Oh wow. You’ve done it. You’ve shucked off your corporate job, managed to start a small business that you love (rather than a job to just pay the bills) and you have to manage a busy family at the same time. Sure, sometimes you feel like a one-armed juggler, but overall you love everything about your life, including your small business.
But how do your employees feel about the business? Are they as motivated as you? Chances are, the answer is no, which is one good reason to have a fantastic company awards program. Of course, to recognize and keep your employees enthused you can always give cash, but that’s counter to the prevailing research.
Edco.com is one of the nation’s leading awards and recognition companies. In particular, that’s why Edco features, among its many award products, etched crystal awards. Custom etched crystal awards can be purchased for as low as $35, and they are a big hit among employees receiving the awards.
Once customers see the quality of etched crystal awards, they are exceedingly enthused and the employees receiving the awards cherish them for many years. In fact, crystal awards are so popular that the company has a 5-star rating with Google, with over 850 customers reviewing.
Why non-cash rewards are more memorable and appreciated
Studies by leading economists have shown that non-cash awards significantly outperform cash, as evidenced by Professor Scott Jeffrey, a University of Chicago Economics professor, who discovered that cash outperformed verbal praise for University of Chicago employees being rewarded for improvements in work speed and accuracy by 14 percent, but employees who received non-cash awards crushed those who received by cash by more than double the amount.
In an article for mothers/entrepreneurs, in notsoaveragemama.com, entitled Keeping Your Team Tight In Small Business, one of the key elements of the article is that to keep your team tight, do the little things like bringing in bagels occasionally, spring for lunch, buy some movie tickets. Those are great ideas, yet for every box of bagels you bring in, you’ll reap 10 fold or more that amount by giving away an award. And don’t worry so much about costs, either. Studies show that compared to cash, non-cash awards are around one-third the cost.
Here’s a list of additional non-cash ideas.
1. Offer a bouquet of flowers to a valued employee.
2. Offer a day spa certificate.
3. Designate an employee of the month parking spot.
4. Create a recognition board in a prominent place in your business. Keep it fresh by doing weekly recognition and holding brief recognition meetings.
5. Give away iTunes, Amazon, or food coupons frequently. Make sure your recognition program recognizes as many positive behaviors as possible.
6. Bring in a masseuse and offer four or five employees 20 minutes of a chair massage.
7. Have a catered lunch with the boss for sales contest winners or other employees meeting or exceeding company goals.
8. Buy a crown and periodically recognize different employees as “kings or queens of the business.”
9. Contract out to get a dunk tank and give away free passes to “dunk the boss” for employees exceeding certain company goals.
10. Establish a small game room or VIP employee lounge with a TV and reward employees with a 30-minute break to play an X-box or watch their favorite soap opera.
You need not spend a ton of money to show recognition for your employees, but when it comes to monthly, quarterly, or annual rewards, or to recognize a 10-year level of employment or a hard-earned retirement, consider breaking out the crystal.
Share in the recognition process
Experts note that while non-cash rewards do undoubtedly work increasing motivation and efficiency at work, too often, company rewards teams are top-heavy, created and run by management only. To make the most of a company recognition program, establish a few goals that the company wishes to sponsor, then select two or three employees to be part of the company recognition team. That way, the employees themselves feel represented when it comes to awards and recognition.
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