Recognizing your employees

Recognizing your employees is something that every business owner and 'boss' thinks about. Unfortunately it can be costly and saying "Nice job!" just doesn't always cut it.

According to a Maritz Research study, employees who participate in employee recognition programs at work are five times more likely to feel valued, 11 times more likely to feel committed and seven times more likely to stay in their jobs. That's pretty noteworthy considering on average it can cost an employees yearly salary to replace them.

Below are a few ways of using cost effective promotional imprinted products to ensure employee retention - even in today's economy.


1. Give winners a choice. Hold a sales or customer success contest and let the winners choose from a selection of prizes so that they get what they really want - even more rewarding. Include usable and trendy promotional product ideas like solar-powered charging stations, customized iPod skins and cool watches with features like mini flashlights.

2. Award lapel pins to top achievers. Think Hard Rock cafe and Friday's. Some employees have so many pins they can't even fit them on but they are proud to wear them. 

3. Don’t leave out the little guys. Suture maker Hephicon celebrated 50 years in business with a huge outdoor picnic. The company awarded logoed anniversary watches to every employee, from top executives down to the maintenance man. That can make each and every employee feel special.

4. Reward brilliant ideas. Periodically ask for suggestions with whatever you may need help with and reward the best ideas with logoed merchandise or gift certificates. 


5. Create your own recognition awards. Choose from custom items, crystal creations and inspirational trophies. Even better, have an award (like a custom bobblehead) created exclusively for the employee you want to reward.


6. Don’t be afraid to get a little goofy. The most popular performance award at Synovus Financial Corporation is a tacky pink flamingo with a bow tie that employees proudly display in their cubicles. The flamingo award comes with a free lunch, $100 cash and a paid vacation day, but employees say the bird is the real prize.

There is of course, a lot more that you can do to recognize your employees - just be creative. Chances are if there is thought behind the reward, your employees will feel grateful.

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