So often when I meet with new clients, I ask one question to the executive team: “Do you value your employee’s loyalty?” Of course the resounding answer is yes. Having been in this industry for well over a decade, I would obviously agree with this statement. I have seen high employee turnover reversed by implementing a well-run and carefully crafted employee recognition program.
So back to my original question, if you value employee loyalty and recognize that these types of programs work, it still baffles me when a company takes the time and resources to implement a program, but incorporates a “set it and forget it” mentality towards the program. I have met with clients that have had the exact same program in place for over 7 years and can’t understand why their program is experiencing a decline in engagement. It is the equivalent of purchasing a new car and being thrilled with the performance and handling but never changing the oil, replacing or rotating the tires, or performing any other maintenance. Five years later, your car is sluggish, the performance has significantly declined and you are left wondering if you should just replace the whole thing!
Employee recognition programs need to be maintained in order to constantly drive value to your employees and should take advantage of the latest technologies such as social networking that is available to your employees today. When redesigning or considering for the first time your employee recognition program, we recommend these three simple steps:
- Be very clear about your objectives. This may sound obvious, but too often companies lose sight of why they are putting this program in place. Are you trying to increase productivity, decrease turnover, reward for years of service, etc.?
- Identify and target the most valuable and/or at-risk audience within your employee population and then target those employees on a more constant and consistent basis to maximize impact and drive real results.
- Keep your program fresh. Again this sounds simple, but many companies forget to do this. If the program is stale, it will lose traction with your employee audience. Incorporate ways that employees can tap into their competitive side by using social recognition tools within your program portal.
Whichever provider is chosen to manage your employee recognition initiative, it’s imperative that the program isn’t an afterthought – and is consistently updated with fresh engagement techniques in order to achieve desired results.