Employee Recognition Programs and Retention

Actual Comments of Why Employees Leave
“I was disappointed to see no recognition given to a man who retired after working there for probably 30 years. I couldn’t believe this person working there for so long didn’t mean anything to the company.”

The Solution
Everyone likes to be appreciated and recognized for their hard work – specifically after you’ve spent 30 years of your life dedicated to one company. Employees are always observing the behaviors of management and in a case such as this, evaluating how they themselves will be treated after years of service.

A lack of recognition is third in importance as a turnover cause for healthcare and fifth in importance for ExitRight’s non-healthcare clients from a list of 13 controllable, employee influenced turnover causes. Exit interview commentary demonstrates the power of having well-designed recognition systems as a tool for employee retention improvements.

The commentary in ExitRight (HSD’s exit interview survey program) often includes specific methods the company might employ to increase recognition and appreciation, and reduce employee turnover.

The best employee recognition programs include three elements:

  1. Prestigious Formal Awards
    • For significant accomplishments that often have a considerable financial amount awarded to the employee. Examples include – Employee Excellence Award, Innovation of the Year Award, Business Process Improvement Annual Award, No Lost Time Accidents, 30 years of service or more, Customer Focus Award are all examples of such significant tributes and accomplishments. Employees may nominate people and a recognition team, then make the recommendations for such awards. Because the dollar amount is more significant, there are greater checks and balances with these types of awards.
  2. Extra Mile Award
    • A quick $100 thank you goes a long way to show appreciation for those who go beyond what the job entails. Other examples include tickets to a sporting event or concert, gift certificates for health spas or massages, an extra day off, or a dinner for two at your favorite restaurant. While thousands of ideas are possible, the success driver is making people aware of the practice and requiring a simple one up approval process with a dollar amount set as a limit.
  3. Job Well Done Award
    • Public praise and private criticism is a common expression. An informal job well-done expression of appreciation helps reinforce the behavior desired of individuals at work. A thank you, a kind written note, a Job Well Done Certificate Board, an email with copies to peers all add to the “someone noticed, someone cared” retention attitude of a company.

These are just a few employee recognition ideas. Employee recognition systems can be tailored to your specific industry as long as they primarily act as a motivator for the employees within your organization.

(This blog post brought to you by HSD Metrics, an exit interview company that helps companies reduce employee turnover by providing automated reference checking, exit interviews, and by measuring employee retention. The comments from exiting employees that are featured in this blog are collected from actual exit interviews conducted using ExitRight, HSD’s exit interviewing service. Because we place the privacy of our clients at the top of our priority list; the names of all involved parties are kept completely confidential. Check our blog often for posts like this, to reduce employee turnover within your organization. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.)