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Life can be full of hard decisions. During periods of global uncertainty, these kinds of choices take greater precedence than they did before. Companies may be forced to reduce their workforce, decrease their spend, and, in some cases, fundamentally change the way they operate.
Often during hard times, things like employee recognition become an afterthought in the face of more “mission critical” choices. Why worry about how you’re going to recognize and reward your workforce when you’re more worried about how to keep the entire company operating? We’re here to tell you, however, that employee recognition is a crucial piece of the puzzle you can’t afford not to make use of. Without employee recognition, efforts to keep your ship afloat will only be partially effective.
A Beacon During Uncertainty
In an economy that is growth based—and entirely dependent on continued growth—an economic downturn can feel like being lost at sea. What role can employee recognition possibly play in such a high stakes environment? What factors does it influence? How can you navigate the challenges and find safer shores?
Bolster Employee Morale
When things get a little uneasy in the general economy, that disquiet percolates down to individuals and families. Stress can escalate in personal and professional lives as employees worry about making ends meet and keeping their jobs amidst the uncertainty.
There’s no doubt that companies will unfortunately need to make some difficult decisions during hard times. It’s part of life. However, with the right recognition program in place, employee morale and loyalty can actually increase in a tight economy, and it can be done with a low cost but high return. As employees are recognized and appreciated when things feel a little bleak, their love and loyalty for their organization will strengthen. Appreciating your employees will help knit your teams together as they form stronger bonds. With employee recognition you can be sure to come out of tough times even stronger than before.
Making sure your company is making smart financial decisions is a hallmark of economic downturns, and one cost savings is often overlooked: retention. Having an employee leave for any reason can cost a great deal of money in sourcing, hiring, and training a new one, not to mention the dip in productivity because of it.
Retaining employees is a great way to save money, and there’s no better way to increase retention than through recognition. When you regularly recognize employees for their efforts, retention increases naturally as a byproduct. Recognition doesn’t even have to be expensive, either—it can be as simple as a thank you. If saying “thank you” or “great job” could save you thousands of dollars, you’d definitely do it. That’s the power of recognition!
Build a Resilient Culture
Keeping a positive attitude is imperative to holding your company together and building the strength of your teams. Resilience in difficult times is an important trait to foster in your organization because it can influence so many other factors (looking at you, retention, engagement, morale, and company outlook). With timely and appropriate recognition, you can easily foster this resiliency as your employees support and appreciate one another. Encouraging this positive culture in your employees with recognition is a fantastic way to make sure your organization is resilient through tough times.
In stressful times it can be difficult for employees to stay focused and engaged in their work. Instead of hovering over shoulders, treat your employees as adults and appreciate them for the work they do by recognizing them often. Recognition plays a vital part in encouraging engagement is as easy as noticing hard work and being grateful for it. People are naturally more engaged with a task when they feel they’ve been appreciated and supported in the past.
Make Recognition Your Competitive Edge
It’s easy to see why recognition is so valuable in difficult times—and yet it’s so often overlooked. Without recognition in the workplace you may be running the risk of compounding a bad situation by not motivating and incentivizing your employees.
When things inevitably turn around (and they always do), would you rather have a net positive or a net negative as a result of economic difficulties? Many companies are reactive to their environments instead of proactive and come out on the other side of a downturn in worse shape than before. However, you can have a net positive if you have an excellent recognition program in place. How much more confident in your team and company would you be if you had a net positive in productivity, retention, engagement, and even employee happiness?
With the right recognition program, you can even increase your spend on employees while saving money on the cost of your program. Not many recognition platforms can promise that, but there is one that can. With a program like this you can be sure that you'll be able to weather any storm. When things get tough you can’t afford NOT to make employee recognition a priority—and you can be sure most of your competitors aren’t doing it. Make recognition your competitive edge during an economic downturn by investing in rewarding, timely, simple recognition. You’ll thank yourself later.