Dale Carnegie very accurately said ‘people work for money, but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards’. Research supports this fact many times over.
In an Employment Confidence Survey, Glassdoor found that nearly four in five employees would rather receive new or additional benefits in the office than a pay increase. And in an Aflac Work Forces Report which surveyed 1,500 employers and 5,000 employees, it came to light that 60% of employees would rather take a job with lower pay, but better benefits. The study also showed a strong correlation between benefits and job satisfaction – those happy with their company’s recognition and rewards programme were happier in their jobs, and job satisfaction as we know is the north star of staff retention and employer advocacy.
Employee recognition is therefore not just a nice thing to do, it’s an important and often undervalued asset which can help to ensure your company’s success. When putting together the ideal recognition and rewards programme, keep the following two factors in mind:
Your programme needs to spell out exactly what the desired criteria and their concomitant rewards are. If employees are unaware of what earns them recognition they won’t know what they’re striving for and you won’t be driving the behaviour you want. By communicating the programme effectively, you are helping to set them up for success. And all employees should be eligible for the programme, avoid ‘favouring’ one department over another, it divides rather than unifies your staff.
No matter how well planned or wonderful your recognition and rewards programme is, timing is everything – if the desired action is not recognised immediately or as close to the performance as possible, your programme loses efficacy. By acknowledging the action immediately, it reinforces the action in the employee’s mind and it increases the likelihood of their repeating that behaviour. Wait until the end of the week or the end of the month and you’ve lost them.
Everyone wants to feel valued and supported. By acknowledging an employee’s behaviour and their contribution to your company, you reinforce their own sense of self-esteem and self-worth, which in turn again enhances their contribution – a positive cycle in which both parties are winners. Make 2018 the year for recognising and rewarding your company’s most important asset – its people.