Here’s What an Employee Recognition Program Can Do for Your Company

Updated October 6, 2023

Are you looking for a way to improve your company culture, make your employees happier, and inflate your bottom line? An employee recognition program could be just what you’re looking for.

Employee recognition programs make employees happy, and happy employees are 12 percent more productive than their more disgruntled counterparts. That’s not the only benefit of an employee recognition program. Employee recognition programs can make employees more productive, can entice them to stick with the company longer, and can increase your employees’ trust in you and in one another.

Lower Turnover

Turnover is expensive. It costs businesses in the U.S. $1 trillion a year. An individual business can easily spend $660,000 to $2.6 million a year on turnover. When you add up the cost of losing productivity while you look for a replacement, recruiting and hiring, and paying what will likely be a higher salary for your new employee, turnover can cut deeply into your profits and even drive you out of business.

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But there’s a relatively easy way to reduce turnover, and that’s to show your employees some appreciation now and then. A strong employee recognition program can make your employees feel highly regarded for their contributions to the company. Just taking the time to connect with employees on a daily basis, to say hello or good morning and ask how they’re doing, to learn their kids’ names and thank them when they do a good job on something, can keep employees from becoming dissatisfied. And you don’t have to pay a penny to say thanks or write a company-wide email praising someone for an achievement. Even tokens of appreciation, like gift cards or other small prizes, occasional catered lunches, or an extra day of paid time off here and there can increase employee satisfaction and cost a lot less than constantly losing employees.

Improve Productivity

Employees who don’t feel appreciated are employees who are going to do the bare minimum to collect their paychecks. They aren’t going to want to stay late, work overtime, cover others’ shifts, or go above and beyond for a client. They’re probably looking for another job and it’s only a matter of time until they find one, especially with the labor shortage.

When employees feel appreciated, they’re more engaged and happier in their work. They’re a lot less likely to be looking for other employment elsewhere. They’re more productive, because your brain literally works better when you’re in a positive frame of mind. And they’ll be more effective team members, able to collaborate with others more easily.

Earn Your Employees’ Trust

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If your employees don’t trust you, they’ll hesitate to make decisions. If they don’t trust each other, they won’t know if anyone will back them up if they put in extra effort. They’ll be so worried about making a mistake and getting called out or punished for it that they simply won’t have the capacity for growth and innovation.

Not to mention, no one wants to stay in a job where they don’t feel trusted. Employee recognition programs show employees that you care about them as individuals, that you’re aware of the good work they’re doing, and that you have their back. Peer-to-peer recognition platforms show employees that their team members support them, so they can go out on a limb without worrying about getting knocked off of it. Building your relationships with your employees on the bedrock of trust can help you create a valuable company culture that will encourage employees to stick around and do their best work.

Strengthen Teams

If you’ve ever worked with someone who undermines your achievements, you know how difficult it can be to give the role your all when you’re not sure your colleagues are on your side. Any recognition program should have room for team members to praise and thank one another. Employees need the opportunity to recognize their colleagues’ achievements and show their gratitude. It strengthens relationships in the workplace and makes teams stronger and more efficient. Stronger teams and solid relationships between colleagues contribute to a company culture that attracts top talent and gives everyone the chance to excel.

If you’re looking for a way to strengthen your company by increasing productivity, worker happiness, trust in leadership, and retention, you need an employee recognition program. Acknowledging workers and thanking them for their efforts can encourage them to work harder, and stay with your company longer – and that’s a winning scenario for everyone.

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