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7 Employee Engagement & Recognition Trends for 2018 That You Can't Afford to Ignore

Employee Engagement

Without employee recognition, there is little employee engagement. When employee engagement is low, the employer brand suffers. When the employer brand takes a beating, your reason for existence as a HR professional comes under the scanner. If you are an employer or manager tasked with the role of keeping employees engaged and building your employer brand, you have much to gain from tracking what’s in and what’s out when it comes to employee recognition and awards.

#1. The Continuous Feedback Loop

Research into the latest HR trends reveals that 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least twice a week. Employees are uninterested in standard performance reviews. The conclusion: ongoing corrective feedback is far more desirable and constructive than any form of feedback.

This applies for recognition as well. In past years, many businesses hosted an annual employee recognition day, in which prizes were handed out for individual achievements. Nowadays, though, there is a prevailing sense that frequent employee engagement is a much more effective motivational tool than intermittent recognition.

#2. Unique Rewards & Benefits

The hunt for new talent is cut throat. As a result, a lot of employers are offering unique benefits like tele-commuting, help with school admissions for kids, pet allowances, on site wellness programs, technology allowances, paternity leave, free food, foreign trips, sabbaticals, and even tattoo allowances – Viacom provides an annual stipend for employees to get a tattoo. Not kidding!

#3. Peer-to-peer Recognition

Praise is addictive and infectious. Employees are energized by the judicious use of praise. Yes, employees value praise from managers and others high up in the organization, but they also want peer recognition. This happens when morale is high and bonds strong. For peer recognition to happen, HR needs to ensure the overall environment is conducive to this.

#4. Thank You Notes

That employees love feeling appreciated is a no-brainer. However, more than the grand gestures, it’s the little everyday actions that will go a long way in making them feel like they belong. An easy yet proactive way to achieve this is by placing a stack of ‘Thank You’ notes in an easily accessible area in the office. This will encourage employees to give these to one another, regardless of their designation. The personal touch and pleasant surprise helps foster a feeling that they are valued by their colleagues, which in turn will make them value the organisation as well.

#5. Specific is More Personal

Handing out generic-sounding awards don’t cut the mustard these days. They do nothing to motivate people to excel at what they do. People want to know specifically the types of positive behaviour that are valued. Rather than handing out a one-size-fits-all employee of the month award, put a little thought into recognizing smaller, more specific improvements, for such improvements are easier for others in the team to comprehend and emulate. Visit our online store for ideas.

#6. Non-cash Drivers

More money doesn’t always mean more happiness and satisfaction. This is an undeniable fact. f life. This life lesson is now being turned into an HR tactic.

Compelling awards connect with the participant and encourage a change in behaviour. It is critical that the award be tangible in nature—something they can share with friends and family that represents their achievement. Merchandise, travel and tangible awards create trophy value beyond compensation. They effectively create an experience and loyalty that lasts long after cash has been spent.

As a consequence, tangible non-cash rewards are now an integral part of a company’s recruit and retain strategy.

#7. Work-life Balance Initiatives

Work-life balance is something employees of today value and seek. HR departments that facilitate this are appreciated.

Many companies are putting policies in place that limit checking email while out of the office and working while on personal (and paid) time off (PTO). They’re trying to be proactive about encouraging people to use more PTO and to actually stay offline during that PTO.

HR departments are also looking at other ways to put in place initiatives that help their employees combat stress in the office by, for example, by making physical, mental, sabbatical, and wellness benefits an integral aspect of remuneration packages.

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