Rewards and Recognition: Effective Solutions for Employee Engagement in the Retail Sector
The retail sector in today’s market is facing major disruption. Post-2009 depression, retailers have thrived and managed to hold their ground, but their employee recruiting and retention strategy is still struggling to get out of that phase. Even though they have several positions open throughout the year, it’s almost impossible to have 100 percent successful hiring. This explains why retail stands among the top five industries with the highest employee turnover rate. Apart from employee acquisition, retailers have a much bigger problem: employee retention.
Rewards and Recognition is the Answer
The first step to employee retention is rewards and recognition (R&R). While salary is the primary motivator for an employee to work, praise, appreciation and recognition also go a long way in keeping employees happy and returning to work every day with a smile on their face. R&R can improve your business by:
- improving worker productivity;
- reducing absenteeism;
- creating a highly motivated staff;
- instilling employee trust and loyalty; and
- improving peer-to-peer relationships.
Retailers that have a well-curated R&R program experience less employee turnover and provide better customer service leading to increased sales.
Rules to Follow Before Rolling Out a R&R Program
- Be regular. Recognition shouldn’t occur periodically, apart from annual performance reviews or award ceremonies. Employees’ everyday efforts add to bigger results. Hence, it's imperative that you recognize the hard work they put in on an everyday basis.
- Be immediate. Whenever you see a behavior, effort or result that's appreciation worthy, recognize it immediately. We all know that what gets recognized gets repeated.
- Be genuine. Saying “thank you” or “good job” isn’t enough. It’s too ambiguous for employees as they're not sure for what exactly they're being thanked or appreciated for. Remember to specify the behavior, effort or result you're rewarding (or recognizing) and the impact it will have on the team/organization.
- Be considerate. No one shoe size fits all. Therefore, you should also consider personalizing your recognition. Something that can be encouraging to one may not be encouraging for another. For example, introverts don’t enjoy the spotlight, while extroverts enjoy being celebrated. Therefore, be sensitive and considerate to the way an individual likes to be recognized.
5 Easy and Empowering Ways to Rock Recognition
- Say thanks. Daily verbal recognition boosts employees’ confidence and motivates them to work harder.
- Give a little. Not all of us can afford to sponsor fancy vacations for employees who go above and beyond. However, that should not stop us from giving gift cards, movie tickets, experience vouchers, sports event tickets, etc., to those employees who matter to your company the most.
- Celebrate milestones. Organize team lunches or off-site outings to recognize the completion of sales targets or projects. This will boost team morale and increase teamwork.
- Present advancement opportunities. Take time to map a career path plan with each employee so they can understand their future within your department/company.
- Offer monetary rewards. If budget permits, consider spot bonuses for incredible contributions.
Genuine recognition is an essential driver for any successful business. If you continue to ignore the benefit of an effective R&R program, then your company will continue the cycle of turnover. You will incur costs by having key roles constantly being open and filled. These employees may be “OK,” but they're not delivering the greatness your brand, peers and customers need.
Poonam Das is a content writer at Xoxoday, a Saas commerce company that helps build an engaged and happy workforce.
Poonam Das is a content writer at Xoxoday, a Saas commerce company that helps build an engaged and happy workforce. She specialises in curating a strong brand image through storytelling, narrative and experience-driven content writing. With a background in Women Studies and the soul of an artist, she brings in an interesting mix of research, creativity, and a very peculiar social perspective.