Employee Recognition: The Key to Retention

Successful businesses are driven by engaged employees — ones who are inspired, fulfilled, and have a sense of purpose in their roles, beyond just cashing a paycheck.

However, a recent survey of North American employees shows over 70 percent of employees aren’t fully engaged, and over half aren’t happy in their jobs, according to Sharefile’s Quarterly Small Business Report.

And it’s costing employers a ton of money, both from turnover and lackluster performance: A recent survey found that 26 percent of small business owners estimated that employee disengagement will cost them between $25,000 and $100,000 this year alone, according to the same report by Sharefile.

So, how do you keep your employees from feeling like cogs in the machine?

Give them regular recognition, celebrate their wins, and coach them through their failures. The fact is, if you treat your employees like they’re disposable, you can expect the same in return. That’s why regularly recognizing your employees is crucial to retain top talent — and saves you time and money in the process.

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Recognition is key to retention.

Fifty-one percent of workers surveyed said they didn’t expect to be in their current job a year from now, according to Achievers’ report on employee disengagement. A high-turnover workplace can derail projects, incur high recruiting costs, and create a culture of volatility.

Case in point: It takes an average of 24 days to hire a new employee in the U.S. That’s crucial time spent sourcing candidates and interviewing, time you could be spending helping your business grow.

On the flip side, 80 percent of workers said they would be willing to work longer hours for a more empathetic employer, and a vast majority would like to be praised more frequently at work.

In other words, managers who recognize and reward their employees’ achievements are a lot more likely to retain talent and have happier, more productive teams. Let’s look at a few ways to ensure that you’re giving your employees the recognition they deserve.

How do you keep your employees engaged?

Providing incentives for your team to work hard and contribute to the company’s vision is important to keep them motivated.

  • Invest in career development: Taking time to understand employees’ professional aspirations, and then setting achievable milestones to help them get there, elevates their position from a “job” to a career.
  • Communicate your company mission: 60 percent of employees don’t know their company’s vision for the future — it’s pretty hard to contribute to a common goal if you don’t know what it is. Take time to walk through your organization’s vision, and how each team fits into that goal.
  • Give real-time feedback: Schedule regular one-on-one meetings to set priorities, evaluate performance, and check in on how fulfilled employees feel in their roles. It’s important to provide an outlet for honest feedback for both you and your employees.
  • Provide public praise: Everyone loves to be congratulated on a job well done. Providing a platform for public recognition is a way to make your team feel appreciated, and highlights the work they’re doing that their peers might not otherwise be aware of.

Last but not least, recognize regularly.

Making employee satisfaction one of the key factors you measure in your business helps hold managers accountable for keeping teams engaged, and ensures that they’re regularly checking in with their employees.

Providing regular employee recognition helps keep team members fully invested in in your company’s success, instead of just working for the weekends.