Picture the scene: it’s 4:52pm on a Friday and the crucial sales presentation you’ve been working on for the past week has mysteriously vanished into the digital wilderness, never to be seen again.
You’ve tried to recover it, you’ve looked through your jam-packed desktop to make sure you’ve simply not misplaced it. But alas, it’s gone. And you were due to present it first-thing on Monday morning to your big prospect…
We’ve all been in this type of situation before and it’s not a pleasant one – especially if you work in a high-pressure or deadline-dependent environment. But experience tells us that if you have a healthy workplace culture that rewards employees, you’ll have colleagues on hand who’ll be ready and willing to give up their own valuable free time to help you.
However, whilst we all know that a supportive workplace culture might be great for business, how does it come to be in the first place? How does going above and beyond in the workplace become the norm every day?
This is where recognition and rewards come in.
WHY REWARDING EMPLOYEES IS IMPORTANT…
Recognising and rewarding employees when they go above and beyond is absolute gold when it comes to employee engagement. In fact, studies have found that up to 87% of employees are less likely to leave an organisation if they’re fully engaged with them. Great news for staff retention!
In addition, further studies also found that organisations with an engaged workforce beat average revenue growth in their sectors by an average of 1% while companies with low engagement were behind their sector’s revenue growth by an average of 2%.
Sticking with productivity, research has also found that absenteeism rates also decrease with an engaged workforce.
Because engaged employees are more likely to care about what they do, they’re more likely to recognise the importance of their effort in contributing to the success of their organisation.
The upshot? You'll start to notice the number of exit interviews needed in your business as your retention rates will be improved; but employees will be more willing to consistently turn up for work ready to take on the challenges of the day, be more willing to regularly go that extra golden mile or even be give up their free time to help you to re-create that crucial report you lost...!
… AND WHEN YOU SHOULD BE REWARDING THEM
When people talk about rewarding employees, there’s a common misconception that it should be done all the time and simply for doing their job. This simply isn’t the case. After all, why should you be rewarding an employee for simply turning up to do their job? That’s what they’re paid to do!
Rewarding an employee should come about because they’ve done that little bit extra, gone beyond the call of duty or have consistently behaved in-line with an organisation’s own vision and values.
However, these elements can often be missed – especially in larger companies – and are often the driving forces behind effective employee engagement and productivity. Here’s how you can avoid that from happening…
RECOGNISING POSITIVE WORKPLACE BEHAVIOURS
Recognising just the positive behaviours in the workplace are small steps to creating a big difference in workplace morale. The behaviours you should look out for include:
- Always Ready to help: Are their employees who will regularly step in to help others, even if it means extra work for them? Staff who are always willing to help their colleagues in time of need are an asset to any business – so ensure their efforts are recognised and thanked accordingly.
- Looking out for the Team: Do you have a colleague who’s always getting the teas in? Or perhaps you have an employee who’s always bringing in tasty treats to share? Highlighting this type of behaviour will garner positive attention and help the employee feel their efforts are valued.
- Just a Friendly Face! Perhaps there’s a team member who is always a pleasure to be around, is polite, helpful and simply makes even the most difficult of working days that little bit more bearable. Recognising and encouraging these traits can make a business a happier place to be and more productive, too.
Recognising and acknowledging these small but significant behaviours can make a big difference – after all, kindness is contagious, so why not make it a habit in your workplace!
REWARDING THE EVERYDAY AMAZING
With rewarding your staff, you should look out for the behaviours that can really make a difference to an organisation’s performance and productivity. These can include:
- They’re Living your Organisation’s Vision, Values and Goals - The staff members who advocate your own vision and values are invaluable. If business is tough and you need everyone to pull in the right direction, the employees who live your brand vision and values can help everyone to do this, so it’s only right they’re rewarded!
- They’re Giving Up Their Own Time – Time is an irreplaceable commodity – especially for those with families or must travel long distances to work. So, when employees give up their own time to help their employers, and do it regularly, it’s something that should be highlighted and rewarded!
- They’re Regularly Hitting Targets – If you have employees that are regularly reaching or exceeding targets or objectives, why make them wait for a yearly bonus? Recognising success and rewarding work-based achievements little and often is a brilliant way to keep staff motivated and engaged with their work.
- They’re Loyal – With hopping between jobs now becoming commonplace, rewarding the employees who have stayed with you through thick and thin really does make sense. By rewarding them for their loyalty, you’re showing them you appreciate their continued efforts and are essential to the ongoing success of your business.
IT AIN'T ALL ABOUT THE MONEY...
Rewarding this type of behaviour doesn’t have to involve pay rises or cash bonuses, either!
Offering a cash bonus might make sense in theory, but the fact is they’re not that effective. They can be expensive, infrequent and if they’re included in a regular wage packet, their lustre and allure can be quickly forgotten.
Recent industry surveys have discovered that over 60% of employees would choose happiness over salary - this means simply throwing money at staff as a reward won't necessarily make them happier in their roles and isn't guaranteed to generate that precious workplace engagement.
For people who have gone above and beyond, look beyond cash to maximise your employee recognition and rewards; instead, consider giving an experiential reward such as time away from work, a gift card or a couple of cinema tickets as these can have a far deeper value than cash rewards or incentives.
Effective employee recognition and rewards are all about improving the quality of life of your employees.
Getting started by recognising positive behaviours by simply saying ‘thank you’ or chipping in for some decent coffee makes the everyday working experience better for everyone.