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Fight employee turnover, absenteeism with reward programs

Companies can fight employee turnover and absenteeism with employee incentive programs.

American workers are choosing to remain at their current jobs despite the slow recovery of the economy. A Bloomberg BNA study found that there was little change in employee turnover rates during the fourth quarter of 2012.

High turnover rates can be costly to organizations. Not only do they lose productivity as teams are unable to operate at full efficiency, but they also accrue the expense of finding replacements. Fortunately, just 0.7 percent of workforce members separated from their employers during each month of the fourth quarter. While this figure remained unchanged from the previous quarter, the study did find that employee absenteeism increased.

Unscheduled absences affect productivity in a similar fashion to turnover. Teams need to deal with suddenly having fewer people on hand, which can create additional costs in the form of overtime pay. The median rate of unscheduled absences during the quarter was 0.8 percent of the workforce, up from 0.6 percent in the third quarter, according to the study.

Companies can fight employee turnover and absenteeism with employee incentive programs. These initiatives reward workers who are regularly on time for shifts and maintain steady attendance. When employees make the effort to be on schedule, this allows managers to plan breaks more effectively, which can dramatically improve the relationship between staff members and allow them to be more cooperative and productive.

Reward programs can also be essential to keeping turnover low. The Boston Globe reports that alternative forms of recognition can go a long way toward making employees feel valued. The source notes that rewards often have a significant impact on engagement levels by allowing companies to show appreciation for strong performances as they occur. When individuals are singled out for their effort and commitment, this increases pride and satisfaction, which can encourage them to seek advancement opportunities within their current companies rather than looking further afield.

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