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How Awards Help Retain Employees

You know that high employee turnover is bad for business. Some estimates put the cost of finding and training a replacement at twice the employee’s salary, which can really add up for higher-level employees. Plus, turnover can make other employees wonder if they should look for a new job, too.

You don’t want to let turnover become a problem for your business. But can recognition awards really help?

When the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) surveyed 738 HR professionals at companies with more than 500 employees, the answer was a resounding “yes!” Nearly 70% of the managers agreed their employee recognition program helps with retention. But why?

Employee recognition awards and other types of praise tap into simple human needs: to be appreciated and to be part of a team. And when you make your employees feel those two things, you’ll see a whole host of other benefits.

Recognition Awards Create a Positive Culture

The same study found that recognition programs create a positive organizational culture and improve employees’ day-to-day experiences. Why should you care about having a great workplace culture? It will help you attract and retain millennials – the largest generation in the workforce – and Gen Z, who are on the rise. Plus, everyone loves a fun workplace, and employee recognition awards are a good reason to host an event or a party!

Recognition Awards Increase Engagement

A positive culture also makes for happy employees – and happy employees don’t leave. According to one Gallup poll, employee recognition awards and programs boost engagement and increase productivity. Personalized awards go even further, letting your employees know that you listen to them and want to get to know them as individuals, which builds trust. Managers who gain their team’s trust and respect will inspire them to go the extra mile.

Recognition Awards Improve Relationships

In the study from SHRM, 87% of HR managers agreed that recognition positively affects employee relationships, which are essential to retaining employees. In another study from Globoforce, 89% of respondents said their work relationships matter to their overall quality of life. That shouldn’t come as a surprise: Your team spends one-third of their lives at work and may even spend more time with coworkers than with their families! Having friends at work makes employees less likely to quit – period.

Recognition Awards Empower Employees

When set up in the most effective way, recognition programs incorporate feedback and input from all levels of the organization and all departments. Giving employees a say in recognizing their peers – and knowing that the recognition they receive comes from their peers – makes them feel empowered within the organization. And empowered employees feel less need to look elsewhere.

Recognition Awards Attract Better Talent

A positive workplace culture, empowered and engaged employees and strong workplace relationships will all help you attract the best talent in your industry. This doesn’t just help your company’s bottom line – it will help you retain employees, too. When your team is surrounded by talented, smart coworkers who know how to help, they’ll feel more supported and will be better able to share the workload, leading to less stress and better morale.

More Ways to Improve Employee Retention

Employee recognition awards are an excellent start, but there are several other things potential hires – and current team members – will look for in your company.

  • Fair salary and competitive benefits: Even in today’s culture-obsessed workplace, these tried-and-true necessities still top the list of must-haves for most employees. If you don’t have competitive pay and benefits, your workers will look elsewhere.
  • Professional development opportunities: You should always make sure your employees are well-trained for their jobs, so they don’t feel overwhelmed. But the best companies offer training beyond just a job description. Think about things like mentoring programs, online classes or paying for a seminar or conference.
  • Constructive feedback: Recognition awards are great for big achievements and congratulations – but what if your feedback isn’t always so positive? You still need to communicate it in a professional and constructive way. Most employees want guidance on how they can improve, so give it to them!

Whether you’re a company of 10 or 1,000, employee retention is a subject worth focusing on. Retaining your employees will save you time and money and even help you attract new talent. The foundation of any solid employee retention strategy is straightforward: good pay and benefits, training, feedback and recognition awards that show them how much you value their contributions.

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