7 Step Guide to Setting Up an Effective Employee Reward Program, and Why You Need One for Better Employee Retention, from Denise Graziano of Graziano Associates

Since employees are motivated by more than their paychecks, once optional employee recognition programs are now a necessary budgetary expense for smooth business operations. Graziano Associates offers 7 tips for creating an effective employee recognition program and improved employee retention.

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Denise Graziano, President of Graziano Associates, LLC

To most employees job satisfaction is not just about the paycheck.

Fairfield, CT (PRWEB) July 24, 2014

One of the biggest misconceptions about Employee Recognition programs is that they are difficult to structure or maintain. The result of such thinking is that nothing is done and employees feel undervalued and under appreciated. “To most employees satisfaction is not just about the paycheck,” says Denise Graziano, President and CEO of Graziano Associates. Psychologist and Philosopher William James once stated that "the deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated." In business, this truth is critical to keeping valuable players performing to their highest potential for the company.

Finding and training new employees is costly, time consuming and disruptive to business. According to Inc. Magazine, the estimates for replacing high level employees can be as high as 150 percent of annual salary. An employee retention article by Deloitte offers that the costs for replacing employees include the hiring process, on-boarding and training, reduced productivity, new employee errors and potential additional exiting staff. A small portion of the HR budget for replacing employees would be far better spent on a formal recognition program.

Once considered optional, this is now a necessary budgetary expense for smooth business operations. Budget sizes can vary greatly, but it must be a formal part of your budget and planning process.

Like many activities, the thought of planning is more daunting than the actual process.

Here are 7 tips to streamline the process:
1. Identify the number of employees and number of anniversary levels to reward. A good example is 1, 3, 5, 10,15, 20 years, et al.

2. Set a budget for each anniversary level. Use any budget that works for you, but understand that gestures that are cheap or given reluctantly can have a negative effect. A good example to model: 1 Yr = $25; 3 Yrs = $50, 5 Yrs = $100, 10 Yrs = $300, 15 Yrs = $500, 20 Years = $750

Remember that recognizing employees with a quality gift to acknowledge their value and contributions to the company is a small price to pay compared with finding a replacement for them.

3. Work with a creative, reputable company that can seamlessly execute this program for you. They should recommend, select and fulfill the gifts. One option is to offer a universal gift that each person receives at that level. A better option is to create a catalog of choices that the employee can select themselves. Gifts should broadly reflect the caliber and culture of the company.

4. Annually, create a list of employees due to celebrate these milestone anniversaries. Provide the list to the firm who is handling it and they will handle the rest. Once the program is established you should have very little to do.

5. The company will then fulfill orders (Ideally in under 2 weeks from order submission.). Recommendations: Have all gifts ship directly to the office to minimize issues with home delivery. It also causes some buzz around the program, when other employees see the gift the recipient received.

6. Annually, gift options should (and will) be refreshed as styles and inventory change.

7. Gifts should be just that, a quality gift. It is possible to create these programs using brand name products at each price point. Quality items will properly reflect your level of appreciation. If using a recognition program, commit to doing it well.

During the year, supplement these formal gifts with hand written notes from a manager, a mention in a company newsletter, or bagels for the department, etc., for a job well done. These ongoing free or low cost gestures maintain the tone of appreciation for your valued employees.

Formal recognition programs motivate, engage and build stronger relationships with your employees. Building relationships on the inside is as important as those on the outside with your clients and partners. These build foundations that strengthen your business.

A strategic thinker and leader with over 27 years of business experience, Denise Graziano is President of Graziano Associates and author of the forthcoming book Once a Client, Always a Client™, and creator of Client Relationship Mastery™, the formula designed to help sales professionals retain clients in today’s competitive business landscape. To have Denise Graziano speak to your corporation or sales team, contact her at 203-254-0195. Please visit http://www.grazianoassoc.com for more information.

Graziano Associates is a marketing and promotions firm which helps clients to get the best results from their sales messaging, client retention, employee motivation, event presence, and trade show performance. Founded in 1992, Graziano Associates is based in Fairfield, CT.


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