In today’s competitive economy, employee retention is more important than ever. Fortunately, keeping your team happy doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. In fact, studies have shown that simply thanking employees for their hard effort dramatically improves a company’s success, according to Forbes.

Providing your staff with physical rewards for a job well done takes that concept a step further, which naturally keeps your team working harder and happier.

So how does an employee recognition program boost productivity and eventually your company’s bottom line?

Let’s take a look at why awards are an effective motivator and how you can get more from your employees without breaking the budget or using unfavorable managerial strategies.

1) Instill Company Pride in Your Staff

Companies that show respect to their employees get respect back – it’s that simple. Your employees – especially those who have been with your organization for a long time – know when they can get away with slacking. As a boss, it’s up to you to make sure that they don’t; but more importantly, it’s up to you to make sure that they don’t want to.

By treating your staff fairly and going above and beyond when you can, you form a mutually beneficial business relationship. After all, no sensible employee is going to bite the hand that feeds. People want to feel good about their jobs, and offering corporate awards is an easy way to show that your organization cares and that


2) Make Employees Feel Valued

According to The Wall Street Journal, the best way to reduce employee turnover is to spend time interviewing each candidate to ensure a successful culture fit. However, it’s impossible to choose a perfect match of 100 percent of the time.

Offering corporate awards is an easy and effective way to connect with employees who may be struggling. A good rewards program unites the staff and gives them common ground.

Even a little friendly rivalry can add a fun and motivational dynamic to the office – just make sure you keep it tasteful. You don’t want to accidentally isolate anyone.

According to Entrepreneur, studies have shown that labeling people as winners or losers can do more damage than good, so make sure you keep any contests lighthearted and don’t give major awards that could cause jealousy. Think a trophy or plaque, rather than a vacation or a raise.


3) Train Your Employees without Micromanaging

As a team leader, it can be difficult to know when to get involved and when to give your staff room to work things out on their own. Nobody wants to be the boss breathing down necks and scrutinizing every detail, but at the same time management needs to manage.

Positive reinforcement is the answer. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of employee performances, reward positive traits.

Avoid giving awards for intangible concepts such as “versatility” , “confidence” or “leadership”. Instead, give your employees rewards when there’s a clear correlation. For example, you could present your sales staff with a trophy when they surpass the month’s goals.

Or, a manufacturing company could give the team a plaque when there are no defects or errors for a certain amount of time. Think about specific aspects of your business that could use improvement, and find ways to award the avoidance of those issues.


4) Foster a Positive Environment

When it really comes down to it, a happy workplace is a productive workplace. When your employees are in a good mood, they naturally want to work hard and get things done. Taking this approach is a win-win for everyone involved, including your customers or clients.

Sometimes a simple smile or “thank you” is all it takes to boost employee morale, so try to bring that positivity to the office on a consistent basis. A pleasant workplace is often the best reward of all, but the occasional trophy or plaque never hurts either.

Written By
Jeffrey Brauer is an office manager who lives in Tacoma, WA. He’s passionate about helping other business leaders to learn from his 16 years of experience, and he enjoys developing new, innovative strategies to boost morale and productivity. When he’s not focused on work, Jeffrey enjoys camping, bicycling, and playing golf.

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