Why Positive Employee Recognition in the Workplace is so Important This January

Ensuring you provide a positive, productive and innovative workplace environment with plenty of employee recognition and rewards might be more important than employers realise, particularly in this New Year period.

Temptation is Great

The ‘New Year, New You’ motto rings true not only for health and fitness, but also extends to the minds of employees who might be looking for a new job or a new challenge. With the constant media barrage reinforcing the ‘New Year, New You’ message, employees can very easily be tempted to look around.

This general assumption of New Year restlessness has been proven correct by statistics from a national employee survey released by Each Person, a provider of a recognition and rewards scheme that enables employers to boost employee participation and engagement. The survey (1) from Each Person revealed that 52% of respondents said that they were considering leaving their job in the New Year – a concerning statistic for employers.

New Year Staff Turnover Spikes

The average annual staff turnover rate stands at 15% although this varies hugely between sectors and geographical regions (2). This rate also spikes in January and February. The highest turnover rates tend to be in the catering, retailing and call centre sectors and lowest in the education, legal, accountancy and public sector industries. The impact of high turnover rates in a business will have not only measurable, financial costs including loss of sales and customers, recruitment costs, training and temporary cover especially if a post isn’t filled immediately. However, there are also hidden intangible costs such as poor staff morale that affect those employees remaining in the business.

Positive Employee Recognition This New Year

Yet this high staff turnover trend in the New Year can potentially be turned around in the workplace by ensuring that your staff appreciation program is effective. Employees who feel appreciated are more positive about themselves and their ability to contribute. This in turn boosts employee participation – those people with positive self-esteem are potentially your best employees.

Implementing a company recognition scheme where employees are recognised and rewarded is often regarded as tricky and fraught with fears of employee jealousy and dissatisfaction. This often arises when company recognition schemes are not implemented properly and where the assumption is that one size fits all. A flexible staff appreciation program will acknowledge and reward certain actions, behaviours, approaches and achievements that a company has agreed they wish to foster and reinforce. It is therefore essential to establish employee recognition and rewards opportunities that emphasize and reinforce these sought-after qualities and behaviors within an agreed set of guidelines.

In summary, whilst salary, bonuses, and benefits are critical in your employee recognition and reward system—after all, most employees do work for money—think more broadly about your opportunities to provide employee recognition. A simple thank you or a personalised treat that they can choose themselves might be all they need to stop them registering on those job websites this New Year.

About Each Person

To find out more about the Each Person employee recognition and reward scheme, visit www.eachperson.com



  1. http://eachperson.com/person-reveals-results-employee-survey/ Each Person
  2. http://bit.ly/2hT6uQ3, Monster

Is Your Employee Recognition Scheme Actually Recognising Those Who Matter – Rethinking Rewards and Recognition This New Year

Now that the Christmas and New Year festivities are over, staff are returning to work and credit card bills are a harsh reality check of the cost of the festive season, staff may well be feeling a little low. With the average cost of Christmas per family being £753 per family (1), ensuring that employees feel buoyed, upbeat and motivated is essential, especially in the New Year period. The recognition and rewards of employees on a personal level is these days increasingly considered not as an optional extra, but as essential in keeping staff motivated, loyal and proactive. At a time of year when we review and reflect on our work and lifestyle practices, now is a good time to stand back and analyse whether your employee recognition and rewards scheme is actually having the intended effect.

Traditionally, the Christmas bonus and possibly also an annual pay rise or year end bonus, have been deemed more than enough by employers to recognise their employees’ hard work and keep them happy throughout the New Year and beyond. However, with the average annual bonus in the private sector being £1900 (2) whilst employees in education and the public sector receive only on average £100 (3), employees can very often see the majority of their bonus quickly eaten up by the end of January by cost of the Christmas. Although still welcomed by staff, this approach of awarding a bonus being the sole way of employee appreciation is now regarded as outdated, impersonal and having only a short term effect on morale and employee participation that has rapidly diminished by February. Other employers believe they are sufficiently recognising their staff throughout the year by giving them a gift card for special occasions or holding a company recognition scheme such as ‘Employee of the Month’.

Does Tried and Tested Always Work Best?

With £300 million a year spent on unused gift cards (4) with the vast majority of these given during the Christmas period, this would point to it being a clear sign that the recipient does not find it of value. If an employee does not find a reward valuable, they are unlikely to be engaged in a scheme intended to drive motivation and employee participation.

‘Employee of the Month’ Schemes – Time to Rethink?

The same question over effectiveness could also be said for ‘Employee of the Month’ schemes. More than 80% of companies issue an ‘Employee of the Month’ award or similar accolade (5). Far from having the intended effect of boosting employee participation and reinforcing teamwork, sometimes approaches such as ‘Employee of the Month’ can be divisive and detrimental.

On the positive side, ‘Employee of the Month’ schemes can encourage healthy competition in sales environments such as call centres and retail sales. Without doubt, in these sectors, ‘Employee of the Month’ schemes boost employee engagement – revitalising an employee’s sense of belonging to a company and driving staff to be enthusiastic and fully absorbed in their role.

‘Employee of the Month’ schemes might not be as effective in other sectors. Some even argue that ‘Employee of the Month’ schemes are not recognition in the workplace at all. What percentage of the workforce do they actually reward? In a company of 200, an ‘Employee of the Month’ award will only recognise 0.5% of the company each month. Moreover, very often it is the high flyers or more outwardly confident who are rewarded, with the main bulk of staff not being rewarded at all.

The initial momentum of a scheme can often also lose traction quite rapidly as enthusiasm for nominations wanes. And how do you choose between an employee who makes a great impact in one month versus the ‘plodding’ employee who ultimately achieves the same result over a longer period of time?

Make One Employee Happy and the Others Unhappier

According to a Harvard Business School study, ‘Employee of the Month’ schemes can unwittingly actually have the opposite effect of boosting employee participation. By rewarding one person out of a team of many, it may makes the others feel even less motivated than before and resentful towards the accoladed employee. The research has shown that companies saw a 6-8% decrease in productivity after an award was instituted (6). One theory behind this effect was that an award reinforces a particular behaviour and has a negative effect on other working practices that may actually be beneficial to the company’s performance, productivity and employee engagement. Successful employee recognition and staff appreciation programs need to recognise and reward all deserving employees on a regular basis.

Simple Things That Always Work – Keeping it Personal

As we enter into another New Year, it may well be worth a company rethinking how they are appreciating their employees at work. A financial reward, or a one-time ‘Employee of the Month’ award, may act as a short-term motivator, especially in the New Year period, and might be a real boost to an employee. However, a more personal approach to employee recognition may be more effective in boosting productivity and employee participation across the workforce. A more personal approach creates a longer-term, sustained environment of value, recognition and empowering of the employee. For example, demonstrating individual employee appreciation with a kind word of praise, or showing team recognition with thank you cards (personalised e-cards are a great environmentally friendly alternative) are a highly effective means of diversifying and revitalising your staff appreciation program.

Make It Meaningful

Recognition should be continuous throughout the year, providing positive reinforcement to employees when they perform well in their role. Personalised employee recognition via a personally-worded thank you ecard will go a long way, at any time of the year, to motivate and show you are appreciating your employees at work. The Each Person recognition and reward platform also allows managers and employers to award epoints to employees for a variety of reasons to further add weight to their recognition. Employees find epoints personally valuable as they can be spent on rewards that they would like and can be spent at any time of the year. Epoints can be awarded for reasons including hitting sales targets, employee to employee recognition, exceeding their role objectives or long service.

To find out more about the Each Person employee recognition and reward scheme, visit www.eachperson.com

  1. http://bit.ly/2CKTjhK, Nov 2016
  2. http://bit.ly/2E9zexx, Sep 2016
  3. http://bit.ly/2E9zexx, Sep 2016
  4. http://bit.ly/2lX7R2h, Jan 2017
  5. http://bit.ly/2m0eqBs, Forbes, 2016
  6. http://hbs.me/2AtZ3pW, Harvard Business School, March 201