2015 Is the Year of the Employee

Recognition & Motivation Ideas

year of the employee

With the economy continuing to recover in many sectors, it’s more important than ever for companies to hire and retain good employees.

As a recent Wall Street Journal article noted, “High employee turnover hurts a company’s bottom line. Experts estimate it costs upwards of twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement. And churn can damage morale among remaining employees.

In other words, happy employees translate into a healthy company.

Offering a competitive salary is a good start, but that’s not the only thing that contributes to job satisfaction. Here are five simple ways to let employees know they’re valued and appreciated:

Plump up your benefits package

Depending on your company’s size, you probably offer some sort of benefits package that includes health insurance and paid time off.But what other things could you offer that your employees would find valuable and would benefit you as well?

Perhaps a free or discounted gym membership (less time off for illness). Maybe monthly in-office chair massages (a great stress buster). Free association dues or tuition for a class that will further their skill set. Get creative and think outside the box!

Regularly recognize employees’ contributions

rewardWhen employees work hard and contribute to your business’ success, it’s important to recognize and reward their efforts. Think about starting an employee recognition program and handing out monthly awards.

If there’s an entire department that’s gone above and beyond, buy them lunch. When you hit the quarterly revenue, stop for a moment and do something to celebrate with your employees and thank them for everything they do.

Offer more flexibility

flexibility Each year, telecommuting on a full- or part-time basis is becoming more popular with both employees and employers.

Allowing employees to work from home has been shown to be cost-effective while increasing productivity and decreasing turnover. If your employees absolutely must be onsite, consider offering them the chance to set their own hours (within reason) or give them paid time off for things like doctor’s appointments.

Ask for and respond to feedback

Sure, that suggestion box in the hallway is nice. But are you actually reading the cards that employees drop into it? And if so, are you taking action on any of the suggestions?  If employees think their ideas are just going into some black hole, never to be heard from again, they won’t even bother. But if their ideas are acknowledged and acted upon, they’re more likely to feel valued and continue to come up with ways to make business better.

Encourage work-life balance

partySome companies send the often unspoken message that the employees who work longer hours are the ones who are more valued and valuable. However, more and more studies show that a healthy, happy employee is a more productive one.

To keep employees at their best and avoid burn-out, cultivate a corporate culture that encourages them to take time away to connect with friends and family, exercise and relax.