All too often, many managers and business owners find themselves simply going through the motions of running their business. They can become pre-occupied with the day-to-day challenges associated with running their business that they may overlook the fact that the business is not running itself. Instead, its success is often based in large part on the extra efforts of valuable employees as well as on their customers’ loyalty toward their program. Many of the most successful companies have adopted customer loyalty and staff recognition programs, but you may be wondering if these really work or if they are simply a misuse of time or financial resources. While these programs can work if they are completed in an effective and meaningful way, they can also backfire and make individuals feel resentful. A balance of awards given to the staff must be made in order for the efforts to be successful.

The Power of Appreciation
If you are wondering if recognition awards given to staff are worth their while, pause and consider the power of recognition. Many employees who leave their jobs do so because they do not feel appreciated for their efforts. Employees want to feel appreciated, and the same holds true for valued customers who regularly patronize your establishment. They want to feel as though their efforts are at least noticed and that you are thankful for their efforts.

Loyalty and Recognition Programs
In many companies, loyalty and recognition programs are already in effect, and they have largely provided positive results for the companies. Recent studies have shown that approximately 58 percent of people have said they seldom or never received a personal “thank you” from their manager for their efforts. With so many employees leaving their jobs due to a general feeling that their efforts are not appreciated coupled with the fact that many managers have not made an effort to thank their employees for their efforts, it is clear that loyalty and recognition programs do have the ability to be highly effective when carried out in the right way.

A Word of Thanks
Many companies that have adopted loyalty and recognition programs have gone about their programs with the wrong strategy. A reward like a cash bonus, a gift card or even a party in honor of the employee can backfire on the company. This is because some employees may equate a monetary value to their efforts, and they may feel that their efforts are worth more than the value of their award. The best loyalty and recognition programs are those that make employees and customers feel valued rather than those that make them feel like their accomplishment or loyalty has a monetary value. Therefore, while a heartfelt gesture, such as an immediate “thank you” at the time the recognition is warranted, a written note provided shortly after the effort is made or other similar actions can be far more effective and meaningful.

Many companies would benefit considerably by using a loyalty or recognition program, but these programs should be carried out in a specific and structured way. While some recognition or thanks can be provided immediately, care should be made to ensure that customers and employees do not feel that their effort has a monetary value to the company. When recognition is provided in a more heartfelt way, it is often more meaningful and more appreciated.

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