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Employee reward recognition programs help fight disengagement

A Gallup survey revealed that service employees - those with the most direct contact with potential customers - had the lowest level of engagement among any profession.

Disengaged workers create a number of challenges for companies. These staff members can have a negative influence on their coworkers, implementing a destructive environment that reduces productivity and drives customers away. Unfortunately, a new poll by Gallup found that 70 percent of workers are disengaged.

This high level of unmotivated staff members leads to $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity nationwide each year, according to Gallup. To make matters worse, the survey revealed that service employees – those with the most direct contact with potential customers – had the lowest level of engagement among any profession. Companies that want to improve their performance should focus on creating a work environment that engages and motivates their workers.

Employee reward recognition programs give businesses the tools they need to boost employee engagement. These initiatives allow managers to recognize workers who have shown commitment to their organization. When individuals understand that their efforts are noticed, they are motivated to continue making improvements.

Create the right environment to engage employees
To see quick results, businesses should use reward programs to promote common goals and values. The Gallup survey found that only 41 percent of respondents knew what their company stood for. To be actively engaged, staff members need to have a clear understanding of their organizations' long-term objectives and their role within operations. Common values help employees build meaningful connections with co-workers, which is a key aspect for becoming actively engaged at work.

Strong connections are part of the reason that people working at small companies are more likely to be engaged than those employed by large corporations. In a firm with fewer than 50 workers, it is easier for managers to know their team members personally. Supervisors at large organizations should be encouraged to create personalized rewards for workers as part of any recognition program. The more time that managers take to determine the right rewards, the more effective the initiatives will be.

A high level of personalized attention is one reason that young employees are often more engaged than those who have been with a company for a while. As new workers are brought in, they get a lot of training and feedback about their performance. This often vanishes as staff members become more adept at their jobs. The Gallup poll found that individuals at the midpoint of their career were most likely to be disengaged. Reward programs can be used to re-energize this group of workers. Recognizing those who have completed 5 or 10 years of service in a personal and public way can provide a lift to all workers.

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