Enhanced employee engagement has become a coveted term in the HR industry -- and for a good reason. Improved workplace engagement has been linked to higher retention rates, better workplace morale, and increased productivity. All of these affect the company's bottom line. It is for these reasons that 80 percent of employers state that improving engagement in their workplace is a top priority.
Despite this drive to improve engagement, a recent Gallup poll shows that engagement in the workplace has remained stagnant for several years, with only about 30 percent of employees stating that they feel engaged. According to this statistics, 70 percent of your employees still feel disconnected in the workplace. The good news is that the right employee service awards program can significantly improve engagement across the board. The trick is to maintain an effective recognition program that drives engagement. Here are the top six tips to help you do just that.
1. Develop a Culture of Recognition
If you want to drive engagement in the workplace, you can't make employee recognition an afterthought. Instead, recognition must be a priority for the company. Awarding your employees for specific work anniversaries is an excellent place to start a service awards program, but recognition should be about so much more. Look for opportunities, such as merit awards and specific workplace accomplishments, to expand your recognition program. Over time, this will allow you to build a culture of recognition that fosters engagement.
2. Maintain Transparency
Transparency is a crucial component of any services awards program. Employees should know exactly what your service awards represent, how they are selected, and how the recognition process works. If you do not clearly communicate the recognition process to your employees, there could be misunderstandings and frustration throughout the workplace. Ultimately, this can destroy, rather than boost, employee engagement.
3. Rethink Length of Service
Many employers wait to reward employees for their years of service until they have been with the company for five or 10 years. Studies, however, show you could lose some of your best employees by waiting too long to recognize their contribution to the company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statics, the average length of employment is now just over four years.
You may lose most of your new hires if you wait five years to offer them a service award recognition. According to that Gallup report, employees who don't feel recognized in the workplace are twice as likely to want to quit their job. You can avoid this problem by offering service awards after just one year of service.
4. Recognize Employees Publicly
Personal one-on-one employee recognition can be a very useful tool for daily feedback, but when it comes to service awards, you want to publicly recognize your employees. Hand out awards at company-wide or department meetings so that coworkers can share in each other's accomplishments. In addition, be sure to use social media and other public outlets to share the successes and accomplishments of your workers.
5. Be Consistent
Consistency is a must. You cannot start a service awards program and then forget about it. These awards must be distributed on fair and consistent bases. Otherwise, some of your employees will feel forgotten or as if their service to the company doesn't matter. This could increase employee turnover and destroy workplace morale. Don't let this happen.
Instead, make sure your managers and supervisors understand the service awards program and hold them accountable for recognizing their employees on a consistent basis. In addition, make sure you use an employee recognition platform that is easy for your team to manage.