The “Great Resignation” has organizations everywhere in strategy mode. They’re brainstorming ways to keep employees happy and in turn, keep them on board.
So what’s making people want to quit their jobs en masse? The main cause is burnout. A recent Microsoft survey indicates that one in five people don’t feel like their employers care about burnout or work-life balance. Also, 54 percent are overworked and nearly 40 percent are out-right exhausted. With these kinds of stats, it’s easy to see why people would look elsewhere.
Fortunately, there is something employers can start implementing today that can help increase retention: employee recognition.
Our Guest: Morgan Chaney, Senior Director of Marketing at Blueboard
On the latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with Morgan Chaney, Senior Director of Marketing at Blueboard, the world’s leading experiential employee rewards and recognition platform. Morgan is an employee recognition thought leader and a seasoned professional speaker. She hosts Blueboard’s monthly webinars and presents regularly at industry conferences and professional meetups, including HR Transform, HR Southwest, HR Redefined, DisruptHR Regional Events, Culture Con Madison, and the CalHR Conference.
Because employee recognition can be so effective for retention efforts, I was excited to tap into her expertise. According to Morgan, the first step in successful retention is to touch base with teams to see if people are feeling appreciated.
“Organizations need to touch base with their teams and check in on how they’re feeling,” Morgan says. “That’s how they’ll be able to pivot and stay afloat.”
Prior to the pandemic, seventy-five percent of employees didn’t feel valued. Now that we’re all interacting in different locations through screens, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand an employee’s mindset. That’s why it’s important to make a point to focus on these perspectives. Once you gauge whether employees feel valued, it’s time to add an employee recognition program or uplevel the one already in place.
“Analyze your current program to see if it is well-utilized. Are managers trained and comfortable to give feedback and recognition in the first place? Is there clarity around how to participate in recognition?” Morgan says. “So those are things that employers can absolutely look at and ask themselves.”
The Importance of Managers in Employee Recognition
So how do you optimize these programs to ensure effectiveness? First and foremost, you need to make sure the mechanics for feedback and appreciation are solid. Managers need to feel comfortable with feedback and understand what is appropriate.
“Managers are a huge reason why people leave companies. If they don’t connect with their manager, if they don’t feel like they’re seen and valued from that first touchpoint, things can go really wrong and people might choose to go elsewhere,” Morgan says.
Further, properly empowered managers can deliver positive feedback and can get creative with employee recognition. They don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. With this in mind, organizations can have leaders offer customized options and perks, which will likely be more effective.
“Choice is huge. To toot the horn for Blueboard a little bit, we do experiential rewards. And what that means is that instead of giving someone a cash bonus or a gift card, we curate a really beautiful menu of global experiences that they can choose from. So what that can look like in fruition is maybe chasing the northern lights on a trip to Alaska with your loved ones and checking that off your bucket list,” Morgan says. “Make a point to really lift up your top performers, because those are the ones that you really don’t want to leave, the ones that are going to be really hard to replace … recognize them for their values”
I hope you enjoy this episode of #WorkTrends, sponsored by Blueboard. You can learn more about employee recognition by reaching out to Morgan Chaney on LinkedIn. You can also learn more about retaining top talent by checking out this Blueboard ebook: Retaining Top Talent is Your Top Priority.