Strategically Managing Your Workforce
During Tough Economic Times, Small, Frequent Rewards Can Do Wonders to Spark Motivation and Fuel Productivity
Southborough, Mass., and Dublin, Ireland – October 15, 2008 – In today’s recessionary economy with the recent fall of corporate giants like Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Wachovia, many forward-thinking Global 2000 companies are briskly and strategically investing in recognition and rewards programs that help provide psychic income, igniting motivation and enhancing worker productivity. Experts agree that companies who find effective strategies designed to engage employees and enhance loyalty hold the promise of emerging out of this recession in a position of strength with their best talent focused and in tact.
“The only way organizations are going to survive an uncertain economy is with the willing and enthusiastic support of a focused, fired-up and capably led workforce,” said Bill Catlette, co-author of “Contented Cows Moove Faster,” in the June 9, 2008 issue of Incentive magazine.
Recognition strategist Globoforce is experiencing a significant increase in business in recent months as Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies turn to the organization and its on-demand strategic recognition solution for a cost-effective and high impact way to recognize employees with smaller rewards given year-round. According to Globoforce CEO Eric Mosley, this approach is the “how” of keeping your workforce fired-up during these trying times.
“Employee recognition initiatives are crucial in times like these as they help keep employees focused on key goals and dedicated to their jobs, as well as motivated and loyal, which can impact your company’s performance and help it maintain or gain a competitive edge,” said Mosley, a 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist. “The key is deploying a cost-effective and strategic recognition effort that allows for smaller awards that can be given out frequently and are tied to company values and goals. These awards can do wonders to surprise and delight employees, as well as keep their minds from slipping into a psychological recession along with the economy.”
Mosley should know. Globoforce itself continues to post an impressive track record of revenue growth. During the week of September 22, 2008, while the stock market plunged, there was a bright spot. Globoforce, which was recently named one of the fastest-growing private companies in America by Inc. magazine, achieved its best revenue-generating week in the company’s history. ”Our customers see the tremendous value in deploying global employee recognition programs or expanding existing ones, in spite of the current challenging economic climate,” said Mosley. “In the past six months, our sales pipeline has been stronger than ever because more large, multinational corporations understand that strategic employee recognition programs have the power to boost morale, productivity levels and efficiencies. Every day counts, and regardless of whether Barack Obama or John McCain wins the White House, companies still need to be in business and they better make sure their employees are happy and content.”
BIOGEN IDEC EXPANDS RECOGNITION EFFORT
One such example is Biogen Idec, a global leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and commercialization of innovative medical therapies with nearly 5,000 employees in 28 countries.
Just this week, Biogen Idec expanded its recognition program to include smaller rewards that can be given more frequently to more individuals within the company’s global workforce. Using Globoforce’s Web-based strategic recognition platform, Biogen Idec’s program, which is known to its employees as ‘Applause,’ has already been successful in uniting its employees around company goals and enhancing employee satisfaction.
“We’ve seen the tremendous value ongoing recognition has brought to our organization in terms of creating a more engaged and motivated workforce united around our company’s core values,” said Susan McGowan, Associate Director of Benefits at Biogen Idec. “We firmly believe that expanding this effort – particularly during this recessionary economy – will serve to strengthen our positive corporate culture and provide the necessary ‘thank yous’ that employees need now more than ever.”
FIVE TIPS FOR USING RECOGNITION TO MANAGE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IN TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES
In its recently published executive brief, “The Power of Recognition to Overcome Recession Fears,” Globoforce recommends the tips below to reengage employees during tough economies:
- See your employees as assets, not costs – Employees are not only assets; they are stakeholders in the success of the company. By engaging them in their work and in the company, leadership can derive additional value from their efforts.
- Let your employees know they and their work make a difference – Reinforce the difference employees make in the success of the company and link recognition to actions that reflect company goals and values.
- Counter employee confusion and discontent over actions such as layoffs or reorganizations with constant communication – During times like these, employees often suffer from a psychological recession and tend to focus more on personal concerns than the job at hand. Keep employees engaged by keeping them informed and do it with a tone of hope.
- Boost performance through recognition when merit increases become cost prohibitive – Consistent and frequent recognition in the form of small rewards encourages employees to perform at a higher level. Such a program delivers psychic income, which is the additional value employees derive from increased social acceptance, self-esteem and self realization.
- Optimize strategy execution through reinforcement of effective implementation steps – A tough economy removes the cushion companies have in times of growth and there’s no longer any margin for error in executing on objectives. A recognition program based on the company’s strategy helps employees understand the goals and rewards them for effective implementation.