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Employee Retention Strategy: 10 Recognition Program Ideas

Do you have some talented employees and you are afraid to lose them? Do you want to learn how to recruit the best and equally retain the best? Then below are two smart employee retention strategies and plan. Finding good employees is not an easy task and even when you succeed; retaining these good employees becomes your next headache.

Retaining good employees is difficult nowadays because employees are people with needs, priorities and lives that may change every once in a while. Today, an employee might not care much about money but tomorrow, it may suddenly become his priority. At present, an employee may be staying in this city. But the next day, he might need to move to another city, thus his need to transfer to a different company in closer location may be needed.

The competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead. Companies that give extra flexibility to their employees will have the edge in this area.” – Bill Gates

Secondly, giant companies are constantly in need of skilled, talented and good employees; and since this is quite a herculean task, most of these companies with billions of dollars in revenue have resorted to poaching employees from other companies with promises of better benefits.

Now considering all these, you will come to agree with me that small businesses with limited budget are almost at the risk of losing their good employees without forewarning. Now how do you prevent this? How do you make your employees want to stay with you forever? Well, you are going to find out.

2 Harsh Truths about Employee Retention

  • You can’t force good employees to stay

There are many variables in an employee’s life and it might hurt your company if one or a couple of employees leave every so often. Some companies make their employees sign a contract saying they could not leave the company for the next few years, otherwise they will have to forfeit some part of their benefits, or they will be made to pay a bond.

But this is not the best way to retain employees. If a company wishes to encourage its employees to stay, forcing them to is not the best idea. Aside from this, it may not be a good idea to retain someone who does not want to be retained. This arrangement could negatively affect that employee’s performance.

  • Retaining employees is not all about the money

Most companies think it is about the money but it’s really not. It may be a great motivating factor but it will not make a person stay if he already feels the need to leave. Money is something that is very important but it is an attractive factor. However, you must bear it in mind that if a person is not happy working in your company anymore, no amount of reasonable salary can make him stay.

How to Retain Employees Without Breaking the Bank

a. Make your employees part of a family

Retaining good employees is about making an employee feel that he belongs to a community; and is part a family. In one of the biggest companies in the united states, the management takes pride in having most of their employees stay in the company for more than a decade. People who get accepted in that company do not resign until they reach the age of retirement.

In fact, those who already left found themselves going back after a year or so. The main reason why the employees in that company end up staying for so many years is because they found a family among their colleagues. Being part of something that is meaningful, true and sincere is priceless.

b. Pay them well and compensate them

It is true that money matters. If you were given an option to choose between an employment that pays $5000 a month and another that pays double, I bet you will go to the latter. But the truth is that there will always be a better offer out there than your company. And when that happens, these employees will surely jump ship. But an employee who has found a home and a family in his place of work will not leave the same for whatever petty reasons.

Take for instance Google, a top management of Google recently revealed that the company has an after death compensation plan for employees that work for Google till death. This alone should make you realize how important it is to retain your employees.

c. Operating model

To stay ahead of the market, always have a real time talent acquisition strategy and plan. Think about what your operating model is, how your structure aligns to it, and where the critical roles are in your business, including any areas of vulnerability where talent is difficult to attract.

It’s important to have a plan for what type of talent you are trying to attract at each level within the business. Think about the mix of capability that is necessary at different levels, across functional areas of the organization, and with the right proportion of industry expertise to match your client base.

d. Target performance management

From paper-based approaches to online systems and completely integrated talent management approaches, there are multiple options available for businesses’ to measure performance. It’s especially important for smaller businesses’ to link strategy to the performance plan and target a few key performance indicators. Focus on innovation. Pay attention to the behavioral side of performance in addition to the financial, tangible aspects.

e. Identify talent

The bottom line is that small businesses have to be more selective about where they invest their money. Recruiters need to identify critical roles and develop talent pathways and succession plans. Automate what can be automated and focus your development investments on your critical roles and employees to ensure you get the most out of limited budgets and HR capacity.

f. Share successes

Concepts such as crowd-sourcing have simultaneously empowered consumers across the globe and created an environment where employees can be far more demanding than previous generations. Currently, the majority of employees are of an increasingly inquisitive and aware generation that is more likely to take genuine interest in the organization rather than a fixed and inflated salary.

Whether in the guise of cash or company equity, your employee bonuses must be in line with the financial success achieved by the business as a whole. In this way, you ensure that everyone involved with the firm feels as though they have participated in a genuinely worthwhile project.

g. Culture

The ability to retain industry talent is just as crucial as recruiting it in the first place. It is prudent to ensure you are not losing more skilled operatives than you are gaining.

Cultivate a positive working culture that reflects your brand in a genuinely favorable light. A high turnover of staff not only suggests serious internal issues, it will hinder your chances of hiring high-caliber job candidates. The processes of improving employee benefits, facilitating personal development, and creating a rewarding bonus structure should all form part of an overall vision of success.

Want to still learn how to retain employees? Career growth is another way. Happiness in the corporate world means being able to see yourself growing and climbing the corporate ladder. No matter how big your employees salary are, if they are not growing or moving up, they will eventually lose motivation and desire to continue working for your company.
Motivation is one of the ingredients for success in any organization. Your employees are one of your most important business resources. And if you are going to get the best out of them, you have to learn how to motivate them.

One of the most effective employee motivation strategies is employee recognition. It is a good way to let your employees know that you appreciate them as well as their numerous contributors to the growth and success of your company. There are several ways you can motivate your employees, and the choice is really up to you to make but here some general ideas that you can find useful.

Retaining Good Employees – 10 Employee Recognition Program Ideas

1. Social network recognition

Everyone is on social network these days. So, a very smart way to appreciate your employees is to put up a recognition post on social networks where their friends, families and acquaintances can see it and be proud of them. You can create a page on Facebook or any other social network of choice and then use it to display pictures and short write-ups on deserving employees. The good thing about this method is that other people can actually add their comments, further increasing the efficacy of the program.

2. Self-chosen awards

Many employers make this mistake: they buy gifts and design reward programs without really considering what the employees would really want or appreciate. A gift is more appreciated when it fulfills a need or desire, so you should design a system where deserving employees can actually choose their own gifts. To avoid over-spending, you can limit the value or cost of the gift to a specific amount.

3. Gift cards

Employee recognition programs don’t have to be expensive. You will be surprised that even little things would mean much to your employees. A very good and inexpensive way to reward your employee is through gift cards. Not only would they appreciate the gesture, they would also appreciate the fact that they get to select their gifts themselves.

4. Care for sick employees

When people fall sick, they want to feel loved, cared for, and made to feel special. Sending a beautiful message like, “We love you, miss you at work and can’t wait to have you back” or a beautifully designed “Get well soon” card along with some flowers is one of the best ways to show that you value a sick employee. These things, although inexpensive, can be a very good way to guarantee retention of your very good employees.

5. Holiday parties

Employees always look forward to such events where they can finally let their hair down, enjoy the company of their colleagues, and have fun. Holiday parties don’t have to be expensive; even a small company picnic would go a long way.

6. Bring your kid/pet to work day

You can also come up with a day in the year when employees are allowed to bring in their kids or pets to work. What this does is contribute to the emotional and mental health of your employees as well as their family members.

7. Birthday parties/wishes

Another highly effective employee recognition idea is to host birthday parties each month for employees whose birthdays fall within the month. If hosting a birthday party monthly would be too expensive for the company, a simple birthday wish sent out from the company to its employees each month would go a long way.

8. Time-off

Employees appreciate gifts and rewards. But do you know what they would appreciate even more? Time off! There’s nothing an employee would like better than some personal time to relax or complete some of those personal tasks. So, you should try to incorporate time-offs into your employee recognition strategies and watch the morale boost it would give your employees.

9. Body massage

On the list of inexpensive employee recognition ideas is a body massage. You could hire a massage therapist to give body massage to deserving employees a few times in a month to help them relax. This would work better when given along with some time off work so that they can come back to work fully relaxed and re-invigorated to perform better.

10. Boss for a day

This is another creative and inexpensive idea. The thought of being the boss or supervisor for a day could drive your employees to greater achieving heights and the good thing is, you don’t have to spend a dime for such highly motivating program.

These are just some ideas you can consider as there are tons of creative and inexpensive ideas that you could come up with. The key is finding out what your employees truly love and would appreciate. You can find out by trying to discover what their hobbies are, what they are passionate about and how to spend their leisure time.