An adrenaline shot of recognition once a year is a great way to reward the people who work hard to make your business successful throughout the year. But research shows that these one-off gifting events are not enough to persistently move the needle on workplace engagement.
Rewards and one-off perks are great at driving engagement in the moment, but unless operationalised, the impacts can be short lived. The needle goes up, and then goes back down. And your people quickly come to understand that the rewards are only temporary fixes or incentives to drive immediate goals – not a long-term strategy designed to build a robust culture.
Building a workplace culture that delivers to the bottom line requires the same approach as any other business activity – consistency of execution. Gains in employee engagement require, much like other strategic undertakings, a long term lens. Creating a place where people want to do their best work means meeting the expectations of the modern worker all year round.
But what are those expectations?
Jacob Morgan, best-selling author, futurist and keynote speaker on the future of work, employee experience and leadership, conducted interviews with 150 psychologists, economists, and business leaders around the world to identify the three environments that matter most to employees: cultural, technological and physical. He then analysed more than 250 organisations based on these insights – many from the Fortune 100 and those ranked as ‘best places to work’. What he discovered was telling.
- More than half the companies were rated poorly by their employees in at least one of the three areas.
- In 6% of the companies – the ‘experiential organisations’ who were investing in an ongoing, considered and deliberate engagement strategy – they saw directly-related performance gains.
When Morgan interviewed leaders at the top organisations (the likes of Adobe, Microsoft, Facebook, Accenture), they anecdotally reported their investments in the three ‘employee experience environments’ (cultural, technological and physical) had led “not only to happier employees but also to larger talent pipelines and greater profitability and productivity”.
Morgan then took the research one step further, overlaying it with financial data. What he found made an unmistakable case for investing in employee engagement in an ongoing and thought-out manner.
“Compared with other companies, the experiential organizations[sic] had more than four times the average profit and more than two times the average revenue. They were also almost 25 percent smaller, which suggests higher levels of productivity and innovation.” – Jacob Morgan
The data certainly makes a case for investing in an ongoing approach to employee engagement – through creating workplaces that reflect human desires for great cultural, technological and physical environments. It’s not enough to have the right tools to do the job anymore, people want and need recognition to continue to deliver results, day in and day out. It’s just the way we’re built as humans.
There is significant return to be won for organisations that focus on employee experience over the long term, not just as a stop gap or a budget burner at the end of the year. After all, a five per cent increase in employee engagement is linked to a three per cent increase in revenue growth the subsequent year (Aon). The numbers are hard to argue with.
To find out more about how the RedBalloon for Business team can help you reward and recognise your people, contact us today.