We want our hardest working employees to stick around for the long haul, and surveys say that employee appreciation gifts can go a long way in retaining our best and brightest.
In the Gallup research report, How Full Is Your Bucket?, a survey of over 4 million U.S. employees found that 65% of American workers quit their jobs, in least in part, due to lack of employee appreciation. And the Aberdeen Group noted in their workforce report, The Power of Employee Recognition, that 67% of all high-performing or “best in class” companies have employee recognition programs in place.
But this research begs one very important question: should employee appreciation gifts be determined by performance or by the time clock?
Why Performance-Based Rewards Work:
We don’t want our highest performing employees to slip through the cracks because their hard work goes unnoticed. We also want to ensure our loyal yet under-performing employees have a chance to improve and grow.
That’s why implementing performance-based appreciation programs across the board is critical for retaining talent, grooming new employees, and reinvigorating enthusiasm in employees who've lost their spark.
How To Reward High Performance:
The biggest question to consider is how to reward employees for exceeding our performance expectations. Far and away, the #1 type of performance-based reward system is the incentive program.
By definition, incentives are motivators that encourage people to take certain actions. Companies use consumer incentives like coupons and shopping points to encourage shoppers to buy more stuff. Likewise, those same companies implement incentive programs to encourage their employees to work harder, bring new ideas, and to improve the bottom line with tight cost management.
But not any old incentive program will work. Like customers, employees also need to feel that performance-based incentive programs are worth their while.
Major performance-based reward structures typically include:
- Monthly sales goal bonuses
- Sales commissions
- Annual bonuses
- Team bonuses and team appreciation gifts
- Profit sharing / equity
These types of performance-based incentive programs are great for those employees looking to rake in some extra cash, but more workers are starting to voice support for alternative incentive programs that improve their lives in the long-term rather than just reward short-term performance goals.
Employees are also looking for incentive programs that improve long-term financial and wellness stability, such as access to financial planning services and health and wellness coaching, along with many other services.
The Value of Employee Appreciation Gifts on Daily Excellence
Rewarding great performance with monetary rewards is essential but it’s not the end all and be all for employee appreciation. The CEO of WebPageFX, William Craig, reminds us of the importance of using “incentives for everyday excellence.”
In his Forbes article, "Employee Incentive Programs That Don’t Cost Much But Can Maximize Returns”, Craig outlines a few non-performance-based reward strategies that can inspire better performance in employees:
- Depending on the nature of your industry, Craig suggests offering flexible arrival time incentives for full-time employees.
- Implement relaxed dress code days. Think, "casual Fridays."
- Use a shared communication platform like Google Hangouts or Facebook to give “shout outs” to employees for a great day.
- Provide access to libraries and learning resources to grow and supplement skills. You can reward your staff with employee appreciation gifts that recognize skill mastery and effort.
- Reward employees for participating in charitable causes.
A little appreciation can go a long way to encourage both high performance and good morale on the job.
By using a combination of both performance-based programs and incentives for daily excellence, you can prevent superstars from falling through the cracks and build a strong company culture that inspires employee engagement.