Recruiting and training the perfect employee is time-intensive and expensive so when you find that person you want to try and keep them. You pay a reasonable wage, offer an adequate benefits package, and even promote from within but there is no guarantee. In today’s competitive environment, employees often want more.
Scalable Employee Rewards Programs
There is no magic formula that ensures employee retention but you can increase the likelihood of developing long-term employees by instituting an employee rewards program. One type of system that has proven very effective is the scalable employee rewards program. This is a program in which incentives are divided into levels and are given to recognize behaviors that promote the company’s stated goals and mission. You can design such a program internally or choose one of the many independently created solutions that are available on the web.
You may initially build the employee rewards programs to increase retention but if you tailor incentives in a way that is meaningful and appeal to every level of employee, you may reap other benefits as well. Employees will be more productive because they will feel more engaged and invested in the success of the business. There will also be a greater emotional connection with them and they will begin to take more personal responsibility which will improve the bottom line. Finally, work will be more satisfying and you will have a company where others will want to work.
The Basics of a Rewards Program
For all of these outcomes to occur, the structure of the program must be considered carefully. Rewards should not simply be given because an employee performs his or her job duties well each day. Rather they should be conferred to someone whose behavior goes above and beyond the expected. The rewards should be tired and the standards must be defined so that each person understands how to achieve each level.
The bottom line is that any employee who performs in a way that moves the company closer to the overall objective or delivers a quality product or service should be rewarded. You might start by recognizing them publicly in a meeting, in internal communication, or on a company social media site. Showing that you respect their efforts goes a long way toward bolstering their sense of gratitude and loyalty. Valuing that employee’s contribution publicly may also raise his or her profile within the company.
Some of the more traditional tangible rewards are:
- Gift cards and vouchers – issue these for a variety of local or online businesses
- Vacation and travel discounts – purchase percentage-off coupons from airlines or hotels
- Personal time – additional vacation days to be taken within the year
- Discounts on a variety of entertainment options and access to difficult to get tickets to concerts and events
Parties and celebrations are always appreciated and you could host these events during the holidays or for an employee’s service anniversary. On a more serious note, you could establish a promote from within policy for those who complete in-house training and upgrade their skills. You can even include a peer-to-peer component where co-workers nominate each other for recognition of some outstanding achievement. One of the latest types of recognition is a virtual one. You can build your own “Wall of Fame” page on your company’s website and induct those who have achieved certain benchmarks.
It is often not the reward itself but the message behind it that makes the difference. If you show your employees that they are valued and respected, you raise their personal sense of worth and you create a work crew that will guide your company for many years.