Employee expectations have shifted over the last two years, with more workers striving to have a real sense of purpose and value. As well as a strong business mission, acknowledging your team’s contribution to the company’s success is a welcome reminder that they’re part of a bigger picture. It also supports their emotional wellbeing, which individuals are increasingly concerned with when reviewing their employment options.
There are many ways to foster a happy workplace, from team-building days to open-door policies. Recognition and reward programmes are growing in popularity, offering praise and tangible benefits in return for hard work.
Ahead of Employee Appreciation Day 2022, we asked everyone at Fleximize to complete a voluntary survey on the impact of staff recognition on productivity and morale. This was to identify our strengths and highlight any areas for improvement. Read on to discover our findings and how to incorporate these ideas into your business.
The benefits of employee appreciation
Company leaders will often reward their staff as an expression of gratitude for helping the business reach its goals. However, as employee incentives will usually incur additional costs, it's worth noting that perk schemes can directly benefit your business. Here are some key reasons to show your appreciation:
Advertising job roles is expensive, as is onboarding and training. Overall, it costs businesses an average of £3,000 to hire each employee. Therefore, once you've found a good candidate, it's financially beneficial to keep them for the long term.
Offering rewards for hard work alongside your standard benefits package is a great way to reduce staff turnover. These gifts don't have to be expensive; it's simply about making a well-timed, meaningful gesture. Furthermore, you should find that your business easily attracts new talent, saving money on recruitment fees.
2. Brand image
Your approach to mental health and emotional wellbeing is open to scrutiny from employees, customers, investors, job candidates, and the general public. In addition to having clear corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies, your company culture has a huge impact on how your business is perceived.
While you can improve your brand image by promoting your level of employee care, be wary of courting attention on social media. It's helpful to raise awareness of the importance of staff satisfaction, but initiatives must remain genuine to have the desired impact.
A robust recognition programme can significantly boost team morale, which in turn increases company output. A recent study by Warwick university revealed that productivity levels rose by 12% if employees were happy at work.
Ensure each department has structures in place to reward staff consistently for going the extra mile. Not only will it encourage them to keep giving their best effort, but it will also inspire others to surpass expectations.
How to recognize and reward employees
The right policies for your business will largely depend on the nature of your workforce. As rewards should be tailored to your employees' needs, consider opening discussions to find out what matters most to them.
Below are some key takeaways from Fleximize's recent staff survey, which can offer a starting point to businesses looking to ramp up their employee appreciation.
Appreciation is the key to happiness
Getting recognition and rewards for good performance is vital for maintaining a positive workplace, with almost all (95%) employees confirming that feeling valued was highly important to them.
Employee rewards were also the most popular reason for being happy at work. This meant that when given a choice, most staff ranked recognition and rewards above their salary or commission, having autonomy, flexible working, and training opportunities.
Recognition gets results
While rewarding employees may seem secondary to the employee benefits you're legally required to provide, it should form a core part of your management strategy. This is because you can expect to see a healthy return on your investment through increased employee engagement.
The majority of Fleximize staff identified appreciation as their key motivator in the workplace. Other frequent responses included being aware of their progression path, commission, and other financial bonuses.
Reward across the board
Like many small businesses, our tight-knit team preferred to see success celebrated with their wider department or the company as a whole, than solely on an individual level. Praising all employees, whether with tokens, day trips, or simply company-wide emails, ensures that everyone is credited for the business' success and fosters stronger working relationships.
It's vital to be fair and inclusive, which means rewarding achievements in equal measure across the company. Take time to explain your incentive framework so that it's clear exactly what's needed to earn kudos.
Best practices for appreciation
Our survey revealed the most common tactic for rewarding success at Fleximize is to issue vouchers. We've adopted a gifting platform to facilitate this, making it quick and easy for team leaders to show appreciation. Other popular approaches included verbal praise, which over 80% of employees wanted to continue.
Finding the best methods for your organization takes trial and error, and it's essential to get feedback during this period. For example, our survey revealed that staff would like to receive a shout-out in the office, such as ringing a bell to celebrate hitting targets. Therefore, this is a method to consider when reviewing our approach.
The wants and needs of staff can change over time, so it's important to re-assess your approach to employee appreciation on a continual basis. This can be achieved by sending frequent surveys, providing a suggestion box, or setting up internal focus groups. By implementing effective methods, you should find that recognizing and rewarding success has wide-reaching benefits for your staff retention, engagement, and productivity.