According to a recent article posted on a human resources management blog, “One reason, outside of illness, that employees are absent is stress, and the number one reason employees are stressed has to do with their relationship with their manager/supervisor.” Employee absenteeism and overall employee motivation is an important issue to any manager, but as many of my clients have communicated, managing these issues can be an overwhelming task.
Employee motivation or lack thereof, can contribute to a loss in productivity and can heighten stress for the other employees who have to pick up the slack from an absent employee. These costs can be significant for many organizations, especially those in competitive markets. This leads managers to seek out various ways to reduce employee absenteeism and increase employee motivation. However, as my clients have found, effective employee awards is one solution which successfully addresses all of these issues.
As Matt Remuzzi points out in his article, Why Having Motivated Employees is Your Problem, Not Their Problem, “You can hire, train and motivate great employees who will bend over backwards, willingly, to help your business succeed. But you can’t just expect it to happen, and you can’t make it happen by threats or monitoring. It is all up to you in the end, period.”
Tapping into employee motivation starts with making employees feel like they have a stake in the organization. Implementing an employee award program that involves all employees and is perceived as fair and relevant is a great way to inspire and help to keep employee motivation high.
One of my clients is in the call center industry which is known for having high turnover and employee absenteeism rates coupled with low employee motivation. An employee award program turned out to be the perfect solution to addressing these issues. Since the employees were constantly using computers and the internet, they decided to utilize a completely online employee incentive program. Each time a person received points for reaching a goal they were notified by email. Employees were enthusiastic about the incentive program and liked to be able to see how their individual contribution to the company earned awards. Over the course of the year, employee absenteeism was reduced by 75% and employee productivity (measured in call times, number of calls and customer service ratings) was increased by 43%.
As Remuzzi outlines in his article, “doing this [incentive programs] right will reap huge returns in the long term, so it is worth putting effort into trying to come up with a workable plan.” As seen in the example above, employee award programs can produce results that impact the bottom line tremendously. In fact, a report from the Aberdeen Group assesses that results from an effective employee award program can increase shareholder profit by 40% on average.