Posts Tagged 'morale'

Employee Recognition: Small Budget, Big Payback

I’ve been working on a program I’ll be giving in Santa Clara on March 19th. The topic is employee recognition in a down economy. I am finding that many organizations don’t realize that recogniton doesn’t have to suffer because budgets have been slashed. In fact recognition becomes even more critical as morale is battered from so many directions.

There are two main points I plan to clarify for participants.

1) Recognition Doesn’t Have to Cost a Dime

With all the press about extravagant events, I am finding that it is even more important to talk about the difference between rewards and recognition. Employee appreciation events are rewards. Bonuses and incentives are rewards. Even company logo t-shirts are rewards (although they are not always appreciated rewards).

Recognition is an act, not a thing. Recognition doesn’t cost anything. Sometimes recognition is accompanied by a reward, but most of the time it is a thank you, praise, a new challenge, being trusted to do the right thing, or simply working with someone who knows you and what you bring to the team.

2) The Returns Are Enormous

The payback for offering meaningful recognition, for creating programs that make people feel visible and valued, is a workforce that is resilient, motivated, and highly productive. There are statistics and ancedotes a plenty to prove the value of good recognition.

Small budget, big payback. What more could you want?

Keeping Your Team Engaged in a Crisis

If you read Make Their Day you might remember Remedy Software. They were acquired by a company that quickly pulled them into a quamire when accounting descrepancies emerged. The CEO and CFO of the parent company resigned and, ultimately, the company was delisted on NASDAQ.

This was a company in crisis. Many companies are in crisis today. Does that mean that, along with being leaner, they have to be meaner? Hopefully, you know the answer to that question is a resounding “No!”

Remedy chose to maintain its pre-acquisition values and strategies. They put people on equal footing with profits and customer satisfaction. They did everything they could to insure that people felt valued. Yes, it was a lot of work. Yes, sometimes managers dug into their own pockets to pay for recognition that the struggling parent company wouldn’t authorize.

The result? They maintained morale, increased customer satisfaction, and grew their revenue stream!

Your organization is probably having a tough time of it. You don’t have money for raises. Hours are being cut. Pay is being reduced. There is no money for recognition. Morale is suffering. There couldn’t be a better time not to abandon your recognition efforts.

Keep these points in mind:

  • The most meaningful recognition is free. It is a few positive words, an assignment that provides a development opportunity,  or even a chance to spend a few minutes just chatting with someone within your reporting structure.
  • People want to be part of the solution. Keep them apprised and ask for their help in getting back on track.
  • Plan some fun celebrations (find something to celebrate!)…but remember that when employees are sacrificing raises or even having their pay cut, they don’t want to think that you are squandering their money.

High Cost of a Bad Hire

I focus so much on how to keep great people I thought it might be a good idea to look at the repercussions of making a bad hire.

In a survey completed last year by Right Management they reported that the cost of a bad hire ranged from one to five times annual salary. Twenty-six percent of respondents reported that replacing an employee that doesn’t work out cost their organizations three times annual salary and another 42 percent said bad hires cost two times annual salary.

ADP offers a calculator to help you find the cost of a bad hire for your organization.

But what about the costs to team morale? Have you ever had to work with someone who really shouldn’t be on your team? Of course you have and the results was that person dragged everyone down.

So when you hire, hire for skills but also for attitude and the strengths they bring to your team!

Copyright 2007 Cindy Ventrice


My name is Cindy Ventrice. I am the author of the best-selling book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works and the companion guide Recognition Strategies That Work.

My work has been quoted in The New York Times, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Tim Sanders' book The Likeability Factor.


Visit my website www.maketheirday.com today!


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