lots of celebrations for the good work that we do.”
  •  “I’ve never once wished that I didn’t have to go into work. Everyone here is awesome, and there is not one day that has gone by where I haven’t laughed out loud about something, with someone here.”
  •  “Great people to work with, people I share my life with, people I trust, that support, and encourage me and my ideas. There is a team here that is for each other and builds all the others up instead of climbing over the backs of others. We laugh with each other and seem to truly enjoy each other. We get silly, eat too much, and treat one another as a family.”

Creating Collaboration Spaces

Peers play such a vital role in creating a fun work environment. So at CAI, we give staff the space to collaborate and work together. This is especially important with the influx of millennials in the workforce, who live and thrive on collaboration. We also utilize informal and formal ‘we’ spaces where our employees can spontaneously come together to collaborate:

  • Meeting tables: Scatter these around the office so people can quickly come together. Put up a whiteboard (or better yet, whiteboard paint a wall) nearby, and you’ve got an impromptu meeting room. These tables are perfect for encouraging and promoting spontaneous ideation.
  • Break rooms: Idle chitchat around the water cooler isn’t a time waster. In fact, it typically revolves around work-related topics, so you never know when a brilliant idea might pop up. At CAI, we have created a breakroom that allows staff and training class visitors to actively network and intermingle.
  • Casual meeting rooms: In addition to more traditional conference rooms, we have included casual enclosed spaces that are ideal for when you need to discuss sensitive topics or gather for team meetings.

By dishing out praise, leveraging peer-to-peer recognition tools, creating collaborative spaces, and assessing cultural fit, you are laying down the right groundwork to retain your star employees. CAI members have access to numerous recognition information and tools. Contact CAI to learn more about membership.

Tom Sheehan brings 20+ years of extensive, broad-based strategic, tactical and practical HR experience to CAI’s Advice & Resolution team.  He advises HR and other business leaders on talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

Giving Thanks At Work Beyond Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares the many reasons why employers should be giving thanks – and not just around Thanksgiving.

As Thanksgiving approaches, it is typically the time of year when we take a moment to count the blessings in our life and give thanks.  Often, the word “thankful” seems less than adequate to express how we truly feel and does not completely convey our gratitude.  There are so many things for which we should be grateful.  In fact, we should try to take stock of the sources of gratitude in our lives and demonstrate our gratitude on a daily basis – not just at Thanksgiving.

Begin a practice to take time out of each day and tell those around you that your life is better because of them. Naturally, we always appreciate our significant others, our children and special friends.  Many share their thanks and gratitude to colleagues at work.  When did you last thank a fireman or police officer? Have you acknowledged a member of the armed forces lately?  There are those you do not see every day that also deserve your thanks.

Even good leaders can forget to acknowledge the contributions of their followers in the workplace.  Taking your team’s work for granted can strain a relationship over time.  In a much quoted Gallop survey, they found that fewer than one in three American workers could strongly agree that they had received praise from their supervisor in the last seven days.   In an uncertain economy and competitive job market, it is essential that our workforce, business partners, clients and suppliers hear directly from us that their contributions to our success are recognized and appreciated.  Take time to say “thanks.”  It is such a simple thing to do and yet so meaningful to the recipient. A genuine thank you is priceless.

Experience has taught us that when you acknowledge and appreciate the people around you, they work harder, perform better and care more about the people around them in return.  The simple and meaningful act of showing gratitude can have a powerful “ripple effect” in both business and in the daily lives of those who directly and indirectly support your success in life.  Adrian Gostic and Chester Elton, authors of The Carrot Principle, conducted a 10-year motivation study, in which more than 200,000 employees and managers were interviewed. They found that when managers are considered to be effective at ‘recognizing’ their employees they:

• have lower turnover rates than other managers

• achieve better organizational results

• are seen to be much stronger in goal-setting, communication, trust and accountability

This Thanksgiving, remember to extend a special thank you to your coworkers. Not only will it mean a great deal to them, but they will likely return their gratitude in kind! With a simple “thanks”, you will be building a sense of gratitude and appreciation that can outlast the Holiday season and ultimately embed itself into your company’s culture.

For further information as to how or why you could be showing gratitude in the workplace, please give our Advice and Resolution Team a call at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Use Multiple Channels of Communication to Recognize Employees

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares some new strategies to reach and recognize your employees.

A recent survey conducted by the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute illustrates the importance of using multiple channels for recognizing employees for their accomplishments and contributions.

Over 19,000 workers in 26 countries participated in the survey, which produced the following key observations:

  • 76% of employees who receive recognition are engaged in their jobs, whereas only
  • 28% are engaged in their jobs who do not receive recognition
  • 51% of employees without recognition indicated they intended to leave, whereas only
  • 25% who receive recognition were intending to leave their employer

Obviously, recognition of employees is an excellent productivity and retention strategy.  However, many organizations continue to rely solely on written and verbal recognition methods.  According to the survey, 58% of employers use emails for employee recognition.  This may not be the best way to reach today’s Millennial workforce.

The workforce of today includes many members of Generation-Y, who have grown up with the notion of instantaneous information access in almost every aspect of life- including work.  Their expectation is to work with an organization that embraces the technology available to them and utilizes that technology to communicate wherever possible.

While there is no substitute for a face-to-face, verbal “thank you” to an employee, there are a number of channels for recognition which can be used in order to get the recognition to the employee faster, especially as our workforce continues to become more widespread geographically.

The use of Smartphones, online recognition applications and peer-to-peer videos are excellent ways to provide more timely recognition and reinforce employee engagement.  These methods allow for social recognition as well among fellow employees and peer work communities.  Feedback, such as congratulations from other team members, can be almost immediate and multiplies the overall effectiveness of the recognition.

In order to engage, retain and improve the productivity of our workforce, recognition strategies have to evolve to effectively communicate with the changing workforce of today.  There are numerous communication channels available today which take advantage of social, mobile and other technologies utilized by Generation-Y and, in many cases, Generation -X.  Using multiple channels of communication can offer interactive, frequent and immediate communication.

What recognition channels are you using to recognize your workers?  Are you using enough channels?  Are you using the right channels?

If you’re struggling with these questions and are searching for ways to help your business evolve its recognition process, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

9 Ways to Show Your Employees Some Love

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

show love in workplaceValentine’s Day is a week away so it’s the perfect time to show your team members a little love. Demonstrating to your employees that you value and appreciate the work they put in each week will yield a positive outcome. Employees are more satisfied in their job when they know their efforts are appreciated and are making a difference for the company. High job satisfaction rates lead to more engaged workers, and more engaged workers increase business productivity.

Try some of the ways below to share the love with your team members during February and the other months of the year:

  1. Write personalized Valentine’s Day cards to each of your employees and include reasons why they are important members of your team.
  2. Have a Valentine’s Day social during lunch. Provide the main dish, but encourage your staffers to bring in Valentine’s Day themed desserts.
  3. Plan a group outing for all of your employees. Whether it’s bowling or volunteering, the outing will be a good bonding experience.
  4. When requesting items from your staff, use “please” and “thank you” to show your respect for them.
  5. Greet your employees with a smile as they arrive at work for the day.
  6. Decorate your facility with holiday decorations, such as red and pink streamers and paper hearts.
  7. Spend some time during the week to chat with each of your team members to see how they’re doing. Ask them about work and their family.
  8. Give each of your employees a gift card to use for lunch, gas or other purchases they frequently make.
  9. Treat employees to a family-friendly get together, like a weekend pizza party or Friday evening movie.

For more employee engagement or recognition tips, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: mozzercork

6 Tips to Keep Your Company Holiday Party Stress-Free, Safe and Fun

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

With radios blasting seasonal tunes and shopping centers offering big discounts, it’s crystal clear that the holidays are upon us. Throwing your workforce a party during this merry season is a great way to celebrate the time of year and show your team that you appreciate what they do for the company.

A holiday party offers staff members the opportunity to mix and mingle outside the office, which encourages employee interaction and conversations. With all the employee engagement benefits a holiday party can bring, it’s important to note that holiday parties can also have a negative effect on the company if ground rules aren’t set.

Here are six suggestions to consider when planning your holiday celebration:

Give plenty of options

There are two things you should try to accomplish when throwing a holiday party for your team members: to reward them for their efforts and to create a memorable and fun experience for them to have. Spend time preparing for details like location, food and drink options, and entertainment. Leave them excited for next year’s party.

Interject some fun

Whether it’s inviting holiday carolers to sing to your staff or playing a holiday themed icebreaker to get to know spouses and guests, encourage your employees to enjoy themselves. Your staffers are expecting to have a good time with their coworkers.  Get great reviews by planning activities and surprises throughout the night.

Make a drink maximum

Not that you can’t have a good time without alcohol, but offering employees of legal age a drink is generally part of the holiday festivities. To protect your party committee and to advise your employees, provide your guests with no more than two drinks. Getting sloppy at the company Christmas party—whether it’s a seasoned manager or a recent hire—isn’t a win for anyone.

Say thank you

The holiday party happens at the end of the year, which is perfect timing for you to recognize the contributions your staff made during the last 12 months. There are several ways to show your appreciation. A speech highlighting specific accomplishments, awards given to stellar performers, and gift cards for the entire team are only a few ways to recognize your team during the celebration.

Keep work talk to a minimum

Other than congratulating your team for a great year, talking about work should be avoided. Your employees want to have fun and celebrate the season with their coworkers. Use this event to get to know your team members and their friends and spouses better. You can discuss work when you return to the office.

Know how everyone is getting home

Making sure your staffers get home safely is an important part of the planning process. Arrange hotel stays for your team members who don’t work in your local office. Organize cab rides for employees who bought additional drinks and don’t plan to drive home. Be aware of how each employee leaves the party.

For more holiday party ideas for your company, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Qtea

 

3 Ways to Increase Your Staff’s Energy and Productivity Levels

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Have you noticed that some of your employees are running low on energy? Yes, employers have had a difficult time withstanding the economic climate over the past few years, but employees have also felt the pressure. Many workers have taken on more responsibility after seeing their coworkers get laid off. Some are also working longer to keep their company running like there’s a full staff. Doing more work and putting in more hours without significant increases in their pay or positive changes in their benefits can drain the energy of your employees.

The economic climate of the past few years made it necessary for many employers to get the most out of their employees, but doing so may have led to decreases in their workforce’s productivity level and job satisfaction. To keep your employees away from the brink of exhaustion, try these three methods to encourage motivation, increase morale and boost work performance:

Workplace Flexibility

If feasible for their position, allow your employees to enjoy more flexible schedules. When employees need a physical or mental break from work, flex schedules help employees maintain work/life balance, which aids them in completing quality work for your company. For additional benefits from flexible schedules for both employees and employers read our post Employers, Reap the Benefits of Telecommuting.

Employee Recognition

Taking time to recognize the contributions made by your employees will improve their work performance and attitude. Your workers want to know that their efforts are affecting your company positively, so letting them know how they specifically contribute to their organization’s success will raise their morale and company loyalty. For different ideas on how to show your employees you appreciate them, please see our blog post 17 Ways to Show Your Employees Appreciation.

Ongoing Training

Your employees are more likely to stay with your organization and produce great work if you provide them with opportunities to expand their skill sets. Most employees are eager to learn new methods to streamline their workflows and new knowledge to assist them in completing projects. There are a number of ways you can help your employees reach their full potential. Check some of them out on our blog post Continuous Education Helps You, Your Employees and Your Business Thrive.

For more tips on engaging and energizing your workforce, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

6 Inexpensive Ways to Celebrate the Success of Your Workplace Teams

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

In many parts of the world, people welcome the first day of May with lively carnivals and family-friendly festivities to celebrate the springtime holiday known as May Day. While many people celebrate the warm-weather event, employers should take some time to consider how they celebrate success created by their company teams.

Recognizing the individual contributions an employee makes is a critical factor in determining whether he plans to stay with your organization for the long run.  Just as individual recognition is important, acknowledging great efforts made by collective teams and departments is also important. Team members spend significant periods of time collaborating with each other, and their willingness to be productive and achieve success on a team should be celebrated.

Commending your teams for a job well done doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are six low-cost ideas to celebrate deserving teams at your company:

1.       Write handwritten notes to all team members

Taking the time to write your employees a handwritten note is a unique way to show them your appreciation for their efforts. Employees can also easily display or share the positive feedback found in their notes.

2.       Make a company newsletter announcement

If you’re proud of a particular workplace team, share your feelings in your company newsletter or on your company intranet. The honored team will enjoy the public recognition that you give them. Others who aren’t on the team will have the opportunity to learn what made the honored team successful.

3.       Celebrate with senior management

Inform senior management of the great work your direct reports are completing. Let the executive team know the exact details of the project you assigned and how your employees produced great results. Having your team present the execution and results of their project to management is a great way to show members of leadership that you’re proud of your team, and they should be, too

4.       Give them flexibility

Allow members of deserving teams flexibility in their schedules after they wrap up a successful project. They can use the flexibility you grant them in a number of ways. Maybe they’ll take a longer lunch or leave early on Friday to go to the beach with friends. Either way, they’ll be thankful.

5.       Throw an appreciation party

Whether it’s a pizza party or an ice cream social, plan a bash to show your teammates that you’re grateful for their hard work. This get-together can be solely for your outstanding team members, or you can host the whole staff so they know what they should be working towards.

6.       Plan a company picnic

If your staff continually achieves strong, positive results for your company, show your gratitude by organizing a company picnic. Let employees invite their families so they can enjoy the excitement and celebration as well. You should plan games, prizes, and a speech or mention of your appreciation for their contributions.

For additional ideas to celebrate the success of the teams within your organization, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Jason Pratt

Simple Steps to Raise Employee Morale at Your Workplace

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Disengaged employees are detrimental to your business, and the current state of the economy has increased the number of workers who are no longer engaged. Little to no salary increases, poor benefits options and juggling more with less can cause your high performers to become frustrated and ultimately disengaged. Today’s economic climate might make them afraid to leave your organization right now, but as conditions improve, they’ll be the first to leave you for a competitor that offers them a better work environment.

Before your best talent walks out the door, recognize the impact that high employee morale can have on your organization. Recent research shows that workplaces that boast high morale are more productive and have higher retention rates than companies that don’t. Without proper planning to increase company morale, employees will respond by producing poor quality work, being absent often, wasting time and resources, and leaving your organization. The cost of replacing and training talent is expensive but can be avoided if your organization makes an effort to improve morale.

The five tips featured below are inexpensive ways to create a positive atmosphere for your workforce. By implementing some or all of the tips, you will see the overall morale at your company increase:

1. Remember the Golden Rule

Treat others how you would like to be treated. Taking the time to show your employees respect and empathy will encourage them to reciprocate your actions.

2. Say “Please” and “Thank You”

People forget their manners when work gets busy and stressful, but these two phrases show your appreciation for the work that your employees produce. Say them often to keep your workforce happy.

3. Delegate

Employees stay at organizations that trust them to complete projects with autonomy. Empower your employees by giving them responsibility and trusting them to complete their assignments. Unless they perform poorly, do not micromanage your direct reports.

4. Recognize and Praise

Workers will show loyalty when they feel valued and are recognized for the contributions they make. So, frequently commend your workers when they produce great work or go above and beyond for your organization.

5. Incorporate Fun

Being serious all of the time drains productivity. Schedule group activities that allow your employees to loosen up and take a break from their routine assignments. Casual Friday and team-building exercises are two suggestions.

High employee morale is necessary for attracting and retaining top-tier talent. For additional employee engagement strategies, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: bobaliciouslondon

What Employee Perks Are You Offering?

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

As the economy slowly begins to improve, many employers are starting to focus on employee retention. AccountTemps, a division of Robert Half International, surveyed more than 1,400 CFOs to learn what perks their companies were either offering or planning to offer in their effort to recruit and retain top performers.

While subsidized training and education topped the list, flexible schedules and mentoring programs came in tied for a close second place.  Overall, the most popular incentives appear to be those that aid in career development:

  • Subsidized training/education – 29%
  • Flexible work hours or telecommuting – 24%
  • Mentoring programs – 24%
  • Matching gift programs – 13%
  • Free or subsidized lunch or snacks – 11%
  • On-site perks such as childcare, dry cleaning, fitness center, cafeteria – 11%
  • Subsidized transportation – 10%
  • Subsidized gym membership – 9%
  • Sabbaticals – 8%
  • Housing or relocation assistance – 7%

Many of the perks listed above go hand-in-hand with the top 10 reasons employees stay with an organization.  These perks assist businesses in the development of a more skilled workforce, often cost very little to implement and can assist with providing work-life balance for your employees.

While employees may be sensitive to pay concerns, especially after a few years of salary freezes or cuts, it is important to note that pay is not the primary reason people stay or leave an organization.

Also, while there are certainly common themes that come through in the list above, these same perks may not be what your organization’s employees would prefer.  The best way to assess how you can get the biggest bang for your buck when investing in employee perks and retention strategies is to ask your employees directly what is most important to them.

If you have questions regarding employee retention efforts, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Midwest Region

Employee Recognition: Top Ways to Recognize Employees In the Workplace

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

In Somebodies and Nobodies: overcoming the abuse of rank, Robert W. Fuller discusses the importance and impact of employee recognition in the workplace, by saying that “eliminating deficiencies of recognition in the workplace is proving to be as good for the bottom line as eliminating nutritional deficiencies were in the past for the productivity of day laborers.” Because of the current economic shift, the focus for most organizations has turned toward maintaining continuous workflow, and keeping the company, its clients and employees intact. With the day-to-day impact the economy has left on organizations, employee appreciation may often be forgotten. But can organizations really afford to place employee recognition on the back burner?

Employee recognition can easily be linked to employee engagement and company morale, potentially determining internal performance and results. Overlooking the importance of employee recognition may cause negative impacts to spill through the workplace and company culture. The reality is that all staff members work hard and want your organization to succeed and thrive through this challenging time. Now is the time to take a step back, recognize the value of the individual and show your appreciation. Yes, the stable paycheck is more than enough, but small gestures of recognition go far, and help employees remember they are a valued and integral part of the team.

Highlight employee successes – When customers or clients speak to the performance and service of your employees, do you make them aware? Publicly recognizing the efforts of your staff, and acknowledging the work they are committed to, is appreciated and respected.

Facilitate peer-to-peer recognition – Positive feedback from management is valued and always welcomed, but the recognition that comes directly from peers is often a true reflection of an individual’s performance and contribution. Coworkers who work together on a consistent basis see the moments of excellence that management may overlook. Find a way to allow employees to acknowledge each other. Do you have weekly staff meetings? If so, try and include this recognition by allowing staff to highlight the achievements of a teammate.

Take a break from e-mail communication – In a society that moves at such a fast pace, it’s rare that we take moments to handwrite our appreciation. This simple gesture goes further than you may realize. By taking time to write your thanks through penmanship, you remind your employees they are worth more than a quick “click and send” e-mail praise.

Food always does the trick – No one ever turned down a surprise staff breakfast, group lunch or gift certificates to dinner. Food is always a fan favorite and is a great way to gather employees for conversation that doesn’t involve the ongoing to-do list.

Celebrate the special occasions – Birthdays, engagements, wedding and baby showers – they all encompass the monumental moments of your employees’ lives. Organizations are able to connect with staff outside of a professional relationship if you celebrate the special moments of an employee’s personal life. As you begin to incorporate these celebrations into your culture, your company will feel less like a business and more like a family.

For additional information, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo source: CCL Staff