In Part 1 of this article, the importance of an “I Appreciate You” program was discussed. The impact of such a program on the culture of a company and, consequently, on its employees cannot be understated.
Employee recognition can take place in one or two ways or both:
- First, pay attention and look for opportunities when spur-of-the-moment, oral or written recognition is appropriate and will help excite and motivate the employee receiving your attention — and show all others that this is now part of the company culture.
- Next, make something happen. Follow-up an oral praise moment with a written memo such as the sample below.
Here is an example of how easy a simple message can be:
What does it cost to have a company-wide employee recognition program?
Virtually nothing! The sample above can be printed in tear-off pads of paper for very small cost. Giving these to key employees with a few instructions is all that is needed to begin to make a huge difference in reducing your retention turnover problem:
See or hear something special about an employee or independent driver?
- Use one of these “I Appreciate” forms and write a special message and hand it to the recipient, whenever possible, or include in paycheck or settlement envelope.
- Do not send by mail.
- Write no more than three sentences.
- Sign and date.
- No limit to who gets them.
There is a residual cost, however, and it is the issue that may be uncovered by the conversations between the employee and the manager or executive giving the praise could require some actions or changes in a company that could be significant. In any case, the benefits of such a program are large when implemented effectively.
- Your company may experience increased individual productivity – greater employee satisfaction and enjoyment of work – more time spent focusing on the job and less time complaining.
- Happy employees are more loyal, satisfied and supportive of the company.
- Happy employees tend to satisfy customers more than minimum standards require.
- The big one: Retention of happy employees increases which reduces employee turnover.
- Companies with happy employees experience better safety records and fewer accidents on the job than companies with little communications with employees on their issues.
- Happy employees show up for work more often and experience less stress than unhappy employees.
There are costs to design and execution – but they are so minimal compared to the benefits.
- Developing a program to train key employees to become the administrators of the “I Appreciate You” program
- Time taken to give recognition
- Dollar cost of the recognition items given
- Time and cost of teaching people how to give recognition
- Costs of introducing a new process
You can spontaneously praise people – this is highly effective. For many employees, receiving sincere recognition and thanks for their effort far outweighs giving something physical such as a gift card or promo item (hat, pen, shirt, etc.).
Your employees will enjoy recognition through written praise from those they respect at work, praise given in a timely, specific and sincere way.
I have seen employees who have received more than one of these “I Appreciate You” acknowledgments hang them up in their work area for all to see. They are proud, loyal, happy and “keepers”.
The best format for showing your appreciation to an individual for their efforts is:
- Thank them by name. “I appreciate you, Bob…” (Mary, Suzy, Mohamed)
- Be specific about what your appreciation is for: “for taking the time to make that delivery despite the difficulty you experienced…”
- Recognizing a specific reason for your recognition reinforces good behavior and shows others what is valued at the company and that it goes for everyone.
- Let employees know that what “Bob did” helps the company in many ways. “…your efforts, Bob, go a long way to showing our customers how much we value their business…”
- Point out the value added to the team or organization by the behavior.
- Thank the person again by name for their contribution.
The Recognition Process
We are a better company for the ability to have happy employees. Happy employees are likely to stay longer and that helps our retention thus reducing our costs to replace people.
Using praise and recognition through a simple and inexpensive method like the “I Appreciate You” memo goes a long way to establish a positive culture where ownership and management respect their employees and show them how much they are valued.
Employees who are shown respect, appreciation and recognition make a company great for their support of mission, customer relations and helping yield a better bottom line. Ultimately, it helps everyone benefit.
The cost of a program of appreciation is small compared to the ROI benefits.
…and I appreciate you for reading this article.
I would appreciate your comments on my recommendations and/or how well this program is working or will work in your company if adopted.