We recently celebrated Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and this week, 4th of July. Three good examples of when we take time out of our busy schedules to express our gratitude and reflect on how each has made a significant and noteworthy difference in our lives.
But Moms, Dads, and those in the military aren’t the only ones deserving of praise and recognition.
In our personal and professional lives, situations that warrant a “thank you” are plentiful. Hallmark certainly understands this and they aren’t alone. These days, more and more companies are putting in place formal recognition and reward programs and in exchange for this investment, are enjoying higher than average employee retention, long-term loyalty, and business success. Particularly as the market begins to rebound and hiring activity picks up, finding new and innovative ways to formally recognize outstanding performance and the contributions of key employees is becoming more critical than ever before.
In fact, if you want to attract the best talent and keep your top employees for the long-term, be sure to let them know how much they, as individuals, mean to you. Design a rewards and recognition program that is fair, clear to all involved, and consistent across all participants. And for added impact, take the time to tailor and align your rewards to each situation, circumstance and, if possible, the personal preferences of those involved. By using rewards that people actually want or would choose on their own, chances are high that participation in the program and the behaviors you’re trying to motivate and encourage, will follow.
Even better, it’s typically not necessary to spend a lot of money to make your employees feel valued. Much like the young child who delivers an original drawing to Mom or Dad to say thanks for being such a great parent, how much you spend rarely matters. Significantly more important is how and when gratitude is expressed. The more personal and sincere the thought or gesture, the higher its perceived value.
In the end, whether employees, parents, or members of our armed forces, all just want to know you care. A ribbon around a tree, a flag proudly waving in the air, or a simple pat on the back or meal at a favorite restaurant can deliver the message beautifully and leave a meaningful impression that will be remembered for years to come.