background img

The New Stuff

Re-Ignite Motivation and Re-Engage Your Workforce: Implement an Employee Stimulus Plan on Employee Appreciation Day

Globoforce Offers Tips to Boost Employee Engagement during Recessionary Times

While March 6 is officially 'Employee Appreciation Day,' Globoforce - the leading provider of results-driven global strategic employee recognition solutions - offers advice on how to elevate this one day into a year-round 'employee stimulus' package designed to re-ignite motivation, re-focus and re-engage today's challenged workforce.

Employees today are suffering from a psychological recession and layoff survivor syndrome - from having to say goodbye to pay raises, bonuses and co-workers due to our ailing economy. As reported in a recent article on, "A flurry of research after the economic downturn of the 1990s found that layoff survivors reported high levels of distrust and lower levels of motivation and engagement. Absenteeism went up, productivity went down."

However, research also shows that when done properly, employee recognition can be just the employee stimulus effort needed right now - providing a lifeline to motivation and productivity. According to a recent Towers Perrin report, "With effective leadership and communication, a company can drive somewhat committed employees to become fully committed employees. Engagement levels - defined as an employee's willingness to invest discretionary effort in their job - go up. This in turn can raise productivity and result in greater shareholder returns."

"Our economy is not the only thing in dire need of a rescue package," said Derek Irvine, recognition strategist and Vice President of Global Strategy, Globoforce. "Employee morale during these trying and fearful times could use a rescue plan of its own. Ongoing and equitable employee peer-to-peer recognition programs can re-engage disconnected employees, galvanize them around core company values and raise productivity levels throughout the organization. Companies should use Employee Appreciation Day as a point in time to kick-start this type of high impact, year-round effort."

Irvine noted that a simple thank you or a small reward can have an immediate impact, elevating mood and boosting morale. Connecting these rewards to company values and goals helps to align an entire workforce around critical objectives. Forward-thinking companies that figure this out will experience near- and long-term benefits, emerging from this recession in a position of strength.

According to Irvine, companies can re-align and consolidate existing recognition program budgets to accomplish this critical task and most often do it at a significant savings - upwards of 50 percent of existing program costs. For one-tenth to one-twentieth of its total bonus budget, a company can reward and recognize employees year-round with smaller yet more impactful rewards.

Tips: The Five Keys to Creating an Employee Stimulus Program:
• Use Employee Appreciation Day to Kick-Off a Year-Round Effort: Use Employee Appreciation Day to kickoff a new, year-round employee stimulus effort or energize your existing one. By recognizing and rewarding employees throughout the year, it creates a culture of appreciation and ignites motivation and productivity.
• Create High Impact 'Recognition Moments' to Re-Ignite Motivation: Giving employees the generic company watch or one-size-fits-all gift is an uninspiring way to say thank you. Rather, award your employees by giving them a choice of meaningful, self-selected rewards such as gift cards, quality merchandise or travel vouchers. When employees redeem their award, it will create an important recognition moment with lasting impact and bigger trophy value - something employees desperately need in this down economy.
• Empower Everyone in the Process: Give them the Means to Reach Out and Thank Someone: Employee recognition should not reside solely on the shoulders of management. Every person in the organization should be empowered to acknowledge their peers and co-workers for a job well done. In down economies more than ever, people need to reach out, make a connection and acknowledge the good work done by their peers. It's simple human nature.
• Tie Rewards to the Bigger Picture for Bigger Results: Employee recognition should be directly linked to the company's vision, mission and core values. This aligns the entire workforce toward achieving critical company milestones.
• Communicate, Again and Again: Frequent program communication raises awareness, increases participation, boosts performance, and, most importantly, helps develop that important culture of appreciation - all of which leads to a happier, more productive workforce.