High Turnover? Try a Little Bit of Recognition!

Recently I participated in a webinar on Employee Recognition.  Yes I know it’s one of those “feel good” topics that most employers think is over-rated.  But…think again!  Properly implemented, an employee recognition program can have a significant impact on turnover.

The company discussed in the webinar had a major issue with turnover in their call center.  Clearly, customer service reps are under a lot of stress and generally speaking it is a high turnover position.  The company reduced their turnover by 75% by:

  • Asking their front-line reps to recognize on a weekly basis at least one colleague who had helped them out
  • Asking the supervisors to immediately recognize a rep who had gone “above and beyond”
  • Recognizing any employee who made a suggestion for improvement that was implemented that month.

What is different about this type of recognition program?  First of all it is public.  Everyone is encouraged to give and receive positive feedback.  Second, it minimizes the appearance of favoritism on the part of supervisors because it is based on performance, not opinion.  Third, the feedback happens timely.  There is little value in deferred praise.  The best feedback is that given at the time of good performance.  When employees know they are doing what is expected they will do more of that.  So if you want better performance and lower turnover, try a little recognition.  It just might work!


Sharon Hamersley is Principal of Keys to Performance, Your Resource for Workplace Productivity. Sharon helps businesses hire, train and retain outstanding employees and create workplaces where everyone can do their best work.  For more information, visit her web site http://k2performance.net or call her at 614-395-9440.

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