According to Forbes, studies have shown that a top reason employees leave is lack of recognition. As many as 66% would leave if they did not feel appreciated — and that number jumps to 76% among Millennials. It’s as many as three-quarters of your workers.
That’s a critical problem.
Check out how Google solve this problem with their 5 effective examples to reward and recognize employees. Google offered rewards thoughtfully designed to reflect what matters to employees. Google gave its employee’s choice. They made the reward experience meaningful and something employees truly want and not something determined solely by a few folks. Furthermore, Google made rewards and recognition part of its culture.
1. Give Experiences Not Money
Google learned the hard way that non-monetary awards motivate people better than cold hard cash. They realized that there is a big difference with how people view cash and non-monetary rewards.
Google tested a program to generously reward the people who performed exceptionally with their accomplishments, offering huge sums of money – up to $1 million – for its best performers. The program was a dismal failure. They discovered that it resulted to jealousy and resentment.
They phased out the cash rewards program and rolled out a new rewards program that offered experiences — everything from dinners out to new tech gadgets to international travel. Employees said they found the new program more fun, more memorable, and more meaningful than the cash awards.
Accordingly to Google’s former HR head Laszlo Bock, Cash prizes are evaluated on a cognitive level, and seen through practical eyes. Meanwhile, a non-cash prize conjures up a different feeling, triggering an emotional response.
Bock stated that “employees will end up happier if you give them an experience—something personal and nonfinancial”.
2. It does not have to be expensive rewards.
The most important thing is that company culture reflects rewarding and recognizing its employees. The employee rewards and recognition component of the company’s culture would need it to be pervasive across the company at all levels.
3. Allow both managers and their peers to reward employees.
Google has embedded employee rewards and recognition in its culture. Thus, allowing employees to embrace and appreciate the company further.
They use a spot bonus program for rewarding outstanding one-time achievement. Managers are allowed to reward employees who worked on their projects or team initiatives.
Employees can recognize and reward their peers using a peer bonus. This is open to any employee to recognize exemplary work of his peers that is not readily visible to managers.
4. Recognize team achievements.
As the Society for Human Resource Management points out, “successful organizations are highly innovative, and innovation requires teamwork for the development of new ideas. Team-based incentives create, as well as emphasize, the need for collaboration across the company.”
Google has a program to allow executives to reward groups or big teams for exemplary performance. Not only does this program provide a unique reward for all team members but also help promote teamwork and bonding.
5. Give lots of Thanks
Google employees are able to recognize their co-workers by sending simple thank you notes. With their peer-to-peer recognition program, employees can publicly demonstrate their appreciation of the work and contribution of their peers.
Combining a public Thank you note with a token reward can be truly memorable and appreciated, fostering team work and driving a performance driven culture.