Why Recognizing and Rewarding Your Employees Matters Most

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CelebrateMany of us have heard the expression, “They didn’t quit their job, they quit their boss.” While this holds true for 3 out of 4 employees, we have to ask: aside from addressing a terrible boss, what can be done to keep employees in the office engaged, motivated, and inspired?

Let’s start by looking at what enticed the job seeker to come to your organization in the first place: 94 percent of job seekers say they would apply for an organization if they saw the organization’s manager(s) performed active brand management. A few ways job seekers like to see managers enhance employer brands are:

  • updating company profiles on company culture and environment;
  • staying on top of employee profiles;
  • and actively responding to company reviews.

It’s important for managers to display devotion to their companies, and equally important for them to maintain this employer branding after employees have been hired, in order to keep employees satisfied and engaged. If managers fail to maintain employer branding efforts after employees have joined the company, the company’s employer brand and the manager’s reliability will take a hit. No pressure!

One way for managers to maintain positive employer brands is through recognition and reward. Of course, managers tend to be overloaded with onboarding, training, their own management duties, and more — so how can they possibly fit employee recognition into all of that?

Here’s a quick guide on how to reward your employees without breaking the bank or increasing your workload:

Why Reward Systems Are the Best

Only 51 percent of American workers says they feel they are valuable assets to their current organizations, and an additional 36 percent of employees say they haven’t received any form of recognition from an employer within the last year. Of the 32 percent of employees actively looking for new jobs, 43 percent want to leave their current roles due to a lack of recognition. The number of employees who feel recognized is startlingly low, which means managers must make employee recognition a priority, if they want to keep their employees around.

You should build employee recognition into your employer branding to show candidates you value company employees and their hard work. In fact, 77 percent of employees say they would be more likely to work harder if their efforts were recognized more often. Recognizing employees is as easy as:

  • praising your employees at the end of the week for tasks they completed or hurdles they overcame;
  • highlighting employee accomplishments via internal or external social media;
  • and/or hosting projects that instill a bit of healthy competition in the workforce and rewarding the winners.

Boast and Brag About How Awesome You Are

You want to promote an employer brand that is authentic and honest — after all, 78 percent of workers find great value in employers who can be trusted. Organizations can do this by being actively transparent on company social media accounts. Create an authentic and honest employer brand by showing your talent audience the internal happenings of the company and its culture through blogs, social media, and so on.

Moreover, boasting about your employees on social media will express to your audiences that you know how to appreciate your team members for all they do.

How to Love Your Employees 101

Recognizing and rewarding your teams doesn’t have to be costly. Don’t wait until Employee Appreciation Day to show your team you’re impressed and appreciate their hard work. Here are a few cost-effective ways to celebrate hard work, via Forbes contributor Kevin Kruse:

  • Send personal messages via email acknowledging when employees complete difficult tasks and/or go the extra mile.
  • Acknowledge employees in person and comment positively on a specific task they recently completed.
  • Host occasional pizza parties and/or bring doughnuts in on some mornings.
  • Reward high-performing employees by arranging to have their cars cleaned.

It should also be noted that building and implementing employee recognition programs can increase company revenue. Happy employees lead to higher profits — e.g., in 2013, revenues increased by an average of 22.2 percent for companies on Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” — and employee recognition, as demonstrated above, creates happier employees who work harder. The moral of the story is: it pays to invest in your employees.

By Noelle Murphy