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Boost Employee Engagement Through Recognition

Recruiting a talented staff and retaining them is something every business should strive to do. So how can your operation keep employees happy and engaged? Through social recognition, according to Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine, authors of “The Power of Thanks,” and experts on the topic.

Last month, Globoforce, an online recognition company, hosted a webinar to discuss research on how companies can create a happy and productive work culture. Both Mosley and Irvine spoke about their research on employee engagement and how any company, big or small, can create a thriving work culture.

What the two emphasized were that recognition leads to more motivated workers. In fact, 86 percent of employees are motivated by recognition for their contributions, according to the Spring 2014 Mood Tracker Survey.

Mosley and Irvine explained employees often seek appreciation and feedback, and these two principals can lead to an open culture, where organizational health is improved and engagement in built.

One example of how a company is reinforcing their culture is Hershey Chocolate Company. According to Irvine, every day, the company invites all 13,000 employees to smile when they see colleagues doing great things. This positivity reaches all areas of the business and helps boost morale.

Throughout their book and in their research, the authors use the phrase social recognition, which they say is different than old-school recognition models.

“Employee recognition has been around for decades,” Irvine says. “But social recognition is different in many ways, because it’s not dependent on managers giving recognition. It allows all employees to be the eyes and ears to give recognition in the company.”

Irvine also adds that through social recognition, companies are able to spot great performers, which helps with succession planning and brings a social movement of voices, generating lots of useful data.

How can you tell if a recognition program isn’t working? Some examples are inconsistent or untimely recognition, an unclear program, limited choices, programs that don’t include all employee classifications and programs with few winners. To address these issues, Mosley and Irvine say the best program will include everyone in the entire company on all levels.

They also spoke about how more frequent recognition can help when it’s time for an employee performance review. By recording and storing employees’ recognition throughout the year, companies can track and provide more detail and insights from management and peers when the performance review happens.

So how can you apply this to your independent home improvement operation? Consider starting out by finding ways to encourage your managers and employees to recognize one another for doing things right.

If you already have a recognition program, whether it’s an employee of the month award or another program highlighting employees’ good work, reflect on the program and consider ways you can improve upon it. Try to find ways to get all of your employees involved and giving each other feedback.

If you don’t have a recognition program, consider creating one. If done right, it can help boost employee morale while also allowing you to create and develop the future leaders of your business. And happy employees are likely to deliver even better customer service, making social recognition a win-win for your employees and customers.

For more information on Globoforce, click here.

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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