Each and every company demonstrates their own type of employee appreciation initiative, whether it be a summertime company picnic, the annual holiday party, or free food and beverages to celebrate company achievements. One might argue that efforts like these have settled in as the bare minimum, a sort of standard formality that comes with the territory of a full-time position at a well-respected company.
But the days of scraping by with the bare minimum are quickly ending, as millennials populate 34 percent of the workforce and carry expectations of being appreciated in more ways than one. At iCIMS, we know a thing or two (or ten) about appreciating our hard-working employees, so we’ve complied a short list of ideas to help jump start your employee recognition program.
It may not feel like much, but even something as small as an employee appreciation letter on a regular cadence goes a long way in bolstering morale and strengthening employee-manager relationships. In fact, an effective employee recognition program can lower turnover rates by up to 31 percent, meaning it has an invaluable impact on your business functions. Of course, you can take things a step further with more creative ways of acting on this – at iCIMS, for instance, we select monthly core competency champions, which recognize employees around the business who embody company values and make up the fabric of our culture.
Once newly minted employees are hired and onboarded within your organization, you should provide your training teams and managers with all the tools necessary to broaden and sharpen their skillsets – it’s simply a win-win. Investing in paid training platforms like Lynda, crafting a curriculum of on-site training courses, or covering the costs of outside education are all ways that you can elevate employee production and nurture career growth. This type of investment can fast-track the roadmap for career progression and boost retention rates in the process. In fact, 78 percent of employees would stay with their current employer if they knew they had a career path instead of just a job.
Let’s face it, spending 40+ hours per week enclosed in a cubicle is enough to drive anyone’s stress levels through the roof. All managers should be encouraged to schedule select activities once a month to keep employees fresh and allow them to decompress with their teams. Whether it be an off-site lunch, an afternoon visit to a café, or a company-wide social with some brews, this is an inadvertent team building activity that doesn’t feel like work, nor should it. It’s a team focused break that lets everyone exhale together, share a few laughs, and head back to the office reinvigorated.
Lost in the glamorous sea of perks and benefits is the impact of the little things, which receive way less attention. It’s a pretty simple formula actually – breeding strong company culture and retaining top talent begins with supporting and appreciating those who represent your organization every day. By demonstrating a commitment to your workforce, you can expect an engaged response from employees who feel valued and dedicated to contributing to success.