employeesI have many conversations with prospects and clients alike regarding their recognition programs or whether they should implement a recognition program.  Inevitably, whether it is tongue in cheek or a serious question they will blurt out something like “I already pay my employees and they should be happy to be employed, do I really need to do more?”  The answer, as you can probably imagine is a resounding “Yes!”

Depending on whether the question was initially meant to be funny or serious, I will say paying your employees and providing them with benefits is really a prerequisite for being an employer not something you are doing for them.   The truth is when an employee recognition program is designed correctly, the behaviors and indicators being measured will tie back to the bottom line of the company so the employer is not just giving the employee something but the employee is being rewarded for saving the company money.

Let’s look at a few examples.  If a company has a high turnover rate, giving an employee points for staying with the company may make some employees think twice before seeking greener pastures elsewhere.  Now, that will not be everyone for sure but let’s say the overall turnover rate decreases by 5% over the year.  There is a direct impact to the bottom line of the company with reduced expenditure on training new employees as well as recruiting savings and the company can pay for the recognition program with a portion of these cost savings.  There are also soft benefits which are more difficult to measure such as longer tenured employees tend to be more efficient and make fewer mistakes which also positively impacts the bottom line.

Another popular area of discussion in recent years is wellness programs.  As health insurance rates continue to rise, employers are looking at other ways to reduce their costs in this area while still maintaining a competitive benefits package in their industry.  One simple method is help reduce this expenditure is by implementing a wellness program.  It could be as simple as implementing a program involving the number of steps an employee takes in a day.  Using a Fitbit™ or a similar device, every employee who walks 10,000 steps in a day or 50,000 in a week receives a point award.  Exercising generally leads to healthier workforce, and the savings that the employer will obtain on healthcare premiums will more than pay for the wellness program that has been implemented.

These are just two examples, but there are a myriad of possibilities on how employee recognition programs can be designed to benefit the company as well as the employee.  If you are an employer and you think you are doing enough to keep your workforce happy and you do not have an employee recognition program, feel free to give me a call to discuss how employee recognition programs can be designed to attract new employees to your company!

Mike has more than 15 years of experience designing and implementing incentive and recognition programs. He specializes in employee recognition and multi-step channel sales incentive programs. When not tending to his clients’ needs, Mike can be found wetting a line on a local waterway or traversing a hiking trail with his wife Michelle.

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