Gifts And Awards: A Smart Way To Keep Your People Happy

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With all eyes on the kids going back to school, it’s an appropriate time to recognize parents and the struggles they deal with as we all settle into our fall schedules. If you’re running a business, you’ve probably noticed the sudden need of your employees (or your own, for that matter) for a flexible schedule or a few last minute days off. Juggling these scheduling challenges, along with running a business, is no easy task.
But if you can accommodate these requests… its a cost free way to reward employees for a hard summer of work, or prepare them in advance for a hectic fall season. In today’s tottering economy, businesses of all sizes need to keep employees motivated and rewarded. But just how do you go about it?
Motivating people isn’t easy… but understanding that every one of your employees is driven by something different is a good place to start. While money is a motivator for some segment of the workforce, this really isn’t true for everyone. Others work for a show of appreciation, acknowledgement of a job well done, a chance to learn new things and the feeling that their suggestions are heard and implemented. Recognizing these non-monetary needs will help as you try to keep your own workers content and motivated.
Beyond the occasional day off or a more flexible arrival or departure time, another great way to show your appreciation to those who work for you is with an employee gift/recognition program. In fact, studies show that employees actually prefer something that touches them personally, that they will enjoy for a long time to come, to a more impersonal cash award. By gifting employees with a useful, sought after item, you’re giving your people a reason to work hard… to be loyal… to go that extra mile.
Employee gift/award programs not only encourage hard work, they strengthen company loyalty according to a recent study by office giant Staples where company rewards programs were found to…

  • help 85% of employees feel more valued
  • keep 70% more motivated
  • increase loyalty in 65%
  • improve productivity in 60%
  • have 30% willing to take on added responsibility
  • are preferred by 40% to the staid annual holiday party

If you decide to go ahead with a gift/reward program, you’ll need to think about which employees will get what, how the item will be given and how much you can afford to spend. Once you have some answers to the basics, it’s time to start looking for the gifts you’ll give, the awards  you might present — a staff of trained representative can be an incredible value here, suggesting ideas and colors that will give you just the right look. Quality here is king… shoddy workmanship, an obscure, poorly chosen item or cheap finishes are a waste… sending precisely the wrong message.
When you give employees quality gifts for a birthday, to mark an anniversary or another special event, or an award to recognize achievement or years of service, you send a subtle, unspoken but incredibly powerful message. The recipient is of value… worthy of note. This builds and strengthens the relationship between you and your employees… fuels their passion for your business.
And in today’s business environment, motivated employees can (and do) have a remarkable impact on every business.
To stay up to date on the latest in motivation and retention, check out Entrepreneur online

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