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When we think about enticing candidates to a potential new position, what elements are most critical for the job listing? Obviously, salary and benefits are crucial. However, the importance of an employee recognition program cannot be overlooked when it comes to attracting top talent.

Incorporating a carefully designed employee recognition program into the workplace can make the difference between securing the best candidate and the second best.

Times are changing when it comes to what job seekers look for in a company. No longer do workers care exclusively for earning a high wage or accumulating more time off. Formal recognition of an employee’s hard work can potentially improve productivity by 88.8%, according to The International Journal of Business and Management Future.

What Is Employee Recognition?

So what exactly is meant by “employee recognition?” Well, it is well known that workers tend to work harder, be more engaged, and increase productivity when leaders and managers recognize and give positive feedback.

A formal employee recognition program in the workplace takes this a bit further by putting concrete structures in place with incentives to reinforce desired employee behavior and raise staff retention levels. Employees are rewarded when certain benchmarks are attained and recognized in front of their peers. Incentives may include things such as:

  • Extra time off
  • Tickets to an event
  • Gift cards
  • Formal recognition on the company website or social media
  • Physical Award
  • Lunch with the boss

These are only just a few employee recognition program ideas. The possibilities are endless and ultimately depend on the nature of your business and the specific workplace environment at your organization.

Improving Business Culture

There are many elements to good business culture. Perhaps the number one indicator as to whether not a company promotes positive culture is the longevity of its employees. Satisfied, engaged, happy employees are more likely to stick around for the long-haul and grow alongside the company, especially those workers who rank in the top tier. Utilizing employee recognition to improve culture can have the following positive effects on the business as a whole:

  • Employee pride in the company
  • Enthusiasm for the work
  • Stronger inter-office communication
  • Improved customer service
  • Respect for superiors and amongst co-workers
  • Lower turnover

The Remote Worker

Many changes over the past year have affected the workplace, perhaps not least-of-which is the concept of remote working. The number of remote workers is only expected to increase as the year moves forward, and with that, so do the challenges that managers face with regard to keeping their employees engaged and attentive.

Remote working carries with it many benefits. However, some employees have a difficult time dealing with the excessive freedom and lack of direct supervision, and therefore “slack off” or miss deadlines.

Having an employee recognition program remedies this by providing external motivation incentives for remote workers in order to keep them focused and motivated. Frequent communication between supervisors and employees that includes positive recognition and reinforcement is also extremely beneficial.

Learn more about how to engage remote employees.

It’s Not All Material

Something to remember is that it’s not all about material reward. Oftentimes, the greatest thing a supervisor can do to motivate and retain a valuable employee is commending them for a job well done. Not just a passing “good job” or “nice work,” but a genuine, sincere discussion about how their work is a valuable asset to the team and that the company truly values them as both a worker and a person.

All too often does hard work go unnoticed by managers and other people at the top. This leaves people feeling unnoticed and non-essential as if their work makes no difference, in spite of how much or how little they actually produce.

For the top tier employee, this couldn’t be truer, as high-performing workers oftentimes realize their own worth and say to themselves “if I’m not noticed for my hard work, what’s stopping me from working for someone who will appreciate me?” Sure, prizes, gift cards, and other various material rewards might go a long way, but a sincere compliment from a respected leader will stick with an employee long after the job is done.

Learn more about how to attract top talent.

Retaining Top Talent

Despite everything discussed, it’s simply not enough to attract top talent; you have to retain the talent you attract as well. High salaries and impressive benefit packages might get the candidate to sign the initial hiring agreement or contract, but in order to keep that candidate for the long haul there have to be incentives, rewards, and a reason for staying.

Most workers in today’s workforce benefit from positive reinforcement and positive feedback for a job well-done. Whether it’s a simple acknowledgement, a pat on the back, or a formal reward in front of the entire staff, using employee recognition to retain talent is something that any business wanting increased productivity and better overall office morale should consider.

firstPRO has over 150 years of combined staff experience who understand the importance of keeping high valued candidates. You can learn more about our staffing and recruiting services by contacting us today!