Recognition and Rewards: Who’s Got the Time These Days, Not to Mention the $$$?
With statistics, such as Salary.com's February 2009 survey reporting that 68% of employees are actively looking for new jobs NOW, HR needs to find a way to retain workers before the economy regains strength and they jump ship. A report by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) identified employee recognition as a key factor in retaining top performing workers. Employee recognition seems simple enough...knowing this, what's holding us back from firing this magic bullet? Is it time? Is it money?
When it comes to the time constraints of a reward and recognition program, you need to put the time in on the front end of planning and developing the program; making sure you have all the details necessary for the whole program so it nearly runs itself once it is put into place. We recently developed a program for a client because the client didn't have the "time." We determined levels from non-monetary to low cost to significant reward. We developed a brand for the program and all supporting communications including quarterly advertisements for the next two years. Finally and most importantly, we developed a manager's tool kit and trained the managers on the program and recognition and reward in general. Yes, it was a lot of work (aka "time") up front, but then the program was ready to roll-out and run with little time and effort. It's in place now and is doing just that - running like a well oiled machine with little effort needed from Human Resources.
Our next obstacle to overcome is money but employees are actually making this one easier than we may think. Monetary rewards are no longer as important to employees as just simply being recognized. Research by BCP Handbook found that the correlation between the length of time people intended to stay with their current employer and recognition received for work well done was more significant than longevity and monetary rewards. In addition, Sherry Ryan a Training Specialist with Weyerhaeuser Company reported in her article on "Rewards and Recognition" that people are motivated to perform at a higher level by positive recognition from their managers and peers. She went on to say "These types of recognition can be inexpensive to give, but priceless to receive." Finally, in a Strategic Rewards Survey by Watson Wyatt, they also found that financial rewards are not the number one motivator for employees. Employees are more motivated by opportunities to show what they can do and be perceived as successful by their peers. Bottom-line it looks like we may be able to motivate our employees with some non-monetary rewards if we can find the time to offer a successful recognition program.
Some simple non-monetary rewards include:
- Verbal praise
- Written note
- Parking spot
- Letter to the family
- Volunteering to help an employee for an hour or day
- Wash the employee's car in the parking lot during lunch
- Let the employee leave early or come in late
- Personalized gift certificates (find out what the employee really would use)
- Candy bar (Kudos, Hershey Bar - wrapped in a thank you)
- Lunch with Manager or President (maybe even choice of other co-workers)
- Tickets to an event (sports, theatre, concert)
- Lottery ticket
- Conceirge Service (car wash, oil change, take-out dinner)
- Movie Tickets
- Time off
- Lawn care
- House cleaning
Just make sure you are one of those companies that realize employee recognition improves morale and take the time up front to develop the program so you, your employees, and your company can reap the benefits.