Employee Engagement is the REAL Key to Success: What Your Recognition Program Must Have

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - June 18, 2015 - PRLog -- Billions of dollars are spent worldwide every year to gain performance improvement. The money is spent to redefine processes and sharpen skills. The money is spent to develop better management systems and improve leadership. The money is spent to systemize and create efficiencies. And, some of the money is spent to try to improve employee engagement.

It is absolutely true that process and technology improvements will contribute to bottom line performance. However, these are expensive investments with incremental improvements. There is overwhelming evidence that improved employee engagement, which is generally a lesser investment, provides greater gains in overall productivity in less time. Since the focus of Executives is profits, these facts should be compelling for them to understand and invest in employee engagement.  Kevin Kruse, Thought Leader on Employee Engagement, offers a great compilation of evidence including:

·         There is a direct correlation between engagement and:  service – sales-quality-safety-retention –profits – NYT

·         In a survey of nearly 24,000 companies, those that scored in the bottom quartile of engagement scores suffered 31-51% higher turnover according to a recent Gallup Poll

·         In companies where employee engagement stood at 60-70%, shareholder returns stood at 24.2% versus just 9.1% returns at companies with 49-59% engagement.  Hewitt Survey on Employee Engagement

·         Companies with high employee engagement enjoy double the customer loyalty of companies with only average employee engagement according to Kruse.

The challenge comes in understanding the ‘Employee Engagement’ rather than ‘Employee Satisfaction’ is the key to driving performance. The difference is that a satisfied employee is basically happy with their job and maintaining the status quo of their company within their own comfort zone. An engaged employee is looking for opportunities to advance the company objectives because they know and understand the goals. The engaged employee is also often rewarded with immediate feedback and recognition where an organization has made the connection to these behaviors and the corporate success story.

So, how do you create a recognition program that encourages engagement?

First, you have to identify what effective engagement in your organization looks like. Start by evaluating your Core Values or Core Competencies. Identify five to seven success keys. As an example, you may choose Customer Service. Now, identify 3-5 indicators of excellence in Customer Service for your organization as expected levels of performance. Now identify some of the “Plus One” activities that indicate an employee did a little more. These are the activities your recognition program must highlight.

Once you have identified the behaviors you want to reinforce, you are ready to build the recognition system. To be effective, the program must become a part of the corporate culture and it must benefit participants at all levels of the organization – including customers.

As you build recognition programs, focus on daily, weekly, and periodic recognitions both planned and apparently spontaneous that create rewards for teams as well as individuals. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

·         Create a ‘Culture Crew’ that receives notes of commendation to recognize teams or employees. Give them a budget and allow them to create individual and department or even company wide celebrations of success –

·         Have a customer appreciation team that reaches out to thank customers for their business and their constructive criticism. Do phone blitzes to thank these clients.

·         Create a program of peer recognition where peers may recognize one another for something great by awarding points that can be spent in a reward bank. Monitor the program and set guidelines to prevent points being distributed based on popularity.

·         DO give your annual service awards. Employee retention is still key and surveys show that employees who stay at a company ten or more years have higher levels of engagement.

·         Award Community Service Hours to employees who go beyond so that they can give back to causes they find meaningful

·         Remember to include incentives for Managers and Executives to engage in the program – Daily participation by managers is critical, and monthly participation by C-levels builds organizational relationships that increase employee engagement. (By the way, that doesn’t mean a structured monthly meeting. It means C-levels out in the departments.)

Employee recognition is a continuous program, requiring monitoring and modification just as any other compensation program. The investment will pay off for everyone, building new heights of your company’s success.

Media Contact
Stacy Ingram-Gilchrist

Like PRLog?
Click to Share