Employee Retention

How to Improve Employee Retention With Recognition

5 min read
Zoe Brankin
Zoe Brankin

Employee turnover is extremely costly. It’s estimated that replacing a salaried employee can cost, on average, 6-9 months’ salary, considering the costs for recruitment, training the new employee and their salary. So how can you ensure that your team members feel valued and happy in their roles?

Appreciation in the workplace matters a lot. According to research, 63% of recognised employees are unlikely to look for a new job, and 43% of the unrecognised group said they are likely to look for work elsewhere. 

In this article, we will talk you through employee recognition, why it’s important and how you can use it to help keep your employees for longer.

Why is employee recognition important?

You’ve probably heard of employee appreciation day, and you might even use that as an opportunity to have a pizza party with your team. But the truth is, does it even matter? 

Employee recognition knows no calendar. It’s essential to have it ingrained in your company culture all year long, and here are a few reasons why. 

When you take the time to recognise your employees, they will be happier at work. Not everyone takes their work home with them (or when working from home, it can be hard to leave it at the home office/desk/dining table). However, most of us do, and that’s where the feelings from the team meeting earlier that day come out in the wash. 

If there are good vibes in the office or through virtual interactions, they carry over into home life. By letting your employees know they’re doing a great job and making a measurable impact on your business, they will feel good about what they do and enjoy work. 

Happy employees are also 12% more productive. It sounds like a win-win to us!

There may not be any aspect of the employee experience more impactful than engagement, and recognition is one of the quickest ways to engage your workforce. By implementing recognition programs, your team feel a greater sense of belonging and connection with their coworkers and the company. 

Employees who feel appreciated and are engaged are going to stick around. A strong culture of recognition is one of the key things applicants look for when they decide to apply for a company. So, not only do you have loyal employees as a result, but you’re also able to attract and retain the best talent. 

How to retain top talent through employee recognition

Many businesses offer competitive salaries and think this is enough to recognise their employees. However, salary isn’t as important as you think it is. Employees want more than just bonuses and pay rises. They crave interaction rather than a transaction, and that’s where recognition comes in. 

Recognition can improve the overall atmosphere and employee satisfaction, revolutionising your company culture and building a reputation that sets your company apart from the rest. 

Our customers are proof of this. SHL were able to reduce turnover by 8% within the first year of Mo! Here are a few ways you can boost employee retention through recognition.

Provide opportunities for growth

Recognition doesn’t always have to come in the form of a ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’. You can recognise employees in various ways, and providing them with opportunities for growth and development is one. 78% of employees would stay with their current employer if they knew they had a career path instead of just a job. 

Allow your employees to make the best use of their skills if they have shown a keen interest in growing within the company, or offer learning and education opportunities to help them develop new skills. 

Many employees may also want to handle bigger responsibilities. Communication is key here, and helping your employees excel in their careers shows you value them as an employee. 

Acknowledge stellar performances with rewards

People often think rewards and recognition are the same, but that’s not the case. You can have a recognition scheme without the rewards and vice versa, but here at Mo, we think the two go hand-in-hand. 

Don’t just leave rewards to those with long service or employee of the month awards. Rewarding your employees for a job well done or for hitting a target is a great way to help retain your employees. Recognising the efforts of your employees goes a long way towards improving their morale and loyalty to the company, and it doesn’t take much! 

Just because you’re handing out monetary rewards doesn’t mean you need a huge budget. Here at Mo, you can send out gift vouchers from top brands like Amazon, ASDA, Spotify and more. We have also teamed up with Huggg to help you elevate your gifting experience, and you can send physical gifts right to their door or even a redeemable coffee in Caffè Nero.

Create a recognition-rich culture

The environment you create for your employees is important in retaining them. Workplace culture is the personality and character of an organisation. Many simply let their culture develop naturally, but this is where it can go wrong. 

Creating a recognition-rich culture is the way a company shows how much employees are valued, and employees will be celebrated and rewarded in a social setting for their achievements and successes. It also encourages peer-to-peer recognition, which is 35.7% more likely to impact results than manager-only recognition.   

Recognition doesn’t need to be top-down only 

We briefly touched on peer-to-peer recognition above, and we will emphasise its importance again. Recognition shouldn’t just come from managers. When employees are encouraged to get involved, it benefits all aspects of the business. 

An SHRM/Globoforce survey found that organisations implementing peer-to-peer recognition perform better.

When you look at companies that promote peer-to-peer recognition versus those that don’t, they are 11.5% more likely to impact engagement in the workplace; 28% more likely to reinforce corporate values; 34.8% more likely to help with employee retention; and 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results.”

Receiving appreciation from co-workers helps strengthens bonds and makes your employees feel good.

Make recognition inclusive 

There are inevitably going to be certain employees that shine at work. While it may be tempting just to keep handing out recognition and rewards to them, this can actually breed a sense of resentment and resignation among those employees who barely receive any recognition for their contributions. 

Ensure that recognition is inclusive and diversify the parties responsible for recognising to prevent favouritism. 

Consistent recognition creates better communication

The reason why recognition is so impactful is because we need human-to-human connection. Company cultures (particularly recognition-rich cultures) will thrive when teams feel they have a genuine connection to their managers, peers and company. 

Creating open communication lines will help your employees feel more emotionally invested in their personal purpose and the company’s success. To sustain a culture of recognition and connection, it’s worth exploring recognition tools that can streamline and make it fun! 

Transform your culture with Mo

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  • Improve employee engagement scores
  • Reduce employee churn
  • Build a collaborative culture
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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues.

Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today!

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