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Why Your Company Should Start An Employee Recognition Program Today! (If You Don’t Already Have One)

Here are some statistics that will dismay you:

According to a recent survey conducted jointly by the fine folk of Workhuman and Gallup, two thirds of business leaders report that their companies make no budget allocation for recognition programs.

Worse, 73% of leaders responding to the survey reported that they do not offer managers training for employee recognition and a staggering 81% said that recognition is not a major strategic priority for their businesses.

The question is:  Why not?! 

And the reason that’s the question is because the vast body of research into the matter is clear – recognition programs increase employee engagement and decrease turnover.

If you own a business of any size, one thing you know for sure is that onboarding a new employee is time intensive, which makes it expensive, so anything you can do to put yourself in a position to do less of that is a good thing and that’s exactly what recognition programs do.  For instance, the research shows that:

  • 44% of employees will see a reduction in stress and are more likely to feel as though they are “thriving” both inside the office and out.
  • 56% report that they’re less likely to look for a new job or to seriously entertain unsolicited offers.
  • And a whopping 73% report that working for a company with a good, well-run recognition program, they’re less likely to “always” or “quite often” feel burned out.

A burned out employee is anything but productive, and if a large swath of your current workforce is quietly updating resumes and looking for other opportunities, that spells big trouble for you as a business owner over the medium to long term.

The good news is that these are all problems that are very easy to fix.

More money is, or can be a decent incentive to get people to stay, but again, research shows that this is only true to a point.  Once an employee is earning enough to meet their basic needs and have a little extra left over, money stops being a good incentive.

Mostly, what employees crave these days is to not feel invisible.  To feel connected to their place of work.  To feel “plugged into” something bigger than themselves, and one way you can give them that feeling is to recognize their efforts on your behalf and reward them for meeting or exceeding the goals of your company.

Yes, it’s your company, but in a very real sense, it’s their company too.  You wouldn’t be in business without the tireless efforts of the people in your employ and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting them know that and how much you appreciate the work they do on your behalf.

All that to say, if you don’t yet have an employee recognition program up and running, now is the time to do so.  Now is the time to stop worrying about employee burnout or employees leaving in large numbers, which could send your business into a tailspin.

Help yourself.  Help your employees.  You’ll be very glad you did!