It’s the little things that count, Retaining talent through thoughtfulness
I have long been a victim towards the stance; bigger gift equals a bigger impact.
“Paid vacations, Yearly bonuses, Company owned vehicles, Living adjustments”
And I am sold.
Yet it is a common cultural misconception within the workplace that low-cost recognition ideas can help dispel. Ever heard that, the little things count? Low cost rewards have been proved to improve retention, engagement, peer relations and the culture of the workplace, just by being thoughtful enough.
Psychosocial theories help identify the meaningfulness behind low cost yet thoughtful recognition ideas - Positive Reinforcement, Need-based motivation, the Social Exchange Theory, Signaling Models of gift giving.
Source: Spring Professional (https://www.springprofessional.com.au/news/motivation-in-the-workplace/47842/)
“Giving recognition where required can reinforce ideal employee behavior”
I have heard that statement being spun around the department often. That is called Positive reinforcement.
The need-based motivation theory however gives attention to certain physiological, safety and inclusion needs that are mostly unmet through the organizational culture that low-cost recognition can help aid.
“Praise, Attention and Support”
These are three words that can make my day as compared to a one-day trip that I do not often get to take. Running a household, with added responsibilities does not make that one guy or girls trip quite easy.
The social exchange theory capitalizes over praise and respect, to build upon peer relations. Wouldn’t summarizing all these terms equal to recognition? Not money, definitely.
The other day, I sat down in a conversation with a manager and his department manager over a conflict of recognition. The department manager wanted praise and recognition from the manager for all the hard work he has put in, just like, mind you, a child would, when he starts walking for the first time. Remember how we used to throw tantrums around the house, got all fussy, threw out our diapers, just because we wanted attention? Well, the department manager here, wanted such attention too, just in a not so diaper fashion. The only difference between the child and the person was of recognition, not a diaper change.
Gifts and rewards can equally send signals to employees, you just need to be wise and thoughtful about the choices you make – how and when you recognize your employees to ensure a positive signal.
Recognition that counts
“Human relationships are complicated, complex and confusing”
I definitely do not doubt that, I mean we all have been accustomed to relationships that have sent us down a spiral.
But personalization is the key towards being thoughtful and meaningful. Catering the interests, tastes and preferences of employees can take you straight towards the recognition they need.
“Picking the right reward system can be quite complicated especially in the case of a high performing system”
I have a number of recognition ideas that I believe would be helpful when designing a thoughtful reward system.
Many of you tend to hurry to work. No wonder we have a lot of accidents during the peak hours of morning traffic. Hosting a healthy breakfast at work would be unpredictable and may also reduce their built-up aggression towards work.
Other ideas include;
· Exclusive company merchandise (I mean who wouldn’t want to be the part of an exclusive group that they only share the rights to)
· Career Development
· Sponsor subscriptions (Please hop on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, if only I got the time to actually watch)
· Planning experiences
· Framing memories
· Advanced office infrastructure
· Handwritten notes (My best ode to the traditional old days)
All of these ideas are quite priceless to me, and I would not even mind having them from time to time, if not for my employer.
Seemingly paradoxical, cost of a gift never really does have a strong impact over employee behavior. Thoughtful little moments or acts of appreciation can go a long way, just like the influence of the flowers that you often take home.