Finding and retaining highly skilled and engaged workers is challenging in a shallow labor pool. However, showing employee appreciation is definitely a crucial part of tapping into the reasons staff want to stick with a brand rather than jump ship for a new employer.
Unfortunately, waiting days or weeks to recognize someone waters down the praise. Employees can become despondent in the meantime, feeling their efforts are for naught and that no one notices.
Think about how employees feel when they’re overlooked. As companies grow and bring in new workers, the squeaky wheels sometimes get all of the attention. Not only do less experienced employees need more hand holding but others might whine that they don’t get the same perks as those who’ve been there for years.
In a study of 2,000 workers, researchers found 63% of them feel unappreciated daily, and 46% left a job because of feeling undervalued.
Companies must create a balance between offering rewards to new and established staff or risk those who consistently put in good work becoming disengaged. Here are some reasons why leaders should never overlook employee appreciation.
1. Avoid Quiet Quitting
When employees feel disengaged, they may choose to quietly quit. They are still in the position, but they no longer try as hard as they once did, putting in minimal effort and not really caring about the outcome.
While companies are taking steps to combat quiet quitting, once a worker feels undervalued, they have little incentive to invest their heart and soul into a company that isn’t theirs.
2. Develop Brand Excitement
When businesses show employee appreciation, they develop brand excitement. Employees who are rewarded often tell family and friends why they love their jobs. For example, offering an employee apparel program, where every worker gets branded apparel promotes brand awareness and boosts employee morale. Even new workers get a hoodie or T-shirt.
3. Build Relationships
When people build other people up, they develop relationship banks to help through the hard times. If someone consistently pours into a person, giving them compliments and positive feedback, but has an off day where they are grumpy, the worker is much more likely to overlook a single incident and chalk it up to a bad mood.
The key to building relationships is paying attention to which efforts matter to which staff members. Employee appreciation is only effective if the feedback matters to the person receiving it and they take pride in the activity.
4. Save Money on Recruitment and Training
Finding and training a new hire costs a minimum of $4,000 per person. However, the number doesn’t include the cost of losing a valued employee’s input for months on end. The company loses knowledge and sometimes morale when a worker leaves because they feel unappreciated.
Consider if the person built relationships with customers, such as in a sales position. Some of those people may follow the employee to a new job with a competitor, costing the business even more. It’s best to keep current employees happy rather than lose momentum.
5. Increase Productivity
When people feel as though their efforts matter, they’re much more likely to put in maximum effort. Productivity will increase and attitudes will change. Building a positive company culture requires massive amounts of effort. Praising people for a job well done helps turn attitudes around.
Be careful with monetary or desired rewards. If you only give them to some of your workers or vary how much people get, they may just give up when they don’t achieve a bonus or a prize and disengage, especially if they feel they’re being overlooked by management or the reward system is unfair or biased.
Ensure Employee Appreciation is a Priority
Recognition doesn’t always have to involve money or things. A few words of thanks goes a long way with most people.
When employees know their leaders recognize their efforts and see they are a valuable part of the team, they’re much more likely to remain engaged and work hard. While extra perks are nice, they are only one part of a bigger picture. Recognize your employees daily to keep them happy and loyal.
This is a guest post from Eleanor Hecks, Editor-in-Chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.