It’s no great secret that engaged employees are happy employees, and that happy employees are productive employees. The tricky part lies in knowing how to effectively engage employees, particularly when your employee population is diverse or widespread. The more varied your workforce is across the categories of age, location, race, etc., the harder it is to come up with a strategy that will allow you to engage your entire workforce.
One of the cornerstones of an effective employee engagement strategy is an employee appreciation or recognition strategy. Whether your program follows the more traditional trend of “Employee of the Month” awards or takes more of a fluid approach, it’s important that your organization has a structure in place to let your workers know how much you appreciate their hard work. After all, the No. 1 reason Americans say they have left a job is that they felt unappreciated.
But simply having an employee appreciation program or strategy in place isn’t enough. Several companies, particularly large employers, struggle to keep once-vibrant programs going year after year, with the result that employee appreciation efforts feel stale or contrived.
Think about it: If you were asked to tell someone about your company’s employee recognition and/or appreciation program, would you begin to animatedly explain the nomination process and awards, or would you simply blandly recite the parameters of the program without any real enthusiasm?
If, as a manager or human resources professional, you can’t get excited about a program, what makes you think you can motivate your employees to actively participate?
Below are three of the most common reasons good employee appreciation programs go “stale”:
If your employee appreciation program is in desperate need of a refresh, the very best thing you can do is to ask your employees what they think about it. Send out a quick survey to your workforce asking them how they like to be rewarded, and what kinds of incentives motivate them. Just make sure to utilize the information you receive – there’s no more surefire way to annoy your employees than to ask them for feedback and then not making any changes.
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