Strategies to Boost Employee Motivation and Retention Through Recognition

by: Nichole Gunn July 25, 2011

Content and motivated employees are productive employees. In turn, dissatisfied and de-motivated employees are less productive. When motivation and engagement drops this means trouble for the company, causing weak performance, lower productivity, and reduced creativity, all resulting in less revenue.

Along with this, workers who regularly experience de-motivation and low morale are far more likely to leave for greener pastures. When workers leave, the company needs to put forth time, effort, and money toward recruiting and training replacements.

Recognition and rewards are strategies to keep the staff motivated and engaged. Effective recognition initiatives have the potential to increase employee retention, boost satisfaction, and enhance workplace productivity.

Focusing on this issue, president of Legacy Bowes Group Barbara J. Bowes spoke with Winnipeg Free Press. She presented a number of low or no cost strategies for enhancing an employee’s perception of being appreciated. Legacy is a recruitment and retention strategies company.

Bowes advises not to use a one-size-fits-all program for employee rewards and recognition. Each company has its own workforce comprised of individuals motivated by different incentives. With that said, there are a few staples in creating a successful program: most people react positively to recognition, encouragement, and praise.

In order to have your finger on the pulse of your workforce, Bowes suggests conducting a survey to gauge employee satisfaction in regard to teamwork, empowerment, and job requirements. Analyzing the results will provide the basis for designing a program that takes into account the company’s strengths and weaknesses.

While businesses may think of reward programs as expensive, this is not necessarily the case. Choosing cost-effective rewards can go a long way in producing the desired effect. One such strategy is to implement a company newsletter where employees who achieve a particular goal, say a sales objective, can be mentioned. This type of recognition is a strong motivator; it also provides the employee with a sense of being of value to the company and being connected.

Establishing open communications between staff, supervisors, and management will also encourage a feeling of company unity. Having a lunch or other function that includes lower level employees with management creates a connection, an up-close view of the company goals and vision. Another idea to generate the sense of inclusion is to provide a platform for workers to share productive criticism and ideas.

Finally, recognizing long-term employees for their service to the company can also lead to employee retention. Ada Herald reported that Rhodes State College in Ohio recently held its yearly Employee Recognition Banquet. This event recognizes employees for their service to the college; the award is given for employment of five to 30 year increments.


About Nichole Gunn