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Retain top employees with reward programs

Companies may see better results with employee retention if they use reward and recognition programs in conjunction with promotions.

Highly talented staff members can make a big difference at any company. These key personnel often deliver better results, happier clients and are leaders within the office. It is not surprising that businesses tend to struggle with identifying the best ways to retain these workers.

A new report by World at Work shows that companies continue to rely on promotions as a way to attract and retain top talent. Eighty-one percent of companies will increase pay as a result of a promotion, while 76 percent also provide higher-level responsibilities. This can work to keep some personnel moving along a career development path, but the study also found that only 16 percent of businesses widely communicate promotional guidelines and policies.

Reward programs work for entire organizations
Companies may see better results with employee retention if they use reward and recognition programs in conjunction with promotions. Money Management notes that taking the time to recognize staff contributions can be just as significant in keeping staff motivated. Celebrating key successes of individuals allows everyone within the organization to be reached by retention efforts, not just those who have earned promotions. This strategy could deliver better results, as it helps to improve the performance of all workers.

Organizations that want to see the best results from employee retention strategies need to focus on the bulk of their workforces, not simply those who are top earners. Targeting employee reward programs to the middle 60 percent will reduce turnover and improve engagement levels. Making sure that all staff members benefit in some way from a reward program will encourage them to continue participating in various initiatives in the future.

Providing unique rewards
Another reasons why reward and recognition programs work better than promotions for employee retention is that they allow firms to provide personalized rewards for performance. Creating unique rewards for individual workers can improve employees' feelings of pride in their work. Even promotions can be enhanced with unique perks, such as new offices, in addition to new job titles and higher pay.

"Most employees as a knee jerk reaction ask for 'more money' but very rarely is this what they actually want," Liam Martin of Staff.com told The Washington Post. "They want to wake up in the morning and feel like they're making a difference, they 'want' to go to work – more money doesn't do that."

Employee reward programs help build a work environment that staff members can be proud of. Taking the time to recognize achievements and offering a selection of rewards to choose from can increase engagement levels and productivity throughout the entire organization.

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