A Variety Of Ways To Improve The Lives Of Your Employees
Creating a company policy that helps to improve the lives of your employees will go further in keeping employees happy and engaged than an atmosphere of fear and competition.
So, if you are just starting out in business, are ready to begin implementing employee appreciation programs or need to refresh your program, you may be in need of ideas.
In my most recent blog, Employer’s Year-End Employee Motivation Check-Up, I offered a few basic ideas for getting started. This article is devoted to a broader range of ideas I’ve watched clients successfully implement over the years.
Years of Service Programs:
A very easy program to initiate is a years of service program. Starting with key dates in an employee’s life it’s very easy to make employees feel embraced with a “Welcome Aboard” recognition. Follow up at 90 days and 1st year anniversary. You could do every year recognitions or milestone years such as 3 years, 5, 10 etc. Some of the most successful programs I’ve seen typically include letters from boss or bosses, online “recognition” walls, and at least one commemorative item. As the years pass the commemorative items get more interesting and valuable.
These types of programs are designed to keep employees feeling engaged and connected to the company. Something as simple as an online discussion wall for posting awards, milestones, in which employees are publicly acknowledged is a great way to begin.
Help with education and personal development leads to greater understanding of the company’s goals. In addition, health and wellness are becoming more important in many employees’ lives, but gym memberships are expensive. And, not all employees will have time to balance a gym membership with a spouse, children, community involvement and more. One very highly appreciated perk is a wellness benefit. As with other perks, this program can be set up in a number of ways – discount to a certain gym, cash reimbursement on fitness-related equipment and classes or company athletic events. For instance, several of our clients bring in a yoga instructor a few days a week during lunch or at the end of the day. Others coordinate a lunchtime walk. Regardless of how it works, healthy employees are likely to perform better and miss less work, so this will benefit your company as well. They will also feel good about coming to work everyday and will want to be productive for the good of the cause.
These can be developed in many ways. Some of our clients have levels of “excellence” to acknowledge when an employee is going above and beyond. Maybe they are leading a new initiative or have provided an idea to save the company money. These are rewarded with days off, gift items, special recognition and more. Some companies give money however there are more statistics that prove money rewards can work against you rather than for you, so it’s not my favorite.
Separate group and individual incentives:
While group incentives help improve teamwork, employees like to be able to control their own destiny so individual incentives prove to be more effective. Offering both is best, but they should be separate programs. In a sales environment, for example, you could have a reward for the individual with the most sales of a certain product, as well as a team outing for the group with the highest overall results. Individuals will be encouraged to participate and win the unique prize, but they will also want to be an active and vital part of their team.
As your company grows, you may be able to implement a richer employee recognition program. No matter how big or small your business is though employee recognition must be a priority since your employees are your first customers. Creating a happy, healthy motivating environment will attract and keep the kind of employees that you will ultimately come to call ‘family’.