Two Dummy-Proof Ways To Improve Employee Retention

2 min read
Jan 22, 2015

iStock_000036770886_LargeThe question of employee recognition is a great riddle of organizations: do we cheer them on because they have done well already, or so that they will do well later on?

As it turns out, this question isn’t so vexing. And the answer can help improve employee retention.

Take Notice And They'll Do The Work

Glassdoor did an employee appreciation study and uncovered a few key facts that appear to show a correlation between performance and appreciation:

  • 81% of employees said appreciation by their boss motivates them to work harder

  • 38% said they work harder when their boss is demanding

  • 37% work harder out of fear of losing their jobs

Pushy bosses and shaky situations, in other words, are far less motivating to workers than heartfelt appreciation. A few acts of appreciation can have a staggering effect on productivity.

What a shocker. Now for the scary part:

According to Globoforce:

  • 55% of workers say they would leave their current jobs for a company that clearly recognizes its employee efforts and contributions

  • 47% of employees cite a lack of recognition or a negative company culture as a reason for leaving their last employer

And according to our own data, just 21% of employees feel strongly valued in their workplace, and just 1 out of 4 feels fully recognized for doing great work.

The takeaway is clear: let your staff go unnoticed, and they won’t be a problem for you much longer. They’ll be packing up their desks and practicing their goodbye waves.

Time To Step Up Your Game

There’s a catch, though, getting back to Glassdoor’s survey: not all appreciation appears equal.

  • 24% said their boss shows more appreciation to more experienced employees

  • 23% said their boss shows more appreciation to newer employees

  • 28% said their boss shows more appreciation to other workers (regardless of experience)

If a whopping 81% of workers say appreciation motivates them, it stands to reason that all workers need to feel appreciated equally. So be careful how you handle this kind of feedback. It’s vital to note how, when, how often, and to whom that feedback goes so the team feels a balance.

All that said, there’s a bright spot here. As it turns out, 68% of employees do in fact feel that their boss shows them enough appreciation. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook; 53% of them still say they would stay longer if they felt more appreciated.

Time to start paying attention. Your staff will appreciate it and stick around.



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