March 6th was National Employee Appreciation Day. How did you celebrate? Employee appreciation shouldn’t just be demonstrated one day a year: employee appreciation is a year-round strategy.
Employees who feel appreciated, recognized and rewarded for their accomplishments are more motivated, more engaged with the company goals and make significant contributions to the bottom line. Formal, properly-constructed employee appreciation, reward and recognition programs provide both financial and non-financial benefits, including increased employee engagement levels.
The good news is that business leaders are increasingly understanding that employee incentive programs provide measurable benefits. According to The Incentive Research Foundation’s 2020 Trends Study, 94% of U.S. corporate executives support employee reward, recognition and incentive programs. Support from management may be driving the increase in employee engagement levels in the U.S.: currently at a high of 35%. Although engagement levels have increased significantly in the last 10 years, there is still much room for improvement.
What motivates today’s employees?
Today’s employees value autonomy, the ability to make their own decisions about how to accomplish their goals and they want to know that their supervisors and managers notice what they’re doing and appreciation their accomplishments. Properly designed Incentive, reward and recognition programs include these components. Structured employee recognition programs can communicate company goals and initiatives, align individual employee tasks with the goals of the organization and reward the types of behavior that will accomplish those goals.
Effective employee programs also help to shape the culture of the organization. Team goals encourage cooperation, collaboration and innovation as teams work together to accomplish specific tasks or improve specific metrics. A strong positive culture of recognition also encourages friendships between co-workers and both formal and informal peer-to-peer recognition.
A recent study of 1200 employees found that, contrary to traditional beliefs, more money is not the driver of employee satisfaction or engagement:
- 83% of respondents said recognition for contributions was more fulfilling than any rewards or gifts
- 76% found peer praise very or extremely motivating
- 88% found praise from managers very or extremely motivating
- 90% said a “fun work environment” was very or extremely motivating
Company leaders that focus on building a culture of recognition through formal employee programs will reap the benefits, including increased sales, higher market share, reduced turnover, lower absenteeism, increased productivity and more. Contact one of our Incentive Professionals today to get started on your strategy to appreciate, recognize and reward your most value asset: your employees.