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“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work,” said the ‘Father of Western Philosophy,’ Aristotle. Humans are naturally vain creatures. They constantly seek appreciation, recognition, and rewards for every good job done—consciously or unconsciously.
It is because of what we get in return for a job well done—the reward that we work hard and work better. And if the efforts are not in vain and rewards are given, it automatically increases job satisfaction. You may be thinking right now that as long as your employees are paid well and on-time, that it’s enough to make them stay. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.
How Important is Employee Recognition?
Money may be an excellent motivational factor for everyone, but it takes more than just money to keep humans happy and satisfied. A study at BetterUp shows that people may even go as far as giving up on higher pay for as long as they are satisfied with their job. And so, HR personnel find ways to keep their employees happy to boost their company’s profitability. Some give incentives. Others offer career advancements. However, perhaps the most common route HR people always resort to is merely acknowledging an employee’s achievement. And what better, easier way to do that, than through rewards and recognition programs? Now, because we, humans, are vain creatures and want to find beauty and art in everything, handing out a scrap of a white paper called a “certificate” with a name written on it would be too lazy and embarrassing.
What would people say about your business? But you might find designing a tad bit too tedious if you have no sense of art, and we forgive you for that. That’s why we have prepared for you 50+ ready-made award certificates to give to your employees to acknowledge their performance and excellence.
What Is Employee Satisfaction and Why Does it Matter?
To put it bluntly, employee satisfaction or job satisfaction means how happy your employees are in the company. A company’s asset is not its technological resources nor its business partners and deals made, but the living creatures inside the office. If you don’t invest in their well-being and happiness, then you might as well shut your operation down. Just try to imagine a car with an empty tank. Though a driver is sitting in it, it will never run without gas. For argument’s sake, it may run if the driver pushes it all the way to the gas station. But that task will be too hard and too tiresome. It will drain out his resources before he even gets there. In the same sense, people are the lifeblood of a company. Your workforce is that tank. Whether your business soars or sinks depends on the people working for you. Employee satisfaction, as studies continue to show, correlates with company profitability. The more satisfied they are with the job, the more motivated they are to work, the happier and healthier the work environment. It’s a win-win situation! Therefore, employee satisfaction is a crucial player in keeping your business afloat.
Orange Is the New Black
This is the title of a Netflix series about a woman imprisoned after being arrested due to money laundering. Orange is also the name of a French company whose CEO also got arrested, but this time, due to harassment, which resulted in the suicide of 35 employees. According to Jack Kelly, a senior contributor at Forbes, France actually puts more value to the voice of the employees and can ultimately decide their fate in the company. Therefore, downsizing is not an option. In his report, CEO Didier Lombard thought of creative (if not horrendous) ways to force employees to leave on their own. But perhaps, what he did not factor into his action plan was that people would not simply leave a job if they have learned to love it. Rather than leaving, some of his employees committed suicide in the most dreadful ways imaginable—jumping out of the window, throwing themselves in front of the train, you name it. We cannot stress enough in this example, how lousy management and decreased employee satisfaction can be detrimental to a company and may even spell its downfall.
How Do You Keeping Your Workers Happy?
Satisfied employees perform better than others. Their productivity is maximized, and the quality of their work is much improved. We cannot stress enough how vital employee satisfaction is to a business. Big businesses try to boost their employees’ happiness and satisfaction by planning big events that would require a lot of event planning, submission of event proposals, and budgeting. But this may be challenging for small businesses and start-ups. Here are some tips and steps for you to ensure that happiness is preserved:
Step 1: Promote a Culture of Respect
A healthy workplace where everyone respects everyone will ultimately boost a company’s performance. A business does not only thrive with one person. Teamwork and cooperation will be made easier if your employees understand the value of respect. Projects and meetings will go smoothly, and areas of improvement or opportunities can be examined more professionally. As a result, productivity will increase, and before long, sales will also go up. Toxic work environment, on the other hand, only breeds unproductivity, absenteeism, and lessen employee retention. This does not only apply to front-liners or entry-level employees. The upper management, being the role model for the employees, also need to promote a culture of respect.
Step 2: Encourage Employee Feedback
From time to time, we also need to check with our employees if they are still happy with their jobs and if they feel that something needs to change, or if some things need to be improved that the upper management may have overlooked and can only be seen in an employee’s perspective. Employers need to gauge how happy their employees are in order to discover ways to boost their performance or find out if they are still doing the right thing. You can download our ready-made survey template if you are drawing a blank on the design and content in a survey form. Or you can opt for a greener option and use websites designed for conducting surveys.
Step 3: Engage Your Employees Constantly
Let’s face it. Office jobs are boring. Though the type of tasks may vary, the work you do is just a repetition of what you did yesterday, last month, last week, or last year. Unless the work you do is something revolutionary or cutting edge, everything you do is something that you have already done before, without summer or winter breaks. You can help them break the ice by giving them something else to do other than their jobs. For example, you can start monthly office scavenger hunt activities. You can also go for theme days or months (e.g., “Dress Up Your Workstation,” “Denim Day”). This way, you are giving them an excuse to enjoy their work and relieve the stress that they may have accumulated over the months. You are also giving them a reason not to associate work with stress and boredom.
Step 4: Make Creative and Fun Rewards and Recognition Programs
People won’t know how well they are doing unless you tell them, and most of the time, we tend to overestimate or underestimate our abilities. Giving realistic feedback to your employees will allow them to work harder towards their goal, and rewarding them can greatly boost their motivation and performance. Employees will always want to be rewarded and appreciated in one way or another. Some prefer receiving certificates, recognition letters, and incentives. Others just need a simple pat on the back or praise from their direct superior. Employee appreciation has a big impact on your employee’s job satisfaction, so make sure to reward them well, either monthly, quarterly, or yearly. You can also try to incorporate fun activities like dancing or singing competitions to your programs to give them something else to think of other than the repetitive tasks that they are currently doing in the company.
Step 5: Conduct Focus Group Discussions (FGD)
Sometimes, conducting surveys or drawing out feedback from your employees is not enough. There are times when people don’t comply with the surveys or simply try to avoid badmouthing their employers. Other times, they don’t know how to air their concerns through a piece of paper or cannot express themselves enough in the comment section. In cases like these, you can draw feedback from them by going about it another way. Focus group discussions are much like an open forum. Businesses use this method to generate feedback from a selected group of people from different departments that may have an opportunity or two that the upper management somehow missed. Sometimes, they use this opportunity to share company news, updates, and future plans with the employees as they are the backbone of the company and tell them that the company is taking them in the direction that they have decided on, or that their business is thriving. However, the main function of an FGD is to discuss issues and draw out feedback that one cannot simply air out in a survey.
Step 6: Promote Job Enrichment
When you are assigned to clean the house every morning, and follow the same exact procedure (start with the living room, then move on to the kitchen, etc.) without fail, you would begin to hate cleaning your house, and eventually try to skip doing it, probably by not going home or only do some parts of the house and doing the others on other days. However, if you add variety to the work (e.g., cleaning the house today, go to the supermarket tomorrow, cook dinner this Friday), then suddenly, what seemed to be a mundane task will turn out to be something exciting as you will be looking forward to what you will be doing next. You can choose whether to give these tasks verbally or put it out on bulletin board for everyone to see. In the same sense, if you add more variety to the employees’ tasks, they will start enjoying their work and work more effectively. We have printable calendars available to help your employees visualize their activities or set activity timelines.
Step 7: Encourage Your Employees to Take a Break
Everyone needs to take a break once in a while. Working can be stressful for people, especially when deadlines and reports pressure them. This can result in employee burnout, in which their productivity and work quality will decline. Make sure that they break that cycle by letting them go on a much-deserved vacation. A research from Project: Time-Off shows that people who are actually encouraged to go on vacation by their employers are happier compared to those who aren’t. It also shows that vacation leaves also boost productivity. A vacation tracker would help your employees keep track of how much leave credits they have already consumed.
A little reward and recognition here, and there can mean everything to its employees. Whether grand awarding programs are held, or just small ceremonies in the office break area, a little recognition can go a long way, from improved employee performance to increased sales figures and, ultimately, a business’ success.