How To Win Loyalties and Retain Good Workers

Every ego on this planet needs regular, positive strokes to keep the work fires burning. And it DOES matter what kind of strokes are given and who gives them.

Research now shows that 72 percent of employees are looking for another job, or thinking about looking for another job. Research also shows that the main reason for this restlessness and dissatisfaction is not a low salary, but lack of recognition and appreciation. A well-designed and well-managed employee recognition program can go a long way toward retention of valued employees and toward the raising of morale among all employees.

An effective incentive program should include at least some of the following:

* Rewards for day-to-day services, such as recognition letters, thank you notes, milestone cards, and reward coupons

* Incremental and meaningful Years-of-Service awards

* Individual sales incentives and achievement awards

* Safety Awards that are employee specific. (A system that rewards only the whole plant ignores the excellent safety record of individual employees or groups.)

* A Peer-to-Peer recognition plan

* A thoughtful survey of managers, asking what kind of program would motivate them to stay on the job and do their best work

To make any incentive program really effective, a manager must play an active role.

A Recognition Coordinator or the Human Resource Department can be valuable in designing a program and in providing training to managers. However, employees want to be appreciated in a direct way by those who connect with them on a regular basis. A houseplant delivered to their desk on a service anniversary by an HR representative is ineffective and even insulting. A manager must drive any recognition program, and be tuned in to employee reactions to the incentives and rewards it offers.

Fortunately, there are now several websites that do a lot of the work for you, including the following:

* Designing a program that includes various types of day-to-day awards, rewards, and thanks you notes in various forms

* Advice on how to administer these programs with the maximum effect and minimum of administrative effort

* A catalog of products geared to specific types of recognition, awards, and rewards

* A tracking service to determine the effectiveness of the program


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