It can be difficult for employers to know when and how to reward employees for their hard work, particularly as the company grows and the workforce expands. But it's an important aspect of managing a company and employee recognition plays a crucial role for the culture of the business. Showing your staff that you recognise their hard work and appreciate it will not only encourage great team work and boost productivity, but it will also benefit your business when it comes to attracting new recruits. Here are some of the reasons why you should always reward your staff for their hard work, time and effort, and the benefits it provides to your business and staff alike.
No-one enjoys feeling underappreciated, particularly at work, and it can have a negative impact on morale if staff go too long without feeling recognised for their input. But by providing rewards for hard work, it reinvigorates their passion for the role and can help to create a fun and happy work environment. There are a number of ways that employees can receive perks and rewards for their work, such as team building classes, group activities and even reward schemes.
Attracting New Recruits is Easier
While the use of an online HR system has made the recruitment process easier, one of the ways that companies can help attract the very best talent for new positions is by creating a strong reputation as a business. Employer branding is now an increasingly important factor to the modern-day workforce and with online review sites, it's easy for applicants to see how previous or even current staff rate their workplace. Negative reviews can be damaging to your business' reputation and can stop people applying for open vacancies. But fostering a positive workplace where staff feel valued and are rewarded ensures that recommendations from peers are more common. What's more, reward schemes become a selling point as part of the recruitment process too.
Increases Employee Retention Rates
Attracting the best applicants for new roles is important, but what is equally important is retaining the staff you have and that you've invested in. Employee engagement is a big part of retention and staff that are recognised and praised for what they do are more likely to be satisfied with their role and more loyal to the business overall. This provides a boost to employee retention rates and keeps the top talent of the industry within your brand rather than leaving them tempted to look elsewhere for a more rewarding role.
To today's professionals, feedback is key to helping staff understand what they're doing right and where they can improve. While annual reviews and monthly catch-ups are great for this, reward schemes are a more enjoyable and fun way of providing positive feedback to employees. It lets them know that they're on the right track and that the work they're doing isn't going unnoticed, which will encourage them to continue doing so long-term.
"Who are you meeting for lunch this week?"
Without fail, my former boss would ask me this question in every weekly status we had. And I dreaded the question. Because my answer was generally a stammering "Umm… No One." Occasionally I could remember what I actually had for lunch. And almost always it was sitting in my windowless cube eating a soggy sad sandwich.
I didn't understand why "who I had lunch with this week" was worthy of being a topic on our weekly status. After all, I was only 6 months into this new job. I was still figuring out how to pull data from Nielsen. I was still figuring out how to write an innovation brief. I was still trying to figure out where the bathrooms were in this maze of a building.
And despite knowing this question would come up in every weekly status, I was reluctant to change my behavior. I didn't see the value in the question. I didn't see the importance of it in my career. I didn't understand why I had to have lunch with anyone.
Because I hated the idea of having to network, to meet people, to put myself out there. Because networking was something slimy and strange and weird and scary. It made my stomach hurt, my throat go dry. And I could feel a faint headache coming on.
Even Oxford's definition of networking only reaffirmed my fears of what networking looked like: the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
Because please don't ask me to walk into a room where I don't know anyone. And stand in the corner sipping a bad glass of Chardonnay. Please don't ask me to slide my business card out and not so subtly shove it in your face. And ask you to do something for me. Please don't ask me to network. Because I hate networking.
And I used to hate networking (okay, maybe hate is too strong.) I still really dislike the term. "Networking" seemed about getting something from someone. Or someone getting something from you. A favor, a job, a referral. "Networking" seemed very transactional. And someone shoving a business card at you (which happened to me recently at event) only solidified by feelings.
And over the years, I came to really understand that networking wasn't about "the action or process of interacting with others." It was about building authentic connections. It was about meeting people who were different than you. It was about expanding my community. And creating new communities. It was tapping into more and more communities I could belong to.
And as I slowly started to change my view on networking- I mean building authentic connections- I started to realize my communities were more inclusive than I thought. My best friends from middle school. Former bosses. College Alumni I met after we had graduated. Colleagues from past companies. Vendors and agency partners I had once worked with. Colleagues I had once managed. As my family expanded, my husband, my two sister-in laws and my brother in-law. A whole host of fabulous cousin-in-laws. My baby brother as his career skyrocketed. And fellow parents in my kids' school.
I still hate networking. And I love building connections. And helping to build connections and be a bridge for other people.
Now, when I go to a large event, I try to go with a friend. We have a drink at the bar and then part ways to try and make new friends. If we don't authentically connect with other people, and we have made the effort, we always have each other to back to.
Now, I try to meet one new person a week at my company or in my broader community, or reconnect with someone I miss seeing. (This doesn't always have to be in person, can be text, Zoom or Facetime.) And if you can't commit to doing that, that you should seriously relook at your schedule. I thank my former boss for that constant reminder.
Now, I joined Luminary, a women's collaboration hub in NYC, which has been life changing for me. I am also on the advisory board. It's all about women supporting and lifting each other up- to get more money, get that next big promotion, or start their own venture. It's a built-in community of unwavering support.
Now, I am working on expanding my community of moms. Not too long ago, I worked up the nerve to ask a fellow mom in my daughter's class if she wanted to get together. She thought I meant a playdate. I meant drinks. And after one late night out drinking, I have bonded with a whole new set of badass women.
And all of these communities. I am there for my communities. And they are all there for me. Referral for a job at my company. Coaching on how to survive a bad boss. Advice on how to ask for more money. Supporting each other as we care for aging parents. Candid feedback on why they didn't get that promotion. Commiserating over a cocktail on which working parent had the worst week ever.
So please don't ask me to network. Because I hate it. And well actually I don't have a business card to give you. I haven't printed one in four years.