Reward and Recognize to Retain
Proactively retain your workforce and stop the Great Resignation in its tracks for 2022.
- We can’t afford to be reactive when it comes to keeping our workforce intact. It costs too much.
- Our New Year Resolutions for 2022 have to be laser-focused on people.
Headline after headline highlights a bleak situation. Record number of employees quitting. Labor shortages wreak havoc on the supply chain. Service disrupted at major retail and hospitality establishments because of reduced workforces.
While these serious job market and economic concerns seem cyclical, with some predictions showing these trends will eventually level off, can we afford to wait for it to occur naturally, or do we tackle the problem head on?
To directly challenge the Great Resignation, we must generate a happy, engaged, and empowered workforce. That starts with properly rewarding and recognizing employees for their contributions. As we near the New Year, it’s a great time to reset and reprioritize our commitment to R&R in the workplace with the following resolutions:
Resolution 1: Budget 1% of your employment spend on a comprehensive rewards and recognition program.
If you calculate the numbers as per our last blog, the cost of replacing employees far outweighs the cost of a rewards and recognition program designed to retain the valued team members of your organization. Plus, you not only maintain your workforce, but operations are not interrupted and productivity increases. And when you factor in that 63% of employees will more likely stay at their job for at least the next 3-6 months because of regular recognition, that’s a good indication that R&R is a net positive program.
Resolution 2: Review your employee performance and feedback procedures.
Even pre-Pandemic, studies showed that employees are very tuned into growth opportunities and career development. You can’t keep them on autopilot no matter how busy the current environment is because eventually their need to flourish will be a primary consideration for their future in your organization. Implementing a formalized feedback system, that includes stated goals, regular milestones and frequent check-ins with management underscores support for employees and ensures that attention to performance is a regular part of their overall benefits package, not simply an afterthought. Don’t make employees have to ask how they are doing and what their future holds; be proactive and approach them first.
Resolution 3: Re-evaluate your Incentive Programs
Salary is the number one driver for leaving a job and taking a new one. But it’s not the only indicator. In fact, employees value positive business outcomes over output and will engage with a company that offers those opportunities. Incentive programs serve to encourage positive performance with the ability to garner rewards that would not necessarily be part of their regular compensation. It’s that little “extra” (sometimes more than a “little”) that give employees a goal to attain and something to strive towards. Incentive trips, VIP experiences, recognition ceremonies and celebrations build culture, comradery and memorable moments attributed to the work environment that transcend the basics of employment.
Resolution 4: Create avenues for learning
You know what is a great way to retain your employees? Helping them reskill or upskill to improve performance, grow within the organization and increase their knowledge and skill sets. By giving your team education and training opportunities, you maintain a consistent workforce, decrease the skills gaps that some organizations are experiencing and build loyalty.
Resolution 5: Explore different work models and don’t leave anyone behind
Remote- and hybrid-work are here to stay. It’s very much universally accepted that the last two years ushered in flexible working arrangements from here on out. And employees are not shy about what they prefer and their decisions to move on if flex options are not available. For many organizations, there will likely be some form of flex working and it’s important that any rewards and recognition program be extended to everyone, including those that sit in offices we can’t see every day. Just because someone can’t join you for lunch down the street, does not mean they won’t enjoy a good meal on behalf of the company. Ensuring that remote workers are part of your rewards and recognition program is paramount to an all-inclusive structure.
Resolution 6: Develop an individualized and diverse approach to Rewards and Recognition.
Nothing says “we appreciate you” more than a thick, monogramed wool scarf rewarded to an employee located in the Bahamas, right? Might have missed the mark on that one! Rewards and recognition need to be deliberate, customized, and personal to team members. By offering rewards that employees actually want (or could actually use!), you set a tone of value and true interest in them. Global reward programs, complete with rewards redemption websites and tools, should reflect locales, customs, and interests. Manager-to-employee and peer-to-peer recognition should be thoughtful, and thought-through, otherwise it can be seen as empty gestures when an R&R program should be anything but.
This is also evident in the approach of recognizing the individual beyond work. Gone are the days of distinctly separate work and home lives – that concept was shattered during the Pandemic when remote work invited us into each other’s homes on a daily basis. We have learned so much about each other over the past two years that we are in a position to truly personalize and appreciate the value of an employee in not only their work environment, but for their contributions to the community and human interest. It’s time we recognize the whole being for their performance and not just for the part that benefits the organization.
2022 delivers a fresh opportunity to rally your team
Many organizations are successful at imparting goodwill and connectivity during the holiday season. But don’t let that spirit drift away when business resumes in full swing as the year turns over. Make a commitment to reaffirming the value of your workforce and reengaging with them to usher in a new year of success. Turn the looming Great Resignation of 2021 into a Celebration of Retention in 2022 with the help of a comprehensive rewards and recognition solution.