I previously managed four inside sales teams that spanned two shifts, all under a single roof.
Both day shift and evening shift would experiences daily lulls in productivity, often following a lunch or dinner break. Selling insurance exclusively via phone was tough business, and took a toll on the psyches of even the most resilient agents.
Fortunately for me, one of my mentors already demonstrated to me how immediate recognition and public praise would break the monotony for inside sales reps, and help overcome virtually any sales slump for any reason.
During a period of slow sales one could easily see the morale slowly wane across the entire contact center floor.
That’s when I would come in to save the day! I would look at the stats and begin publically praising the top performers of the shift. This motivated them and typically lifted their mood quite quickly, once the fruits of their efforts were getting broadcast across the building.
Then I would call out those who most recently made a sale, despite what their overall performance was for the day.
“Great job on that sale, Mike.”
“Nice sale, Perry!”
“Wow! Two back to back sales from Josh. Way to go!”
The information I chose to convey to the floor was accurate. I didn’t succumb to the trap of praising people just for showing up.
I publically praised employees for their performance, and it increased the positivity, motivation and ultimately the productivity of all my teams in measurable ways.
An increase in real-time Sales per Hour rates for each campaign was observed nearly every time, and individual performance—especially for those most receptive to positive feedback—often skyrocketed. This was 45 minutes of my time well spent. Not only did it yield me the desired results and create happier employees, it served as a perpetual reinforcement of the importance and power of employee recognition. Forever.
And increased performance and productivity is just the beginning!
Here are some other proven benefits of employee recognition:
1. Increased Workplace Happiness
Recognition helps make us happy, and happy employees are often more productive, possess increased resilience to stress, and are more engaged.
2. Increased Engagement
In workplaces where opportunity and well-being were a valued part of the company culture, strong manager performance in recognizing employee performance has been shown to increase engagement by nearly 60%.
3. Better Company Culture
Sufficient recognition is yet another ingredient that helps to create a positive company culture. A great company culture makes recruiting qualified talent much easier, as company culture is an important factor in the job selection process—especially among millennials.
In addition, prospective clients and other important guests will recognize the positive culture when they visit your worksite.
4. Reduced Turnover
Since we went through all that trouble to attract good talent, it makes sense to retain them too. Employees who are recognized are more engaged by default, and engaged employees tend to stick around much longer.
According to research compiled by Gallup:
the number one reason why employees leave their jobs is due to not feeling appreciated
5. It’s Good PR
It’s no secret that companies like Wegmans Food Markets and Google repeatedly make the Forbes America’s Best Employers list. Recognize your employees and your company will be recognized as well! On the flip side, a few negative Glass Door reviews could give your company the kind of publicity that you don’t want.
6. Better Customer Service
Satisfied employees means satisfied customers. It’s much easier to treat people well when we are treated well, and recognized for our work. Rumor has it that Wegmans, mentioned above, has an internal motto, “Employees first. Customers second.” This might sound backwards, but if you’ve ever shopped at Wegmans you know this is good policy.
7. Recognition does not need to come from leadership alone
More than 40% of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have observed measurable increases in customer satisfaction.
8. More Customers
Consumers return to the places that provide them with excellent shopping experiences, both online and offline. Just one or two interactions with a grumpy employee may be enough to scare them away forever. Negative online reviews based on these less than stellar experiences will prevent many new customers from hopping aboard.
To be fair, not every cranky employee is a victim of their leadership, but good leadership and adequate employee recognition will positively impact the customer experience in multiple areas and provide fertile ground for new customers.
9. Increased Bottom Line
At the end of the day employee recognition is not just another task or expense—it’s an investment.
Both leadership and peer recognition of employees are associated with increased workplace happiness, and an overall increase in employee engagement.
These attributes combine to create a great company culture; a culture that nurtures talent and retains valuable employees—and generates good PR for the organization as a side benefit. Recognized, engaged employees create better customer experiences, which naturally leads to more customers.
A larger customer base combined with increased employee performance and productivity increases your bottom line.
For the sake of your organization, don’t let another day go by without appreciating and recognizing your talent.
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