Celebrate today, yes, but...
Today is National Associate Appreciation Day, but every day in our people-powered organization we're grateful for everything our Associates make #possible at retail. Their help at retail serves communities and families and we couldn't be more proud of them and the work they do.
It is difficult sometimes to find the time.
It isn't always easy to take the time to show appreciation. Ensuring our clients' projects are executed expertly in the labor environment we're experiencing today creates a climate that some of our team may not feel they have the time to stop and celebrate. They are too busy getting that reset or remodel completed, or too busy moving the client's product from point A to point B.
There's a solid business case for showing recognition
We all know that being recognized helps the Associate experience. As a company, we're working hard to integrate recognition (and our people-powered positive culture) even more into the DNA at SAS Retail Services. Without an inventory of widgets to sell, it's only through the amazing efforts and quality execution of projects by our Associates, that we are a viable business today. Focusing on the individual, recognizing their efforts, making them feel included and supported, and ensuring that their efforts are noticed, guarantees benefits far beyond a feel-good culture. We'll see retention and engagement increase. Did you know that 63% of employees would not change their job if recognized?1
In terms of a business case, the cost to hire will also decrease, as referrals and reviews will improve. We'll also see safety protocols being followed more closely, resulting in claims reductions. Not only are there reduced costs but we also experience productivity and efficiency gains as experienced Associates crush projects in record times. One interesting stat found was ~ Happiness magnifies productivity by 13%.1
Once a year is not enough
When recognition and celebration are provided frequently, Associates enjoy their work more. Most will place focused effort into their tasks often without reservations about going the extra mile when needed.
A high frequency of recognition is not the only ingredient to improving Associates' engagement. The tricky part can be how the recognition is being shown. It is important to provide genuine, timely, and concise recognition.
Tips for regular and meaningful recognition.
1. Be cognizant of efforts being put forth by Associates.
When Associates receive recognition for a specific task that they completed, it provides a more meaningful impact. Recognizing the work that was done, the time put in, and how it benefits the organization. The Associate is correlating that praise with measurable performance.
2. Understand the scenario.
You do not always have to shout it into the universe for an Associate to feel valued. A simple email note, small gift card, shout-out on a team call, etc. can make all the difference. Understanding your Associates and what makes them feel valued is key to knowing the when, where, and how.
3. Timing is crucial.
This can be argued that it has become a generational factor, however, we can all agree that sooner than later makes a difference. Associates are putting that work in now and often to hit a deadline. The impact of time is great – the same message can be sent the day of the act or it could be sent 2 months later. Each would provide a different level of sincerity and meaning.
Make your pledge today
We would strongly argue that once each year is not enough to show appreciation for all that our Associates do. However, on this day we ask that each of our leaders make a pledge to never dial down being a cheerleader for their Associates. Never hesitate to celebrate what the team did, today and every day. Never stop encouraging their growth. Make the time to recognize Associates and ensure they feel valued and have a sense of belonging. Add it to your schedule as a task, daily, until it becomes second nature and we can guarantee your work will be rewarded in many other ways beyond the business.