One of the best things you can do for your business is to treat the people who work for you well. Face it, you can’t be everywhere… the staff you hire are your company as far as customers and prospects are concerned. They reflect on you and your business. Recognize their efforts, reward performance and encourage teamwork and you’ll build a loyal staff of people who are worth their weight in gold.
The four elements vital to getting and keeping good employees were discussed in a pieceat Entrepreneur.com. Compensation, benefits, recognition (acknowledging someone before their peers) and appreciation (saying “thank you” for an action). And while you might have given the salary and benefits you offer some serious thought, most small businesses (and large ones too) fall short when it comes to plans to recognize employees and show appreciation for a job well done.
Truth is, salary and benefits alone just aren’t enough to keep good people working hard for your business. Lack of recognition will drive them away… to your competitors or to start businesses of their own.
Recognize and appreciate their efforts and you’ll go a long way to earning lasting loyalty. Loyalty that will pay you back a thousand times over. Here are some suggestions for effective employee recognition…
- recognition can be as simple as a thoughtful gift, a few hours of comp time, flexible work schedules, free doughnuts or bagels, 1/2 day before a holiday — these are the gestures that go a long way, especially when combined with a sincere “:thank you”.
- recognition and appreciation programs must include all your employees, at all levels.
- reinforce the recognition you give with a gift, gift card, or other promotional item that carries your company logo.
- criteria for receiving recognition must be clearly understood by all involved, and anyone who performs at the stated level should be recognized.
- recognitions and awards should be given as soon as possible, or at a regular quarterly or other company event.
- maintain the element of surprise — something that becomes a “given” such as a monthly “thank you” lunch, can soon be thought of as an entitlement and lose its effectiveness as a reward.
And a few mistakes that will shoot your efforts right in the foot…
- programs where employees have to get votes to win
- programs where candidates are selected by management
- programs where the criteria aren’t clear to everyone in the company
Recognizing and thanking your employees is more than just a nice thing to do… it’s critical to putting the best, most positive face on your business, as well as motivating your people and encouraging them to do their best for you.
It’s simple but true, people who feel recognized and appreciated produce more and better work. Make sure they do that for you, not your competitors.