When employees aren't recognized, they feel unappreciated. It's one of the reasons millennials have significantly higher turnover rates. If you're an employer and you're seeing a high turnover or hear that your employees are unhappy, you might need a better employee recognition program or employee incentive strategy.
Here are a few helpful ways businesses can acknowledge their top performers and recognize the psychological role incentives play with employee recognition programs. It can boost morale and increase future work performance and, with effective strategies from service awards to annual events and outings, you can attract and retain top talent.
Your Incentives Are Only for Closed Sales
Years ago, sales incentives were based strictly on closed sales performance. Today, more forward-thinking organizations are rewarding behaviors that will drive future sales and increase growth.
Businesses are now incorporating employee recognition awards for behavior. They're recognizing the people and groups that influence customers and push leads through the sales funnel.
Popular employee incentives ideas include:
- Have recognition awards during sales training and with key staff and groups that focus on lead follow-up.
- Consider incremental rewards to recognize staff that were able to provide demos and helped with developing new leads, not just closing them.
- Give incremental rewards to support personnel like managers, admins, marketers and other key players.
You Don't Recognize Your Millennial Staff
A lot of businesses only have employee incentives programs for more senior staff. This doesn't sit well with millennials who have started working for start-ups that offer free snacks, flex scheduling and casual work atmospheres. It's one of the reasons $30.5 billion is spent annually on millennial turnover.
According to the same Gallup poll, 21 percent of millennials change jobs in their first year with a new company and 60 percent are open to a job change. Millennials are social; they need to be praised and challenged. When they don't receive these perks, they disconnect and eventually leave. Why? Because they're online communicating with people all over the world and they hear about other opportunities.
To attract and retain millennials:
- Offer training, mentoring and coaching programs.
- Reward millennials verbally and promote them from within your organization.
- Invite millennials into meeting discussions to leverage their social media proficiency.
- Incorporate social recognition into your incentive strategy.
- Give them challenging projects and reward their behavior.
Not only do they have influencing power, but they usually have a global network of other influencers.
You Only Recognize Staff with Annual Bonuses and at the Holiday Party
With employee recognition programs, employers may only honor staff annually or twice a year. But, given the proliferation of social media, more employees are seeing how other companies have perks like employee recognition programs and casual work environments. They see others having more fun. And psychologically, it's affecting them adversely.
Psychologists found happy employees are more productive. Happiness in the workplace can come through joy, contentment, satisfaction, enthusiasm, a sense of belonging, fulfillment and community. Honoring staff and reducing stress decreases employee burnout and helps staff function optimally.
Ways to recognize staff day-to-day include:
- Have an "employee of the week" leaderboard to recognize talent.
- Host an annual awards ceremony to reward strong leadership.
- Allow for a more relaxed atmosphere with free snacks and coffee.
- Set up an employee lounge where employees can regroup, check emails and relax.
- Schedule an offsite employee training and invite guest speakers.
- Volunteer together, start a sports league, or attend concerts and sporting events together.
Another way to spearhead global employee recognition programs and create a better culture is to let staff come up with their own employee incentive ideas. They'll be more vested in the projects and outcomes.
Creating a positive work culture with employee recognition programs, sales incentive programs and channel incentive programs can reduce turnover. Whether it's total rewards programs, workplace perks or annual rewards, when employees see themselves as stakeholders, psychologically it promotes better work ethics and make for a happier work environment.