The Importance of Valuing Employees (and Showing it)

Toni Sperlbaum                                                                                               VP of Sales and Marketing


March is Employee Appreciation Month – what a great opportunity to take a step back and evaluate how your organization is showing your employees how much you appreciate them.  There are obvious reasons as to why this is important, but did you know there is actual business strategy behind employees feeling valued and appreciated?

Here are the stats:

  • Companies with strategic recognition reported a mean employee turnover rate that is 23.4% lower than retention at companies without a program
  • Organizations who recognize their employees exhibit 28.6% lower employee frustration levels than companies who don’t
  • In a recent study by Forbes, companies that scored in the top 20% for building a recognition rich culture enjoyed a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate
  • Praise and commendation from managers was rated the top motivator for performance, beating out other noncash and financial incentives, by a majority of workers (67%)

Employee engagement is defined as “the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals”.  Providing recognition has had a proven impact on employee engagement.

  • Only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work, according to Gallup’s new 142-country study on the State of the Global Workplace
  • When asked what leaders could do more of to improve engagement, 58% of respondents replied “Give recognition”
  • When companies spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition, 85% see a positive impact on engagement

This INCLUDES engagement in wellness program!  In fact, Gallup found that managers alone are 70% responsible for wellness participation.  This includes the manager’s ability to make their employee feel valued and appreciated, in addition to being approachable, communicating well, encouraging participation and even “giving permission” to participate.

Here are some easy ways to start recognizing employees today:

  • Profile recognized in employee newsletter
  • Social media on your public page recognizing employees for their accomplishments (what a great recruitment tool, too!)
  • Send a handwritten note
  • Call an employee to your office just to thank them (without discussing any other business or issue)
  • Create a specific award that shows appreciation for people who go above and beyond
  • Include praise as an agenda item at staff meetings
  • Acknowledge individual achievements by using employee’s names when preparing a status report
  • Have a sticky pad of “You Rock” sticky notes on your desk. Write one short note of praise to an employee each day.
  • Collect testimonials from your customers and start a testimonial wall (see picture of HPA’s testimonial wall)
  • There are high tech, comprehensive programs out there you can invest in (check out terryberry.com, a Grand Rapids based recognition company) that provide great engagement by managers and results to an improved company cultures and in return, business outcomes.

DC Calls it Quits – Cessation Tips for Employers


Toni Sperlbaum, CWWPM, CHWC, Wellness Account Manager

In Washington D.C., September 21 – 25 is QUIT WEEK! That brings to light a hot topic in employee wellness. Smoking Cessation is an important and high demand piece of worksite wellness programs.  The average tobacco user costs employers approximately $5,816.  That’s $2,300 more than a healthy employee and similar to the cost of one with a Body Mass Index >35, according to a study from Ohio State University. In fact, this study breaks down the annual costs to business in the following way:

Absenteeism: $517
Presenteeism, or reduced productivity related to nicotine addiction:$462
Smoke Breaks: $3,077

There are many things an organization can do to aid in cessation:

  1. Tailored 1-on-1 Health Coaching: each person is different and has a different “why” to quitting. Coaches will explore this on a personal level and bring forward the motivation to quit smoking and educate participants on not only the risks of using, but what options are available to quit.
  2. Online Self-Paces Courses: While participants are twice as likely to be successful when they work with a coach, making an online course available will get participants thinking about their addiction and will put to practice great cessation methods. An incentive ALWAYS helps employees complete this step!
  3. Nicotine Testing: In our experience, we see a 10% increase between self-reported nicotine usage and tested usage. That means 10% of people are LYING! Imposing a wellness incentive for non-nicotine users may be just the thing that user needed to quit.
  4. Marketing Campaigns: It could be as simple as educating employees! Strategic marketing can be point-of-contact reminders to employees what resources are out there to help them and that they are not alone.
  5. Nicotine Use Policies: A very effective method of impacting your workforce is amending company policy. These could include: a nicotine free campus, putting in “butt huts”/designated smoking areas, not hiring nicotine users, and more.
  6. Reimbursement Programs: Budget to provide a reimbursement to employees if they complete a local cessation course at either 50% or even 100%. Your support would really send the message that your organization cares about the wellbeing of their employees.

 

Health Plan Advocate, an employee wellness company in Grand Rapids,  can help you implement the most successful nicotine cessation program to your employees. Contact us at 616-575-0211 x108 to get started!