• Jeff Doolittle

How to Boost Employee Retention with Recognition



An issue on the mind of leaders from the CEO to the front line supervisor is employee retention. Many different factors contribute to increased employee turnover and today's skilled workforce shortage. Employee retention directly impacts customer engagement, sales, company culture, and operating efficiency. Employee turnover is on the rise. More American employees are quitting their jobs than ever since data began being tracked by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. A survey of 2000 employees in the US and Canada found that 52% of employees have one foot already out the door. It may seem overwhelming knowing where to begin. There is something you can start doing today that will have an immediate positive impact on employee retention. Employee recognition can be a relatively quick, low-cost, and high-impact place for you to start. When starting with recognition, you will also discover many fringe benefits beyond retaining top talent.


Why should you start with employee recognition?


We all have a fundamental need to want to know when we have done a task right. Today, many employees are knowledge workers and do not receive immediate feedback on how they performed after completing a task. Also, let's be honest; no news is not necessarily good news in today's world. Gallup studied more than 80,000 managers and discovered that recognition is essential to having a great workplace and better retention rates. One of the most significant benefits of starting with employee recognition in addition to improved retention is improved employee productivity. Studies have shown that positive recognition generates discretionary effort. Discretionary effort is when an employee willingly gives more than what is asked or expected. Additional benefits you can expect from implementing employee recognition include improved teamwork, reduced stress, and absenteeism.



4 Essential Employee Recognition Tips


The following tips will help you get off to a great start with recognition and avoid costly mistakes:


1. Don't believe that any recognition is better than no recognition.

Effective recognition is positive, immediately connected to profitable behaviors, and specific about what is praised. Don't recognize the ordinary, so when you appreciate the excellent, it is more meaningful. Match the recognition type with the individual and the situation. Keep in mind there are many ways to provide recognition, such as saying, "good job" or "thank you," as well as lunch, coffee, a new computer, money, time off from work, and other desired items. Get creative and use variety, so the recognition does not feel hollow. Also, variety helps you avoid the conversion of recognition into an expectation.