Giving Thanks: The No-Cost Incentive Plan

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Giving Thanks: The No-Cost Incentive Plan

By Anna MaskerIn standard25th November, 2015

Idanke- thank youn this season of thanks and giving, our thoughts are often turned to family and friends, gift giving and focusing on gratitude.

It might be time to take a moment to think about how you thank your other “family–”  the ones you spend most of your time with every day—your employees.

It goes without saying monetary recognition provides an incentive for people to perform but sometimes just being grateful for the small stuff—and recognizing them for it—is much of what’s needed to keep an employee engaged, energized and loyal.

Recognition doesn’t have to be expensive but losing your employees can be.  In a white paper from TalentWise there were some startling statistics that highlighted the cost of turnover.

  • Employee turnover costs can be estimated at 150% of the annual salary of a position.
  • On average it takes 8 months for a new employee to become fully productive in a role.
  • And worst of all—when an employee leaves an organization 70% of his/her knowledge leaves with them.

Yes, turnover can be expensive but it is also expensive to have employees that stay who aren’t putting forth their best effort or going the extra mile for you.  According to Tiny Pulse’s 2014 survey, only 21% of employees say they feel strongly valued and that it is the lack of appreciation and recognition that is driving them to feel that way.

Clock punchers vs Innovators:  We as humans crave the need to feel appreciated. In the absence of recognition for going the extra mile, people will begin to not put forth the effort.  Soon you will have an organization of clock punchers, not producers and innovators.  Taking a moment to recognize someone not only impacts that individual but also sets an example for the rest of the staff on what good performance looks like.  Don’t be surprised if people start going the extra mile.

Give thanks down and sideways.  Recognition is effective when it comes from the top but peer recognition is highly effective.  In fact, according to TinyPulse’s survey, peers—not money are the #1 influencer on employee morale and the source of 20% of all employees going the extra mile.  It goes on to say that compensation is the baseline for taking a job but that camaraderie plays the true motivating role in encouraging employees to outperform expectations.

Keep it simple.  Recognition doesn’t have to cost anything.  The easiest and least expensive are simple ways to recognize employees—from a public thank you in front of their peers or using someone as an example of a job well done.  Give employees a way to recognize each other—even if it is carving out a few minutes in each meeting to say “thank you” to each other for help or stepping in for one another.  It doesn’t have to be a formal program… sometimes it’s just making the avenue available and encouraging it that makes the difference.

Really, can it be that simple?  Can a simple thank you and recognition turn around sagging morale, reduce turnover and turn clock punchers into innovators?  Possibly.  It’s been done before.  Why not try it in your organization this season?  It doesn’t cost anything but the impact on your organization could be significant.

In my organization, we call that a good ROI.

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