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Capitalize on employee confidence

Given how difficult it can be to ensure workforce satisfaction and retain valuable talent, many companies simply can't afford not to take advantage of opportunities to bolster positivity among employees.

Given how difficult it can be to ensure workforce satisfaction and retain valuable talent, many companies simply can't afford not to take advantage of opportunities to bolster positivity among employees. What's more, employee reward programs don't need to be a tool that managers implement solely when they notice a problem with engagement and motivation. Effective recognition can also go a long way when employees are already confident and energized, as a way of reinforcing staff members' positive outlooks.

Confidence increases following government shutdown
Supervisors may find the attitudes that currently prevail among workers to be favorable to such efforts. New research suggests that despite October's government shutdown, employee confidence remains high.

Randstad recently announced that its Employee Index – a monthly gauge of workforce attitudes conducted by Harris Interactive – rose three points last month. Employees expressed higher levels of confidence in the job market. Furthermore, the number of respondents who said the economy had grown stronger increased by 8 percent from October.

Randstad's Chief HR Officer John Link noted that the government shutdown had little effect on these indicators, and retail sales and hiring are on the rise.

"Despite the recent macroeconomic events, we remain encouraged by high levels of worker confidence when it comes to their outlook on the strength of the economy and availability of jobs," Link commented.

Boost satisfaction with positive culture, rewards
Managers who notice improved outlook among staff should take the opportunity to reaffirm that employees are valued in their current positions – as improved confidence also means that workers may be more likely to look elsewhere for employment if they aren't satisfied.

In a column for Entrepreneur magazine, Return Path CEO Matt Blumberg discussed several strategies that companies can implement as they attempt to shore up employee satisfaction. For Blumberg, one of the overarching principles of good management is clarity. He insisted that firms clearly articulate for employees the mission, goals and priorities of the enterprise – and show them how their work fits into the picture.

"Turn the broader mission into something more concrete with prioritized goals and unambiguous success metrics," Blumberg wrote.

Techniques like those Blumberg outlined can be effective in part because they allow workers to track their own success and see how their efforts contribute to the greater goals of the company. As such, it's important not only that employees understand those goals, but also that they know their contributions are valued. Reward and recognition programs can help companies ensure that they communicate their appreciation to their staff.

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