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.

Nutrition & Wellness Programming

 Toni Sperlbaum, CWWPM, CHWC, Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Wellness programs and their education components are often built on two primary staples: diet and exercise.  Exercise is relatively easy to program (and easy to understand from an employee’s perspective). But when it comes to nutrition, there is an incredible amount of conflict even within the professional world of physicians, scientists, dietitians, and experts, it’s no wonder the “normal person” is confused and that the national obesity rate is rising above and beyond 35% in the United States.

March is National Nutrition Month.  It’s the perfect time to hone in on these programs and hear from the experts (us!) on delivering effective and affordable nutrition programs to reach members.  Especially when weight loss is 80% proper nutrition and only 20% physical activity, it’s an imperative focus for an employer and should be a part of your wellness programming.

Here are our top 5 most popular nutrition programs:

  1. Educational Seminars – a fan favorite of our clients is “Mythbusting: Nutrition Edition” and “Healthy Cooking Live Demo”.  Provide a month-long challenge after the class in order to put to practice the different topics discussed in the class.
    “Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
  2. MENTAL HEALTH! – Not always an obvious thought, but in our experience, most of our members’ struggle with their food intake directly relates to stress, time management, work-life balance, and financial restrictions.  Designing programs that can pinpoint THESE issues will have a direct correlation to nutrition.
  3. Challenge – Seems obvious, as wellness programs LOVE challenges.  But it is for good reason, as challenges both involve employees and promote friendly workplace competition that truly is a drive for some members.  A good challenge will encourage employees to meet their goals, not “be the MOST healthy”.  It will also reward goal meeting each week and will have a different focus area each week (count your calories, eat foods with 5 or less ingredients or that you can pronounce, track your fiber grams, eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, etc.).
  4. Web Portal – Trackers, social accountability aspect – We’ve seen the power of the digital world through the rise of Social Media.  Using a web portal where employees can keep a food diary, share with a coach, and share their favorite recipes, exercise progress, funny and encouraging memes, and more on a social network within the portal.
  5. 1-on-1 Coaching – Speaking of coaching, the most tailored, effective programming you can do is provide your members the opportunity to talk to someone who will provide them with the accountability, the encouragement, and proper guidance to successful goal setting.