You know how much a disengaged employee can hurt productivity, but have you ever calculated how much that employee could be costing you? Gallup estimates that the U.S. economy takes a hit of between $450 billion and $550 billion a year in lost revenue due to employees who are not engaged.
If you’re an average company, you could be losing thousands of dollars a year if your staff members don’t feel connected to the work they do. Fortunately, turning that around doesn’t have to cost you a dime. A well-managed employee appreciation strategy can have a huge impact on employee morale and your company’s bottom line.
Say “Thank You”
Really. Just taking the time to show your gratitude for a job well done can have a cascading effect across the entire company. When you personally — and publicly — call out an employee who’s gone above and beyond with a particularly difficult assignment or customer, others notice and start doing it, too. And research shows that employees are more highly engaged in their work when companies focus on recognition.
Your employees are your most powerful resources, so create an atmosphere that promotes experimentation, collaboration and a free flow of ideas. Ask employees how they would change their jobs if they could. Get their feedback on internal processes and ask for ways to improve them. And take advantage of your younger workers’ technical expertise by asking them to evaluate your website or social media campaign. When employees have input, they feel greater ownership in the company and pride in their work.
Promote from Within
Even the most dedicated workers need to believe their best efforts will be rewarded with career advancement, so create growth opportunities within your organizational structure. Even if you can’t promote someone immediately, you can create lateral pathways that enable workers to try out different jobs and develop new skills. Spend time with each employee to understand his or her career goals, and work with employees to help them reach their potential. When they see that you’re invested in them, they’ll be more invested in themselves and in your business.
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