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Simple Employee Retention Strategies | AboutLeaders.com
Article by Rod Miller
November 22, 2013
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Employee Retention StrategiesYour employee retention strategies need to be more than; Great job!, Nice work!, or Well done!

As a leader, your verbal accolades are valuable, but sometimes you want to do more than send a nice e-mail or give a spirited high five, right? Presenting your best and brightest with awards is a great way to communicate how much you value them.

Constant Reminder

Modern work environments are often so fast-paced and reliant on electronic communication that the niceties get lost. Sure, we end all e-mails with, “Thanks” and mumble compliments as we hurry to meetings, but is that enough?

These fleeting words often go in one ear and out of the other. Giving an excellent employee an award isn’t so much about the material value as it is about that person having a constant reminder of your appreciation. Their award will likely be given a place of honor on their desk or mantle and will always be there to as a tangible token of their success and your appreciation.

Employee Retention Strategies

As an ambitious business owner, you’re constantly implementing new plans to motivate employees and increase productivity. You never know what’s going to work until you try it…and sometimes you end up wasting time on initiatives that don’t make any difference at all.

Awards, however, are one tried and true motivational method that has proven results. According to The Incentive Research Foundation, tangible awards can increase performance by up to 44%.

For as little as a few hundred dollars, you can improve your team’s performance by almost half. Even buying a catered lunch for everyone costs more, and that doesn’t have much of an effect.

When it comes to weighing costs and benefits, there’s no question that purchasing awards for your top performers is worth it.

Getting Started

If your company has never given awards, there are some tips you should know in order to ensure the success of the program. It’s important that the initiative be launched properly to guarantee that your team buys into the plan and that the awards have the effect that you intend.

  • Parameters: Decide which type of performance you’d like to award and how you’ll measure it. Use current performance rates to determine your goals. We recommend that you pick an area that may be lacking, and offer incentives for those who show gains in this area.
  • Communication: Once you’ve made a plan, announce the new program. Be sure to make the process transparent so that everyone feels that they have the opportunity to win. This is also the time to build excitement around the upcoming awards. Show enthusiasm when presenting, and explain the purpose behind what you’re doing.
  • Support: Give specific feedback to individuals about how they’re doing in regards to the factors being measured. For those who may not be meeting expectations, offer guidance and opportunities for improvement.
  • Presentation: When it’s time to hand out awards, make it a big deal! Your team has been working hard and has bought into the importance of the initiative, so it should feel like a celebration. You could consider a catered lunch or an awards banquet that includes significant others. When announcing winners, make it personal by preparing a few complimentary words about each one.
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During the first round of awards, both you and your employees may be feeling your way through, trying to iron out the details. And that’s okay. You’ll find that after the first go round, people will be even more motivated. Seeing their colleagues publicly recognized in such a nice way will encourage them to work hard so that it can be them next time.

As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Keep spreading the verbal praise, but don’t stop there. Show your team that you couldn’t do it without their hard work by celebrating their achievements. After all, their success is your success.

I’d Love to Hear from You

If you have any ideas that you feel like sharing or anything that you think might be helpful to readers, I urge you to share them in the comments section below.

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Rod Miller

Rod is the Head of New Program Development at Corporate Award Source, an online supplier of awards for companies and associations. They design and manufacture service awards, rings, plaques, gifts and custom awards. Connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Visit Corporate Award Source.

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