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Employee Awards - Protecting Your Greatest Asset: Your Employees

Professional woman in a white blazer sitting in an office and smiling.

Managers are often asked to consider what is their greatest corporate asset. Is it a new research and development facility, a secret sauce recipe, a large cash surplus on your balance sheet? While any CEO would be envious of any of these equities, the greatest asset that a company has is its employees. It is the employees that man R&D facilities, who create proprietary formulas and recipes, who manage a balance sheet to optimize a company’s performance. Yes, the greatest asset that all successful companies have is its people, and it is a proven fact that corporate recognition programs help to protect and nurture this valuable asset.  

Study after study supports that the number one reason employees decide to leave their company is due to a lack of recognition. Not personal reasons, not lack of compensation, but lack of recognition drives successful employees to find jobs elsewhere. This is not a hypothetical supposition but a fact based on interviews conducted with hundreds of corporations within the US. In fact, the U.S. Dept. of Labor showed that 64% of workers, almost 2/3, leave their jobs not because they want more money, but because they don’t feel appreciated. 

To put this in perspective, try this simple exercise. Whether you’re a CEO or a mid-level manager or a task force leader in charge of a team, take a sheet of paper and write down the names of your top five employees or coworkers. Give this some thoughtful consideration: don’t select people based on popularity or who may be sitting next to you, but seriously consider the value that each one of these individuals brings to the company. After you have compiled this list, consider what would happen to the organization if these five people were no longer there. Who would take over the tasks they regularly completed, who would serve as the clients with whom they built relations? Think about the time, investment and money it would take to train new employees to reach this level of performance, as well as both the short-term and long-term effect if your top five performers found employment elsewhere. What if your top fifty employees suddenly moved on?

If you accept that your employees are indeed your greatest asset, and that replacing these assets would be a significant time and investment expenditure, then the best way to protect these valuable assets is through an employee recognition program. While this can be intuitive and an easy supposition to accept - that greater employee recognition results in greater retention – there are indeed quantitative statistics to support this hypothesis. For example, Heritage Medical Associates, a Tennessee organization, found that implementing a meaningful recognition program reduced turnover rate by more than half. HMA began a comprehensive employee recognition program after years of experiencing a 50% turnover rate. Three years after implementing the program, turnover rate dropped to 20%, and continued to improve. 

Employee recognition is not just about feeling good about the way you treat your employees. It is about protecting your assets, strengthening your bottom line, and creating a healthy and profitable work environment.

By Larry Maloney, Society Awards

Source: The Wow Workplace, Mike Byam