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When looking for places to save, it’s tempting to shave off fun activities from your company’s budget. But with workloads increasing and stress levels rising for both staff and managers, allocating funds to staff recognition and related programs is more important than ever.
Showing appreciation for your staff’ hard work and accomplishments doesn’t have to break the bank, however. There are many ways that you can recognize your staff on a budget. Even sharing small tokens of your gratitude for their hard work has a big return on investment: happier staff and a more productive and cost effective workforce.
Staff recognition can be accommodated by any size budget – even the smallest companies can find some funds to put toward appreciation. The reason this is possible is the age-old truism: It’s the thought that counts. When it comes to recognizing the achievements of your workforce, it’s not about the size of the plaque or the price tag of the gift. Instead, it’s about the gesture behind it.
When staff receive gifts for their work, of whatever size, the true value this item holds for them is in the thought that their manager put into it. A flashy, over-the-top gift means nothing if it was hastily purchased without a thought, swiftly passed off to the staff without any fanfare or – especially – if it misspelled the staff’s name or title! Small, inexpensive tokens of appreciation can mean just as much as a big gift if they’re given with consideration – and having the right intentions doesn’t cost a thing. The human resources department of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University urges managers to follow these guidelines when recognizing an staff:
• Show appreciation for the staff’s work using specific, personal language.
• Be fully sincere in the recognition.
• Give recognition gifts as soon as possible after the project or work that is being commended is completed.
• Schedule specific time for the recognition, e.g. don’t squeeze in giving a gift in the last minute of a rushed meeting.
Keep the focus on the thought behind the recognition, and you can find ways to show appreciation to your staff on even the tiniest of budgets.
The investigation found that companies are spending an average of 1-2 percent of their payrolls on staff recognition efforts. The catch, however, is that 87 percent of these efforts are aimed at rewarding staff for how long they’ve been at the company. And with all the benefits of recognizing staff for their achievements and contributions to the success of the business, such as increased engagement, productivity and profitability, it’s reasonable to conclude that the majority of this recognition spending is being wasted. It’s being put toward tenure rewards when it should be used for more frequent and regular acts of appreciation for a range of accomplishments. Robust recognition programs pay off: Bersin found that companies that expanded their staff appreciation initiatives beyond simply recognizing tenure experienced a 31 percent drop in voluntary turnover rates. And these companies are not exclusive to those that use only big, fancy gifts – even budget recognition, when done thoughtfully and meaningfully, can result in a significant boost to staff retention, saving your company hundreds of thousands of dollars in recruiting, training and onboarding new staff.
Amping up staff recognition efforts at your company can start today, with even the smallest spending pool to draw from. Here are some ideas: Thank You Praise Pad.
A key to seeing reaping the benefits from staff recognition is showing appreciation often. You don’t always need to plan big recognition events – even passing staff a note for a job well done from Successories’ Thank You Praise Pad can be just the pick-me-up they need. Give out praise sheets freely and frequently, for everything from coming up with a creative idea to simply being awesome.
People love to see their name and their contributions engraved on a plate or plaque, and it’s an easy gift that costs less than $10. Personalize this black and gold plate with an staff’s name and achievement, or use them for an staff of the Month program.
In an ideal world, no one would ever have to work an extra hour. But the reality is that sometimes staff need to stay overtime to get important projects done and keep things running smoothly for the rest of us. Don’t let the staff putting in extra hours go unnoticed. Instead, show that you appreciate their efforts with inexpensive rewards and tokens, like a thank you tumbler or highlighter set.
While problem solving and coming up with out-ofthe-box ideas for the company is rewarding, there are some days when more rote and dull work just needs to get done, like filing invoices or entering data into spreadsheets. staff engagement levels can deflate during these types of days, so a great way to keep spirits up is to dole out cheap gifts like candy every hour or project completion benchmarks are reached. It’s inexpensive but can be a real morale booster that helps get more routine work done in a timely and efficient fashion.
While it’s important for recognition to come from managers, having a day every quarter or so when staff can show appreciation for each other is a great way to increase engagement while keeping things within budget. Buy some inexpensive gifts and rewards, then have staff award their coworkers for the great qualities they have, their leadership skills, their creative project ideas and other accomplishments.
Don’t wait for the major holidays to roll around – there are many workplace-oriented occasions that can be celebrated with budget-friendly gifts. Recognize your administrative staff for their important support on Admin Professional Day April 26, or your customer support staff and help desk workers during Customer Support Week October 2-6. There’s a slew of holidays out there – don’t let them go by without showing appreciation for your staff.
Budget rewards can be used to not only increase staff engagement and productivity, but also reinforce desired behaviors, as the University of Vermont’s Human Resources and Operations Department noted. Give out small rewards and gifts to staff when they contribute to important metrics at your company. For example, delivering a report on time, making an introducing call to a prospective client or helping a customer solve a tech issue.
Frequent and meaningful staff recognition is vital to a company’s overall success. No budget is too small to accommodate staff recognition, as there are many inexpensive and simple ways appreciation can be shown. Even small efforts have big impacts – visit Successories today to create a recognition program that fits comfortably within your budget