Employee Praise Can Improve Worker Retention
Editor John Nagy makes sure that every weekly news meeting at The Pilot starts with what he calls "recognition" - kudos for a job well done in the newspaper or for having a positive impact elsewhere in the company.
"People like to be told in front of their peers that they're doing a good job," Nagy says. "Praise in public; criticize in private."
Nagy adds that the practice is rooted in the work Edwards Deming did in Japan after World War II.
"Deming was a big believer in continuous improvement," Nagy says, "and he felt that employee recognition was an essential part of team management and embodied good leadership."
So, what is the mood of small business, and how does it compare with the latest Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker?
Rieva Lesonsky tells us that the six-month survey of U.S. employees' satisfaction levels has some good - and bad - news for small business owners.
First, the good news.
"U.S. workers are feeling more satisfied than they did six months ago," Lesonsky writes in a recent Internet post. "Half of employees report having been recognized for their on-the-job efforts in the past three months, up from 44 percent in fall 2011, when the last survey was conducted.
"And more than 80 percent say receiving recognition in the workplace makes them more satisfied with their jobs. Additionally, more than half believe their employers are doing a good job offering adequate recognition for work well done."
Now, the bad news.
"Even though many employees are happier with their jobs, things could be better for the 55 percent of employees who say they're ready to leave their current jobs for a company that would better recognize their efforts," says Lesonsky, who is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.
The bottom line? Treat people well and they'll stay. Treat people poorly and they'll soon be gone.
Not convinced that recognizing your employees' efforts is directly related to their satisfaction?
Well, Lesonsky insists that you check out the following data:
n Just 23 percent of employees who have been recognized at work say they plan to search for a new job when the economy improves, compared with 51 percent of those who have never been recognized.
n A vast majority - 89 percent - of those who have been recognized feel appreciated at their job, compared with 17 percent of those never recognized.
n Most - 76 percent - of those who have been recognized by their employers love their jobs, compared with 37 percent of those who haven't been.
"If you haven't implemented some type of employee recognition program, now is the time. For a small business, recognition is easy," Lesonsky says.
She suggests acknowledging employees, thanking them and calling them out in front of the rest of the team while you're walking around and interacting with everyone.
"Recognizing people's efforts publicly is important. Don't just do it behind closed doors," Lesonsky says. "Of course, another often-appreciated way to recognize your people is with a written note. Finally, consider recognition in a more tangible way, such as a paid day or afternoon off."
Nagy also encourages us to recognize each other.
"The benefit of recognition is compounded when co-workers do it without input from their manager," he says.
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at (910) 693-2474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story