10 Simple and Affordable Employee Appreciation Ideas

Check out 10 creative employee appreciation ideas your employees will love.

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Appreciate your employees – if you want to keep them

Did you know that one of the top reasons why employees leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated, according to Gallup’ research?

The message here is clear: If you want to keep your employees, you have to appreciate them! Employee recognition is the key to employee satisfaction.

Of course you appreciate your employees…but how often do you show it and recognize their hard work?

Gallup’s poll has found out that 65% of employees haven’t received any form of recognition for good work in the last year!

OK, so maybe you can’t afford expensive awards…but that isn’t an excuse for not showing your employees that you appreciate them! You don’t have to spend any money to recognize your employees and show them that you appreciate their hard work. Actually, according to Officevibe’s recent study, 82% of employees think it’s better to give someone praise than a gift.

Employee appreciation ideas

Here is a list of 10 great, inexpensive employee appreciation ideas your employees will love:

1. Surprise appreciation celebration

Organize a surprise party for your top performers! Include some cake, confetti and their favorite tunes.

2. Shout out on social media

Post a photo of your employees on social media and brag about their achievements. Don’t forget to tag them!

3. Newsletter

Feature you employees’ success stories in your company’s newsletter.

4. Congratulatory email

Send a company wide congratulatory email and praise your employees for a job well done.

5. Hidden praise

Hide a few notes of appreciation around your employees’ work area.

6. Handwritten note

Send your employees a handwritten note, or just leave a sticky note saying “Thank you” on their desk.

7. Thank you meeting

Call an employee to your office just to say thank you. Don’t discuss any other issue!

8. Ambassador opportunity

Offer your employees to represent your company at an event they typically would not attend.

9. Ask for their help or opinion

Show your employees how much you value their opinion and input.

10. Invitation to an executive meeting

Invite your top performer to join your executive team meeting.

 

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Strategies for Greater Retention Rates for HR Managers

For an HR manager, the costs of creating and maintaining a staff can be plagued by employee turnover and disengagement. For most companies, revolving doors are a destructive force for financial growth, considering the cost to replace an employee is roughly 50% of that employee’s annual salary. An effective HR department, therefore, needs to hire appropriately, work to engage employees in the success of the business and constantly monitor observable measurements to ensure that they are on track.

So how does an efficient HR department gauge their progress and ensure best practices for employee retention? How do companies evolve past the everyday, worn-out methods of keeping employees engaged and make the work environment a place where employees can truly thrive?

Hiring Process

The trickiest part of the hiring process is ensuring that HR brings on the right person for the role to not only fill in missing personnel, but foster growth. The person needs to fit the values, short and long term goals of the company. A mismatch of skills, values, and commitment can create loss for a company. For hiring members of HR, there is a host of resources out there for hiring managers who want to maximize their hiring potential and run their small business like a larger corporation.

Primarily, hiring managers need to think about the kind of skills they need to bring into the company as opposed to simply filling a slot or replacing someone who has moved on. Is the company facing challenges? What skills would be the best counter to those challenges? A potential area of growth? It’s easy to fall back into patterns of hiring to replace, but hiring to grow benefits the company far more.

Observable Metrics

A handful of easily observable paper metrics can give HR departments an idea of how engaged and happy their employees are. Turnover is one of the most obvious metrics. If a company is perpetually bleeding employees, there is something seriously wrong. Likewise, the average length of employment can help indicate employee engagement. If most employees leave within a year, or conversely, stay for many years, these are indicators of the company’s ability to engage. The amount of sick or personal days taken can indicate an employee’s level of involvement in their job as well. Finally, the revenue per employee can help companies determine how engaged employees are on the clock.

Observable metrics are just the beginning of the story. An employee can love and be dedicated to their work, but also have a sick family member that leads to absences. When an observable metric indicates disengagement, look past the numbers into the human element. Is there a solution that would allow the employee to contribute in the way they’d like while acknowledging the issue? Would working from home allow them to care for the relative while hitting goals?

Greater Employee Engagement

Once the right employee is hired, the key to maintaining that employee’s performance and commitment is growing their engagement in the company. The best tool for engagement is communication. It’s important for management to keep lines of communication between themselves and their team open. Fostering trust and making employees feel heard helps them feel important, both to the company and as people. That level of emotional engagement is invaluable.

Help employees understand their role in the company — how their efforts aid the company’s success, and how the company’s success affects them. The ability to draw a direct line between cause and effect, both for the company and the employee, creates real stakes that encourages a better work ethic.

Goal Creation and Attainment

Realistic, attainable goals encourage greater engagement and growth of abilities, output and capability. Achieving goals can be rewarding in themselves; they can also be steps for future growth within the company. Goals should be appropriate for the company and for the employee — they should be a marriage of the interests of both parties. Is this something the employee is passionate about and finds rewarding? Is this an area of interest that benefits the company? Do they have the skills to achieve this goal, in a way that benefits the company?

For the employees, goals can include growth of current abilities, or the push to finish a project. Potential rewards for employees can include extra benefits, like a day off, the chance for a promotion (or more eligible to promotion), or a treat of some kind, like free lunch. Whenever a company uses a reward as an incentive for achieving goals, they should be clearly communicated and legitimately achievable. Carrot-and-sticking rewards like promotions is a dishonest method, and will ultimately lead to decreased morale.

Avoid Demotivation Pitfalls

Demotivation can come from many fronts. Lack of communication and transparency between management and employees creates a vacuum of information — one that is bound to be filled with speculation and guesswork. In a workplace without healthy feedback and communication, that guesswork can be powered by anxiety and untruths, which barely benefit anyone. Recognize employees, listen to their feedback.

Make sure the employee who puts her all into her job is recognized and rewarded fairly. Don’t feel the need to treat everyone the same. Follow through on commitments and promises. Show employees why certain team members are celebrated, and help the others find ways to be celebrated as well.

The bottom line is this: HR might be about acquiring and maintaining people as a resource, much like paper or computers, but remember that you and your crew are not robots. Metrics are useful, and numbers don’t lie, but everyone involved is a human. They have human feelings and human motivations, which don’t often conform to spreadsheet analytics. Address the human side of the equation to balance the metrics, and make the most of your skills as a leader to address real, human concerns to foster greater employee retention and engagement.

A Surprising Practice That Can Help You Both Hire and Retain Talent

You are probably ignoring this great practice that can help you both hire and retain talent!

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What is this mystery practice?

One word – onboarding!

Well, I bet you didn’t expect this answer, right?

But bear with me – I’ll explain exactly how a great onboarding can help you achieve 2 most important HR goals:

  1. Recruit the best people for your company
  2. Reduce turnover rate by retaining them.

How can onboarding help you hire talent?

A well-structured employee onboarding program can help you ensure the successful outcome of your hiring process.

The way we recruit has changed.

Unfortunately, the fact that your best candidate has accepted your offer is no longer a guarantee that they will actually show up on their first day.

The war for talent is raging.

And since all is fair in love and war, your newly signed candidates:

  • Could still be interviewing and receive a better offer.
  • May receive a better offer from another company with whom they interviewed before, but who has a slower recruiting process.
  • May receive a counteroffer from their current employer.

You don’t want to lose your best candidates in the last second, right?

This is why your onboarding process should start at the moment your candidate accepts your offer. A great onboarding process will help you keep your new employees engaged and excited until their start date at your company.

How can onboarding help you retain talent?

A successful employee onboarding program helps to improve retention, engagement, satisfaction, and productivity of your new employees.

According to the Society For Human Resources Management (SHRM):

  • 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding.
  • Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50% greater new-hire productivity. 
  • 54% of companies with onboarding programs reported higher employee engagement.

Conclusion

Your onboarding program will do more than just help you retain new employees.

However, it is also a great method that can help you ensure the successful outcome of your hiring process.

This is why every company should invest some time and effort to learn how to successfully onboard new employees.

3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate

Reduce your employee churn rate with these tips.

Replacing an employee can cost as much as 20% of their yearly salary. The higher up their position is, the more expensive it is. That’s because you need to factor in paying recruitment agencies, covering for the vacant position, and the time lost to those responsible for hiring.

A low employee churn rate is key to maximizing your potential and growth.

When you have a lower employee turnover, you can focus your resources on researching and launching new products and services, improving the working environment, and investing in employees’ development instead.

It also boosts your employer brand, which is crucial if you want to win the war for talent. Brands with a strong employer brand lower their cost to hire by 43%.

But how do you reduce your churn rate?

It starts by looking at the employee journey. How can you improve it? What steps can you make to create a more inviting atmosphere for employees whether they’ve been there five weeks or five years?

Let’s take a look at three important parts of an employee’s journey, and how small changes to them can reduce your employee turnover rate.

Plan your onboarding process for early success

Happy employees are loyal employees. To create this sense of loyalty, you need to make them feel valued. This starts from their very first day.

However, not every company manages this – 42% of employees have no computer or device to work from on their first day. Worse, some employees don’t even have a desk on their first day! While this is only part of the onboarding process, it’s an important part of setting your employee up for success, especially when 20% of employees leave within the first 45 days.

Contrast that to the 69% that will still be with a company three years later if they go through a positive onboarding process, and you can see why a good onboarding process is so important.

A negative experience reflects badly on you: it makes you look disorganized, and like you don’t value your employees.

It’s therefore imperative that you you spend time planning the onboarding process for your new employee before they start. Don’t leave it all until the last minute, as you may find that there are some issues – like purchasing new equipment – that will take days, maybe even weeks, to sort.

Also ensure that their company account and logins for any relevant software are set up before they begin. That way, all they need to do on their first day is click to activate their new account. They can then start using the software straight away.

Once they’re all set up, don’t just sit them down and present them with a list of objectives. Include them in the decision-making process. Have some projects ready for them to work on, but listen to them and ask them what they’d most like to work on, too. That way, they immediately feel like their thoughts and opinions are valued.

The objective of an onboarding process is to help the employee get to know the company, its products, and mostly importantly, the culture and their colleagues.

Everyone in the team should be involved in making the new team member feel welcome. This could include scheduling introduction meetings with the new starter, or assigning them a buddy to give them a tour and answer any day-to-day questions.

Group inductions can be intimidating for new starters, so focus on one-to-one sessions instead. This creates more space for the new hire to ask questions.

Efficient scheduling solutions make organizing these one-to-one meetings a breeze, and avoids the risk of two member scheduling a meeting at the same time. Scheduling meetings before someone starts also reduces any awkwardness over the new hire having to approach people to schedule meetings – it’s all there ready for them when they first start.

Invest in training and mentorship

Training and mentorship are crucial parts of an employee’s progress. They can boost their skills and help them to work out which career path is for them.

For mentors and those conducting training, it reinforces their skills. They can even learn from those that they teach. It’s also great networking for everyone – you never know where your next great opportunity will come from.

Despite this, only 44% of companies offer a mentorship scheme.

Mentorship benefits employees at every stage of their journey. Don’t let the fact that someone is already a manager convince you that they already know everything they need to know. No matter how long someone has been managing for, there’s always a new strategy or technique they can try to motivate their team.

Training can be both internal and external, so be open-minded about the best place(s) for employees to build their skills. The best person to train your marketing team may not be someone who’s been there for years – it may be someone who can offer a fresh perspective on your strategy and help you to keep it relevant as algorithms continue to change.

Conduct exit interviews

Exit interviews are an often overlooked but incredibly valuable part of an employee’s journey. They give you the opportunity to examine why employees leave, and identify areas where your company may be failing them. Without this information, you can’t make positive changes to improve the working environment.

Conducting exit interviews using a framework makes it easier for you to quantify results. You can then pick up on reoccurring problems or praise. The more often something is raised, the more important it is to address.

Some questions you could ask include:

  • How employees feel about the working environment
  • What their commute is like
  • What their relationship is like with their manager
  • How well they get on/work with their team

Using this information, you can start discussions with remaining team members about any common threads. You can then make informed decisions about how to better suit employees’ needs and (hopefully) prevent more from leaving for the same or similar reasons.

You can also home in on positive comments that are made, finding ways to further enhance these experiences. For instance, if employees benefit from flexible working hours, you could look into allowing them to work from home if they can’t already. If they like how the team encourages self-development, you could look into courses or events for the team to further develop their skills.

Employees are your business’s biggest – and best – advocates. If they share negative experiences with their social circle it reflects badly on you and may even cause you to lose customers. Leaving them with a positive overall feeling is therefore crucial. Exit interviews are just one part of this. Others include how the rest of the team reacts to their departure, handover periods, and anything else that happens on their final day. While you can’t control all of this, exit interviews help to cement your positive employer brand by showing employees that you care about their wellbeing from the start of their journey with you right through to the end.

When an employee speaks highly of you when they leave, they’re more likely to return for a future position, or even to recommend roles to their friends and family. Since referrals are one of the best ways to hire the right person for the job, this can make a huge difference to your hiring process, and further improving your employer brand.

Conclusion

It’s your responsibility to offer employees opportunities to learn, grow, and be more efficient in their role. Employees will then be more loyal and motivated, and turnover will decrease.

It’s also important to remember that there are many other elements that can impact employee satisfaction. Internal promotions, 360 feedback, and open communications are also key to reducing employee turnover. And don’t forget to make the technology that they need available to them!

These investments and changes to company culture make a big difference. After all, reducing your employee churn rate can be the difference between business growth and stagnation.

Create a better employee experience with calendar sync

Simple, repetitive tasks quickly add up to days wasted every month. This means employees achieve less and businesses don’t grow as quickly as they could.

Discover how automation and calendar sync could save you and your team time (and money!) in our new white paper. Download your copy today!

Source: 3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate | The Cronofy Blog

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How to Build a Strong Employer Brand Image

Employer Brand

There are many benefits to having a strong employer brand. It can decrease the cost per hire by 43%, and even decrease the likelihood that new hires will leave their new company within the first six months by 40%.

75% of job seekers say that an employer’s brand is a deciding factor when applying for a job. That’s 3 out of 4 qualified candidates that you could be missing out on because of a poor employer brand.

You could even be affecting your stock prices by up to 36%.

We looked at the impact of a negative employer brand in a recent post, but if you’re just starting out – or are changing direction – how do you build a strong employer brand?

Create a positive candidate experience

Creating a positive experience for candidates, whether they’re successful or not, improves your brand image and makes people more likely to reapply for future roles.

Creating a negative experience for candidates makes your company seem less welcoming to work for and could put off prospective candidates.

The easier and more open you make the application process, the happier candidates are likely to be. They may even advocate for you even if they’re unsuccessful!

If you create a negative experience, you may lose customers, as Virgin Media did in 2014. Thanks to a poor hiring process, they lost 7,500 customers.

More and more candidates and employees are leaving reviews on sites such as Glassdoor. Like it or not, these reviews have a significant impact on your employer brand.

As many as 52% of job applicants research a company on Glassdoor before applying for a role. If they don’t like what they see, that’s 52% of potential candidates you could miss out on.

Positive Candidate Experience

Give your employees more reasons to stay

Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” He went on to say: “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers.”

When employees feel welcome and appreciated, they’re more productive and more likely to stick around.

One of the best ways to foster employee loyalty is to keep employees engaged. Allowing them control over their schedules, automating dull tasks and offering staff training are just some of the ways this can be done.

Offering employees perks such as flexitime, being able to work from home, or even discounted gym memberships all help to make employees feel valued. They will, in turn, be more likely to promote the company’s culture to their social circles.

This organic promotion of the company can yield great dividends. Discovering how well a company looks after their employees may make friends and family members more likely to consume their products but also more interested in working there.

According to StackOverflow 2017 Developer Survey, 27.8% of employed software developers found their current position through a friend, family member or former colleague. Given how expensive and time-consuming it can be to find developers this is a key growth factor.

Dog Loyalty

Be engaged and engaging on social media

Social media is a ubiquitous part of twenty first century life whether we like it or not.

I don’t know about you, but the first time I hear about a company, I search for them on Facebook and Twitter, before even visiting their website. And that’s just to find information about their services not because I want to work there.

According to CareerArc, job applicants use the same tools when researching a prospective employer – 62% of candidates research a company on social media ‘to evaluate an employer’s brand‘.

Not having a social media presence takes away an opportunity to display your business’ culture and identity. For example, you could use your company Twitter account to share your teams’ accomplishments and deal with customer queries.

Being active on social media helps promote a positive company image to both consumers and potential hires. Be friendly, inclusive and helpful – somewhere a twenty-first century candidate will want to work at.

Social Media Employer Brand

Building up your employer brand with Calendar Sync

Creating an engaged and informed candidate experience benefits your company in both the long and short term. It helps to attract and keep the best talent, as well as improving the likelihood that unsuccessful candidates will reapply in the future.

When employees are engaged, they feel valued and are more likely to speak positively about your brand. Whether positive comments are shared online or offline, they help to improve your employer brand and in turn attract the best talent that will help your company grow.


Source: How to build a strong employer brand | The Cronofy Blog

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.

Why HR Pros Need to Embrace Automation

Why HR Pros Need to Embrace Automation

Written by Gaurav Mirchandani, CEO and Founder at One Paper Lane.

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Everyone wants to get more done in less time, but too often employees rely on manual processes that limit efficiency and diminish engagement.

While productivity tips such as those based around nutrition or resting are helpful, HR professionals can really create value for their organizations by implementing automation tools in both their own department as well as advocating for employees in other departments to have the tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently. No amount of brain food can change the fact that filling out paperwork by hand, for example, takes more time than using a digital platform fill in the repetitive parts automatically. And adopting automation technology helps in several ways.

For example, the time-saving aspects of automation enable HR pros to then spend their time more valuably such as meeting one-on-one with employees to discuss career development goals, or simply freeing up other employees’ time on HR-related tasks so that they can then spend more time on their core job responsibilities. Yet as it stands, the lack of automation of repetitive tasks like office supply requests or contract approvals is costing U.S. companies an average of over $13,000 per employee per year, according to a study by Samanage.

Additionally, automation can also directly improve employee experience through the elimination of boring, repetitive tasks, thereby helping HR pros achieve their goals such as boosting employee retention.

So in order to help employees across an organization, HR professionals need to embrace automation technology that already exists and prepare for the advent of more developments in this area.

To get on board with automation, follow these three tips:

1) Question Roadblocks

Question Roadblocks

If your organization isn’t already embracing automation, question why that’s the case by talking with employees at all levels. Roadblocks could take the shape of managers fearing the cost or junior employees fearing that automation would replace their jobs. Whatever the roadblock may be, ask questions to discover the truth and know what needs a solution.

For example, if employees think they don’t need automated accounting software, ask why that’s the case. If they think they can do as good a job manually as any automation tool, question whether they’ve made mistakes that have caused them to have to spend more time fixing the errors. This does not need to be done in a belittling way, but rather in a way that helps employees understand how they can work alongside automation tools to more efficiently complete their work and focus on the value that they bring.

In fact, an MIT study found that manufacturing workers actually preferred to have a robot decide how to allocate work rather than the other way around. So once employees start working with automation tools, they might start to get over prior roadblocks and become more efficient and satisfied. 

2) Dive Into Detail

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Develop a list of tasks that drain time, ideally using data that shows how much time goes into various outcomes. If you don’t know where your organization’s inefficiencies lie, then you won’t know what to improve.

And if you don’t yet have the data needed to take a deep dive, there are digital and even automated time trackers that can help employees see where their time goes so that they can work together with managers to develop a plan that focuses more on high-value activities.

3) Research Technology

Research Technology

With detail on time inefficiencies, your organization can start to find actual solutions to these problems. Many of the most common issues already have some sort of automated tool that can remedy the problem, so it’s important to do some research to find the technologies that can help.

For example, if employees spend too much time on paperwork, whether it’s filling out HR forms or scrambling to find and organize contracts and invoices, businesses can use automated document management tools. Or if they’re spending too much time on scheduling, they can turn to artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled virtual assistants.

By following these three steps, HR pros can start to automate tasks that do not add value, and the human side of HR can be utilized even more by building relationships with employees, rather than spending so much time checking off tasks.

Plus, by adding pieces of automation now, your organization will be more prepared as the future of work shifts more towards these types of tools. Working with AI solutions will become more natural for your company, so you won’t have to play catch up, and instead you can attract and retain talent with a company that has its eyes on the future.

About the Author:

Gaurav Mirchandani, CEO and Founder at One Paper Lane

Gaurav Mirchandani, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at One Paper Lane.

Gaurav is a forward thinking tech entrepreneur with experience in investing and building start ups in US and Asia.

One Paper Lane is a SaaS enabled digital platform helping companies of all sizes to automate business processes, providing the freedom of a digital paperless office.

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