Here’s a number that makes many of our clients nervous: According to Dice, the average number of days a job vacancy stays open has been steadily increasing, at a near peak of 28.1 days. Leaving a position open for almost a month during the search for the right candidate is a recipe for lost productivity, decreased employee morale, and increased stress. It’s why so many companies are focused on retaining top tech talent, with the goal of avoiding that reality in the first place. It’s a goal that we believe starts with a strong employee appreciation strategy.
When Employee Appreciation Isn’t Working
High turnover, low employee engagement and slowing productivity are all red flags that something’s wrong. While we recognize that any number of factors could be contributing, we think it’s worth revisiting your employee appreciation strategy. Don’t have a strategy? Many companies don’t. It’s one of those things baked into the company culture or approached as an afterthought. That’s all fine and good until something goes wrong.
So let’s get honest. Do you know if your employees feel valued? Do they feel like their efforts are actually worth it? If you’re not sure how to start answering those questions, your best bet is to outright ask for feedback. The reality is that a significant majority of employees believe they would stay at their employer longer if they felt more appreciated by their bosses. This means that one of the foundational steps to nurturing retention is figuring out what makes your employees feel appreciated
It’s important not to make assumptions. We’ve seen companies implement an “employee of the month” program as a quick fix employee appreciation strategy. The thing is, in many cases, the effort is obviously lacking, and employees quickly forget about this minor, often superficial recognition. Make the move to get a genuine understanding of what would make a difference.
A Little Goes a Long Way
Despite the fact that quick fix programs rarely work, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your employee appreciation strategy has to be monumental to make an impact. While fast and efficient isn’t always best, sometimes all it takes is a cultivating awareness on every level of your organization. Take frequent moments to recognize when someone has gone above and beyond or when a goal has been reached or when an obstacle was overcome.
Both public and private recognition can work in these instances; it depends entirely on your existing culture and team dynamic. Beyond this, explore what rewards and incentives will help cultivate employee appreciation. Is it bonuses and raises? Or perhaps perks and treats like surprise team lunches, outings, or prizes? Another interesting strategy is giving employees involvement in decision-making processes. Letting them know they’re making a real impact is an excellent way to show your appreciation.
Ultimately, it’s about taking time to show your gratitude for the work of your employees. And that rings true for every level of employee, from executive to entry level. Finally, be aware of who you’re showing appreciation for and how often. Be careful about employees taking credit for other’s work, or recognizing some employees more often than others for the wrong reasons.
An Employee Appreciation Strategy That Works
According to a Glassdoor survey, 81% of employees say they are more motivated to work harder when they feel appreciated for their work. A statistic like that alone suggests why an employee appreciation strategy is worth the effort for your company.
And it’s not just productivity. Employee appreciation boosts employee morale and helps improve your retention rates. It’s not just a “feel good” buzz word that companies throw around to draw people in. It’s a real strategy that the best companies are executing on a daily basis.
In this highly competitive IT industry, we’ve seen firsthand that top talent is attracted to companies that care about their employees. At CyberSearch, we work closely with our clients to source that top talent and make sure they’re a great fit for the company. Need a hand with your recruiting? Let us help you out.