By Christina Grand Porter
Rewarding high-performing employees can be a struggle if raises are the only incentive that comes to mind. But there are other ways to assure your workers love their jobs and take pride in doing them well. It’s important to make them realize their hard work is being noticed so they feel valued. Studies have shown that employees with high job satisfaction are generally more productive, engaged and loyal to their companies.
How can you reward your highest performers? Recognition is a big motivator for employees. If you can’t afford to give them a raise, reward them with a coupon to go out for dinner, an extra day off, tickets to a show, etc. The small stuff adds up. And always say ‘thank you’.
Happy employees make for a happy company. Acknowledge accomplishments by providing a group lunch, reserving a prime parking space, or changing a title. Help employees grow and develop, whether by taking on new desired responsibilities or challenges, taking courses to learn new skills, or furthering knowledge of the company by traveling on company business trips.
The best benefit you can provide to your employees is the ability to take pride in what they do. This comes from having an opportunity to make a difference and help guide the course of the company. Clear and frequent communication on company happenings, individual and department direction, and big-picture company direction make all the difference in employee happiness.
In matters involving disgruntled employees, feedback and the ability to understand employee concerns is important, but it’s what you do after that’s critical. You should always share what you’ve learned after speaking with an employee and invent a course of action for addressing the issue. Communicate your top areas of success, but also address areas needing improvement and encourage input in how to move forward. Good communication and acknowledgement that they have been heard goes a long way. When employees become disenchanted. it is usually because they don’t like their boss, aren’t engaged or feel like they have stopped learning. Having a positive culture and environment helps a lot in encouraging teamwork and communication, which increases engagement and opportunities for teammates to learn from each other.
Good, positive communication among employees is also vital. Encourage communication in common areas by creating spaces where employees can communicate and share ideas. Casual conversations in an inviting and comfortable break room can become collaborative conversations. Can you provide training opportunities and career mentoring to employees who do not see attractive career opportunities for themselves within the company? It’s critical for businesses to make sure employees are aware of the career paths or job opportunities available within the company so employees stay there.
The biggest thing any individual can do to inspire his or her team is to set the example. Don’t underestimate the importance of the boss walking into the office with a smile on his or her face and a cheerful greeting for the staff.