Three ways to cultivate a workforce that loves you back
Congratulations! With much enthusiasm, your dream candidate has accepted the job offer. So, job done right? Not even close. You’ve just made a big investment and it matters more now than ever that you continue to nourish this important relationship.
Studies show that nearly three-fourths of American workers are actively hunting for a new job, and the vast majority don’t feel like they get enough recognition from their company. Quite an alarming number when we consider the costs associated with high turnover, which directly impacts both your bottom line and your reputation as a workplace.
Fortunately, there are many ways that employers can show their appreciation for the wider workforce. When planned thoughtfully and executed effectively, the cumulation of these small shifts can improve the employee experience, helping to engage and retain top talent.
Employee Appreciation Day is March 6. Whether you’re well along on your journey to enhancing your employee experience or simply looking for a place to start, I’ve rounded up some important takeaways for employers to consider:
Align recognition to your EVP, behaviors, and values
Your employer value proposition, or EVP, clearly defines what’s in it for candidates to join your organization and stay, as well as what’s expected from them in return. Just as your EVP should underpin all external employment communications and talent attraction strategies, it should also reinforce the ways in which your people are rewarded and recognized for their contributions.
One way to do this is through employee recognition programs and awards, which highlight exemplary behavior and honor the people within the organization who live by your values. This will not only make recipients feel appreciated for their contributions but will also serve as an example of what good looks like within the context of your business, encouraging positive behavior.
However, recognition must also become embedded within the DNA of your culture to avoid initiatives like these being perceived as inauthentic. Equip managers and leaders with the necessary coaching and tools to effectively communicate well-deserved recognition to hardworking employees on an ongoing basis.
Think beyond hygiene factors
While hygiene factors, such as competitive salary, job security, and benefits, may help get candidates through the door, don’t make the mistake of assuming these offerings alone will retain your top performers. Appreciation goes far beyond the basics and will look different for every workplace, whether it’s demonstrated in the form of global mobility opportunities, learning and development offerings, or other creative perks, such as a flexible work from home policy.
To better understand what your employees want most, put yourself into their shoes for a moment. Those talent personas you developed are a useful tool for more than just filling empty seats. For instance, if you’ve found that Product Mangers within your organization might be motivated by the opportunity to build stronger relationships with their team to collaborate more effectively, an appropriate method of recognizing hard work might be a quarterly off-site activity that promotes team bonding.
Consider how you say it
Compelling communication is the key differentiator between a good and great employee experience. Again, reference your existing insights and understanding of target audience behavior; not only will Product Managers want to be rewarded differently than Customer Service Representatives; they’ll also want to receive messages in different ways and through different channels.
To maximize effectiveness, employers should ensure that they speak directly to the professional motivations and frustrations of their target audiences. This applies to all aspects of internal communications, including those around rewards and recognition, career mobility, and other important areas of the employee experience. With a clear awareness of the offerings available to them at work, as well as an understanding of what they might gain by taking advantage of them, employees will feel more appreciated.
Employee Appreciation Day may only happen on one day each year, but the sentiment of recognizing your workforce should carry through year-round. The best brands are built from the inside out – by encouraging and supporting the people who care for your customers, deliver your services, and enhance your products, you’ll inevitably build a stronger business that’s equipped to thrive well into the future.