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Idea Box: Recognize Employees: A Simple, Effective Way to Reduce Turnover
Employee recognition doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.

By Staff
Date Posted: 2/1/2018

It’s well known that job satisfaction and engagement with blue-collar workers tends to be lower than with white collar and salaried workers. This causes retention and turnover problems that negatively affect the bottom line of many pallet businesses. You can accept this situation as part of operating a pallet or wood products business or you can figure out ways to turn the tide and keep employees longer to reduce the cost of turnover to your business.

One of the most simple and effective ways to increase engagement and lower turnover is providing recognition. This is actually true for any business regardless of the types of employees they have. Everyone likes—no, loves – to receive recognition. Providing recognition doesn’t have to be costly or even cost anything at all. It does require intent and sincerity to make an impact. This means you need to sincerely and intentionally recognize employees for their work and performance on the job.

Here is some research, as well as interesting statistics on employee recognition:

• Companies with recognition programs that effectively improve employee engagement typically have about 30% lower voluntary turnover, according to a study by Bersin & Associates, the human resources division of Deloitte.

• A Westminster College study revealed that 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated.

• A Society of Human Resource Management/Globoforce survey on recognition found that companies using strategic recognition are 48% more likely to report high engagement.

Here are some ways to begin showing appreciation and recognition to your people:

• Say it. Yes, simply take the time to notice and say something about employees who are doing a good job. Express appreciation for what they do, a specific achievement, or for just going above and beyond.

• Show it. You can provide recognition with something more tangible. This could be lunch on the company, an employee of the month program, a “thank you” card with a small gift such as a dinner out.

• Celebrate it. Make recognition a celebration for the whole company with a pizza party or cookout as a reward to the whole team for doing a good job and achieving a goal. This is the kind of thing you can do a few times a year, and it won’t break the bank for most pallet businesses.         

You also can provide monetary recognition in the form of a bonus or pay raise, but ironically, this may have less impact on engagement than something that has more sincerity and emotion behind it. After all, even your roughest, toughest blue-collar man has emotions and wants recognition. All kidding aside, recognition isn’t so much about money as it is about showing appreciation and the resulting effect that will have on a worker’s pride and self-worth.

If you do decide to provide more recognition and appreciation for increasing employee engagement and lowering turnover, it’s important to be committed and consistent. This kind of change in the company culture can pay off in two ways. It should not only improve retention, but may also make it easier to get new employees because they will really want to be a part of your team.

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