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Employees continue to resign from jobs – How you can keep yours

The race to keep your star performers is on and the competition is heating up.  The national unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in living memory and employees are in the rare position of being able to pick and choose the jobs they want.

That means that employers really have to up the ante and make an attractive offer if they want to have any hope of attracting and keeping the best talent.

There are lots of different ways a business owner can go about that, but study after study has shown that simply offering more money to prospective employees will only get you so far.

More money works as an incentive, but only to a point.  Today’s employees are looking for more than just a bit of padding in their paychecks. 

One thing that a growing number of business owners are waking up to is the fact that recognition and empowerment are powerful tools in a business owner’s arsenal.

All of that sounds good, but what do those words actually mean on a practical level?  What does a “recognized and empowered employee” actually look like?

Those are fair questions, and to be fair, there is no one “right” answer.  You do find several common threads when you talk to industry leaders, however.

On the empowerment front, you’ll hear a number of common refrains including things like:

  • “Letting my employees set their own schedules has been a godsend.  What I care most about is that the work is getting done and the quality is there.”
  • And “Giving my employees more autonomy and letting them pick at least some of the projects they work on based on their interests has been huge.  They’re more committed and care more about that than a bit of extra money in their paychecks.”
  • “Perks don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful.  Just giving my employees the freedom to set their own hours has made a huge difference in terms of both retention and morale.”

Now, it’s certainly true that not every job and not every industry will be able to offer those kinds of empowerment incentives to their employees, but that’s only part of the story and only one side of the equation.  The other side is recognition and this is much more universal than empowerment, though in fairness, empowerment is probably more universal than most managers are willing to admit.

Where recognition comes in

Recognition can be as simple as setting up an employee recognition program.  If you don’t have one already, you can get one set up in next to no time and with a nominal budget.

In an ideal world, you’ll set a few basic parameters and let your employees drive the process—which is in and of itself empowering!

Although you should give your employees a fairly free hand in terms of defining the particulars of the program, you should be firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to exactly what kinds of behaviors you want to recognize, and naturally, those behaviors should be in alignment with your company’s goals, values and objectives.

More than that though, they should be measurable.  If they aren’t, then your recognition program runs the risk of becoming an employee driven popularity contest and if that happens, then its effectiveness will be blunted.

Don’t worry though, you know what kinds of behaviors drive your business and therefore, you know what kinds of behaviors you want and need to encourage and reward in order to guide your employees down the path of helping take your business to the next level.

That’s what it’s all about, really.

You communicate to your employees the kinds of things you’re looking for that will help you better achieve the goals of your business and when your employees deliver those behaviors and the results along with them, you give them a shout out, calling attention to their achievement in a public manner.

Awards and more

Some companies gravitate to the formal award ceremony, while others utilize periodic contests that see your employees themselves choosing from among their ranks who has best delivered the results you’re looking for and those employees receiving some kind of gift, award, or other form of direct recognition for their stellar performance.

Gift cards or small gift items (including gift sets and baskets) are common ways of rewarding and recognizing your hard-working employees.  It is, in fact, one of the most cost-effective means of doing so, and if that’s what your preference is, then you should know we have literally hundreds of great gift ideas spanning every taste, preference and budget, so even if you don’t have a ton of money to invest in your recognition program upfront, we’ve got you covered.

Think about the employees you have working for you right now.  Which ones do you consider to be your ‘star performers?’

Whatever your answer, you can bet that more than half of them have been approached by some other company with an offer.  The fact that they turned that offer down says good things about you and your company but that doesn’t mean you should be resting on your laurels. 

The simple truth is that by making sure your people know they are appreciated, you can go a long way toward minimizing the chance they’ll get poached by someone who will treat them better, and when you compare the modest price of a recognition and rewards program against the cost of hiring and training a new employee, the choice is clear and honestly, it’s an easy one to make.

Who wouldn’t want to take the time to recognize and reward their employees, be considered a ‘rock star’ by their own people, and improve productivity all at the same time?  Rewards and recognition programs solve all sorts of problems for you and just make your business run better.