Hiring and retention are akin to dating and marriage—everyone’s happy in the beginning. The “honeymoon phase” lasts about a 12 to 18 months, and then the real work begins. With people quitting their jobs in record numbers lately, it’s important to remember that keeping great people around takes work! Retaining your best people might be easier than you think though, especially with a little effort. Here are a few ways to reward your employees and keep them around:
It’s simple, but a little ‘thank you’ goes a long way. One of the most common reasons we hear people give when asked about their motivation for seeking a new position, is they feel their boss/employer doesn’t appreciate them or doesn’t acknowledge their work. Don’t assume your employees know you appreciate them, you have to tell them—and be specific. Instead of “good job,” it would have more impact to say, “That report was very well written and researched.”
2. Public Praise
There is a big difference between telling someone “good job” privately and telling them “good job” in front of their peers. Public recognition is a big morale and confidence booster, and when ranked along with other types of rewards, it was weighted very heavily as a top choice among employees. Team meetings are a great outlet for this, but if your next team meeting isn’t for a while—don’t wait. Send out an email to the team or gather everyone in the break room for an impromptu praise session. *There is one caveat though: not all people like public praise. Therefore, it’s important to tailor your recognition to the individual and remember that some employees may prefer to be recognized privately.
Giving employees more flexibility and autonomy with their work and/or schedule is another great way to reward them. If you have a top performer who you know really wants to work from home, or one who wants to work a certain schedule—and you can make it work—this is a reward that will be much appreciated.
4. Growth Opportunities
Most of us don’t want to be doing exactly the same thing next year that we’re doing this year. Because business growth occurs at different rates, some roles will change and evolve faster than others. It’s wise to understand where your employees want to go in their career and to think about creative ways to help them get involved in new projects and areas of interest. You may not be able to promote right away, but demonstrating that you’re willing to invest in them by supporting their goals is always well received and appreciated.
5. Monetary Rewards
Money will always be the ultimate reward, but bonus checks are often counted on and earmarked for bills or other major expenses before they’re received. As an alternative, you can offer additional PTO, gift cards, or desirable goods—like a new desk, laptop, or other cool tech toy that the employee wouldn’t be as likely to buy for themselves. It is important to know each individual employee’s preference though, because while some will love a gift, others will rather have cash.
Want more ideas? Check out the book, 1501 Ways to Reward Employees by Bob Nelson for some truly unique and creative tips! And don’t forget, you can ask us your people questions via the online chat tool in the lower left corner of your screen!