What’s the latest workplace trend? Companies looking for inexpensive ways to boost morale, and reward employees for good work. According to ABC News, companies used to hand out raises and bonuses to make sure employees stayed happy, worked hard, and didn’t look for other jobs. However, the money dried up with the economic crunch, and a lot of companies don’t know how to reward and inspire employees. According to a recent Gallup poll, only half of employees say they get recognition for their hard work, and a lot of workers say that their supervisor doesn’t even say ‘good morning’ to them.
Sylvia Anne Hewlett is the author of Top Talent: Keeping Performance Up When Business is Down. She says that companies have to find new ways to reward workers. Otherwise the best employees will quit, or spend half of their time on the job looking for another one. Here are a few creative solutions some companies have come up with: Like the communications company in Minneapolis that invented “Fishbowl Fridays.” Coworkers drop cards in a fishbowl saying why another employee deserves to be employee of the week. The winner gets to take Friday afternoon off. A printing company in Cleveland throws in random employee perks. This winter, for example, they made the managers responsible for scraping the snow off their staff’s car windshields when it was time to go home.
Talent retention expert Jane Goldner suggests companies invest in their employees’ futures. She says it doesn’t mean costly workshops or training programs. Just have one worker shadow another employee who has skills they’d like to learn. Or have an employee delegate something that’s old hat to them to someone who wants a new experience. Finally, a home-nursing company in British Columbia launched the “Dreams Program” – where coaches mentor employees every month to help them reach big life goals. They’ve helped employees buy their first homes, take dream trips around the world, and climb mountains in Africa. They also offer a flexible work program called The Mommy Shift – which offers moms and dads a part-time weekday shift of 9 am to 2 pm.