Decreasing Employee Turnover with Effective Recognition Programs

Laura Staples
October 28, 2008 — 3,128 views  
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In today's shaky economy, it's more important than ever for businesses to hold on to valuable employees. According to a recent Maritz® Poll, the cost of employee turnover may be as much as one and a half times an employee's first year salary. With so much at stake, employers are looking for more innovative ways to reduce employee turnover. And while salary and benefits are often deciding factors in the job market, a good employee recognition program can go a long way toward showing employees how important they are to your company.

In general, people who are satisfied with their employee recognition programs are more likely to finish their careers at their current jobs, endorse their workplace to friends and family, and invest money in their company. But while this may seem like a simple fix, many employers are falling short with their recognition programs. Of those surveyed, only 10% of employees strongly agreed that they were completely satisfied with their company's recognition programs. So how can your company improve its recognition efforts and retain its employees? Use promotional products!

Logoed merchandise and custom award plaques are popular reward items that can help your company improve its recognition efforts and increase employee job satisfaction. Try using promotional products with the following recognition program strategies:

Get to know your employees' preferences
Only 43% of employees said they felt recognized in ways that were meaningful to them. Spend time with employees to understand their lifestyles and choose a recognition method that is right for them. Employees with families might appreciate a gift certificate for a dinner out or fun toys for the kids, while other employees might prefer a custom plaque they can display in their office.

Offer employee reward options
Even if you think you know what rewards your employees like best, be sure to offer options. Mix up your rewards program with gift certificates, logoed merchandise, bonuses and custom award plaques to make sure you have something for everyone.

Present rewards as a surprise
If you repeatedly reward employees with the same gifts for the same actions, the reward becomes a given and is no longer rewarding. Surprise employees with a gift basket on their desk after a big presentation, or include a logoed USB flash drive with yearly bonus checks for a fun surprise.

However you decide to reward employees, be sure to write out the recognition - what the employee did, why it was important and how the actions served your organization. Give a copy of the letter to the employee's department head or supervisor, and present the employee with a letter complete with a personal note from you thanking them again for their hard work.

Staples Promotional Products has the recognition and award items you need to increase employee job satisfaction. At, you'll find a wide selection of awards and gift items, all available to customize with your company name and logo.

About the Author

As a part of Staples Promotional Products, Laura helps companies reach their marketing goals, extend their brand reach and effectively reward employees. At, you can pick, click and order your customized award items online.

Laura Staples