A well designed employee recognition program results in higher levels of engagement have proven, repeatedly, higher levels of employee satisfaction, greater increase in productivity, greater company loyalty, higher profits, and better customer satisfaction.
Let’s look at the facts. In 2013, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 87 percent of workers surveyed in countries all over the world were disengaged with their jobs. Only the remaining 13 percent stated that they were satisfied with their jobs and felt deeply engaged with the companies they worked for.
One of the best ways to increase engagement is to make sure that employees feel appreciated and that hard work is suitably rewarded both financially and in some other ways. Having a strategic employee recognition program in place is one of the most effective ways to get results and take advantage of the following three key benefits:
Employee Recognition Program Improves Business
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that happy and motivated employees are better equipped to address customer concerns. Staff members need to feel that they have personal stake in selling the brand and its products and services, while also offering impeccable customer support. Around 40 percent of companies that have adopted a peer-to-peer employee recognition program claim to have increased customer satisfaction.
Many senior managers consider them an investment rather than an expense. People want to be rewarded for good work and they’ll be mentally far better equipped to face the monotony of modern corporate culture if they know there’s a good bonus and other rewards waiting for them.
Decreases Employee Turnover Rate
While money is obviously a primary motivator in almost any job, offering a pay raise isn’t the most effective method to hold on to employees. In fact, studies have shown that about half of employees leave within two years after accepting a raise, a statistic that clearly indicates that salaries and job satisfaction don’t always correlate.
Often as important is employee recognition, which has proven to lower turnover rate significantly. Employees who are widely recognized and rewarded for their work are about 30 percent less likely to leave the company. Other benefits of an employee recognition program include increased happiness and productivity and reduced stress and frustration levels. A lower turnover rate also saves money, since a direct replacement cost up to half the previous employee’s annual salary.
Increase Engagement and Productivity
An employee recognition program is all about clear communication, transparency, and having a solid rewards-driven system in place. Such a strategy leads to greater employee engagement, since it makes members of staff feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
An employee who has a personal stake in the direction the company is heading will be genuinely concerned about the day-to-day operations of the business.
By contrast, someone who counts themselves in the 87 percent of people who claim to be disengaged with their jobs will be more likely to sleepwalk through each workday while looking forward to nothing more than the paycheck at the end of the month.
Additionally, the Gallup survey showed that two-thirds of employees considered praise from managerial staff to be the top motivator.
Final Words on Employee Recognition Program
There are many ways to implement an employee recognition strategy and most of them don’t require a huge investment. Some of the most popular methods include publishing the company’s greatest achievers in email newsletters, using staff meetings as an opportunity to include praise, or preparing regular status reports. However, a more original and engaging employee recognition program might include an achievement- or score-based system complete with rewards and prizes for top workers.
Dealing with a poor executive performance can be frustrating. It can be complex and time consuming to make sure you get the right result – an improvement in their performance, or failing that, them being managed out of the organisation in a fair and legal way.It is likely you will meet with a poor executive performance from senior management at least twice; the first time to tell them how their performance is ineffective and set targets for improvement, and the second to review their progress and decide about their future.
In practice, you may have several other steps to follow, but the conversations will follow the same pattern, and if you master that pattern, you will find it easier to deal with any conversation about performance effectively. And what is the pattern? You prepare. You talk. You listen. You consider. You decide. You communicate your decision. In basic terms, it is as simple as that.
Preparation involves making sure you know the Board of Directors policy and what authority they or you must make decisions; you know where the poor executive performance falls short (and you have specific examples), you’ve planned how you want the meeting to go, you’ve given the executive appropriate notice and information in accordance with policy, and you’ve identified a suitable time and venue.
Next, you talk. You may have a predetermined structure to follow or perhaps an agenda you have drawn up, in either case, you need to explain the reason for the meeting and what you want to achieve – to discuss the performance issues and what needs to be done about them. Then you give them the evidence of their performance shortfalls.
Now you give the executive the opportunity to talk and you need to listen. The quickest way to make sure someone doesn’t engage with you is to make them think you’re ignoring what they say. And the only way you are going to get an improvement in performance is if they are working harder, better, or differently. You need their participation. That said, if they refuse to make the effort, then you can still act. It’s not about handing over control. It’s about managing the situation.
It may be that there are some issues that you’re not aware of. They may not have been properly mentored to carry out that objective or task. They may have to rely on a third party which is causing the problems. They may have a health problem that impacts on their ability. There can be as many reasons as there are staff.
They may also get emotional. You might face anger or distress. You can never tell how someone will react until you’re in that situation. Don’t let this side-track you. If they become too emotional to carry on, take a break, but always make sure you get back to the matter at hand. As a rule, having evidence of poor executive performance issues makes it easier to deal with any emotional reactions since it is harder to ignore facts. It also helps you deal with those who might use an emotional reaction as a tactic to delay the discussion.
This leads neatly on to considering the information you now have. No effective Board member makes a business decision without having the relevant facts or without weighing the options. Performance management is as much a business decision as any other issue you will face. Compensation is not the biggest budgetary outgoing, as in reality poor executive performance can cause a damaging ripple or delay in carrying out the business strategy or impact your market share or customer confidence and that can cost not only millions over the course of two or three years. Dealing with poor executive performance issues is a key opportunity to ensure you get the best return on that investment.
Decide What to do about Poor Executive Performance
Now you have the decision to make. You’ll know from your preparation which options are open to you: it may be a verbal or written warning, it may be dismissal. Whatever it is, ensuring that you have been fair and followed policy will mean your decision is more likely to stand if the executive decides to challenge it. It would be unfortunate to end up fighting a legal battle and losing, just for the sake of following the process properly.
Once you have made your decision, you need to communicate it in the most appropriate way. Face-to-face is usually best, with written confirmation including an action plan. This should be given to him/her as quickly as possible to both capitalise on the momentum from your discussion and to reinforce its importance. There should also be clear demarcation between responsibilities, especially since the executive is the only one who can improve their performance.
And how do you know if you get it right? The executive goes away knowing what they should do, how they must do it, when they need to do it by, they have no illusions about the part they must play, they know the support they can expect from you the most senior management and the Board of Directors, and they understand the consequences of not meeting their targets.
And finally, it can be uncomfortable for any CXO or Board member having to have these discussions with one of their executives, but if you do it in a fair, reasonable, and supportive way, you can be their biggest ally, even if, in the end, it doesn’t work out.
How to Avoid Poor Executive Performance
Studies from Leadership IQ, SHRM, and many others have revealed repeatedly that the most failure by executives is lack of interpersonal skills. But really it goes much deeper than that. The executive may have outstanding KPIs and accomplishments throughout their career, but in this instance, seems to be failing. It is not always the individual’s fault as changes to the most senior executive staff or ownership of the company can also be a key reason for poor executive performance.
One of the first things we do at NextGen Global Executive Search is to use scientifically based psychometric surveys of the team an executive role will be working with. Depending on the level of the role, this could include Board members, CXOs, SVP, internal customers, and in the case of a vital role in sales or support, we include key external customers.
The resulting data is compiled from these 5 to 8 surveys into a Composite Team Analysis. It tells us the values and motivations, relational communications style, decision making and management traits of the team.This in turn gives our staff a good idea of the target candidate profile from a team fit perspective. The easy part, as any good retained executive search consultant will tell you, is finding a good role fit takes a lot of hard work and documented proof to insure you have the right shortlist.
Even on difficult searches – I’ve had several of “finding the needled in the haystack” where there were a very limited number of individuals who could meet/exceed the role objectives, it’s still the easier part of a search.
Before proceeding with cold calling and networking, we develop a Search Strategy that details what we are looking for in role fit, team fit, measurable past KPIS, relevance and depth of industry relationships, investor relationships, market cap, market share, turnaround where appropriate, etc. After all, the entire reason for retaining an executive search consultant is because you want the “A players” brought forth, the 14% of the entire workforce that produces 8 to 10 times more than B players.
With CXO and SVP roles, you cannot afford to miss. Same goes for key functional leaders, so that’s not limited to the most senior executives.Now let’s get back to how you can potentially avoid poor executive performance and IMPROVE it. If your retention rate starts to go down, market share or customer support is dropping, revenues are declining, or poor morale seems to be increasing, the worst thing you can do is panic or make staffing decisions based solely on those metrics.
Before doing so, entertain the low cost involved with scientifically based Team Alignment and Individual Team Performance. We’ve done this for several clients – big and small – and what we have found is that some individuals are simply on the wrong team or that the teams themselves were simply improperly aligned to succeed. It goes back to team fit. Each department in any organization has different teams and those teams are made up of individuals. Having too many similar strengths and weaknesses means a team cannot learn and produce effectively.
The counterbalance of any team is having an effective leader, a coach, a technical or sales mentor, an interpersonal skills expert, a geek, etc. – if properly aligned these seemingly different individuals have the right balance of identified strengths and weaknesses that those traits can be effective through action plans. In a very short time, realignment and proper positioning of teams can increase production dramatically. How many of you have ever used this method?
The new hire onboarding process, for so many companies, is crammed into orientation or fails. New hire onboarding increases productivity when used correctly. Unfortunately the main causes for onboarding failure are two-fold. One is Human Resources tries to use a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Secondly, it involves too much valuable time of executives to follow the onboarding plan.
The executive recruiter found the “A Player you need. Your expectations are that the new leader or key staff person you just hired will make an impact sooner rather than later. You’ve made an investment in strategy, compensation, and a recruitment fee. Now is the time to utilize a CUSTOMIZED new hire onboarding process to increase the potential of gaining a Return on your Investment.
If you had engaged an executive search firm to recruit for a key position at any level, the recruiter should provide a custom employee onboarding set of tools based on the role and team dynamics. Doing so results in the new hire meeting performance objectives sooner and being retained longer. A best practices employee onboarding process will help you accomplish all of the above when designed and facilitated as a customized, one-on-one version.
The Type of New Hire Onboarding Process that Works
In order to design, document, and deliver a viable, easy to utilize new hire onboarding process that works requires a few hours each month for both the new hire and manager he/she reports to. The guidelines should consist of a psychometric based team profile, the new hire’s role fit and team fit analysis, a personal action plan for the new employee, a mentoring / coaching guideline, and a measurement tool.
Many companies spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars with so-called Human Resources or People Management firms or psychology-based firms that in the end produce a one-size-fits-all model based on a corporate profile / corporate culture. They are very time consuming so rarely are they carried out for new employees to fruition. To make matters worse, often it is handed over to HR, who is not part of the individual team the person was hired for and their focus is on orientation and “corporate culture” assimilation rather than how the new hire assimilates into the team he/she will be working within.
Facilitated correctly, the plan should smoothly and quickly assimilate the new employee into the team culture, not just the company culture. By capturing profile data about the new hire, his/her direct reports, and the organization, a plan is developed for maximizing understanding, positive communications, and relational communications effectiveness.
An effective new hire onboarding process ensures the new executive or employee knows exactly what the senior team expects and receives specific feedback early, helping him/her to establish effective influential networks, social, community, and professional, internal and external relational communications and conflict resolution skills. The end result is higher retention because the phased activities lead to deeper engagement, innovation, and job fulfillment levels.
How About Costing You ZERO for a Custom New Hire Onboarding Process?
NextGen Executive search charges NOTHING to deliver a custom new hire onboarding process with each new hire we place. Our placements average 3.5 years still on the job retention rate. The employee onboarding new hire process will provide a good initial experience for a new hire and lay a strong foundation upon which to build loyalty, inspiration, innovation, and high performance.
Looking to fill a key executive position in your company? Contact us today for a free retained search consultation or download our award winning recruitment process.