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By Market Intelligence Team

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In response to the economic squeeze on funding, behavioral health and social service provider organizations are being forced to reduce administrative costs and are imposing hiring freezes where ever possible. This ‘administrative rationing’ makes the loss of a valuable employee all the more hard-hitting. Executives in the field are presented with a great challenge—how to retain exceptional employees in difficult times.

I propose that there are easy-to-implement ways to utilize recognition and keep employees engaged – even in tough times. For example, by publicizing success in the workplace, leadership can have a positive effect on the culture in an organization and the motivation that this culture breeds. Some ways to publicize success include:

  • Send an e-mail to your team—or to the entire organization expressing specific individual contributions

  • Organize a monthly team meeting where you offer an award (even without monetary value) to recognize a specific initiative or employee contribution.

  • Contact mainstream press, your state trade association, or county consumer advocacy chapter to provide a case study and recognize your employee or nominate them for a community award.

These aren’t the only ways to improve non-monetary recognition in the workplace. By creating an environment where all recognition is not standardized – and executives commend a job well done ‘on the spot’, leadership can infuse pride in their organizations and make people feel good about the work they do.

On a final note, there are also often missed opportunities to align recognition with an organization’s strategic plan. By specifically aligning commendations in areas that the organization say are important, executives can reinforce organizational direction and demonstrate awareness of those individuals that are contributing to the most important goals.

My April article, featured in the OPEN MINDS Newsletter, “The Value of Staff Recognition in the Workplace: Now More Important Than Ever ”  expands on these themes and how to reward employees without money.

If you’d like to share an example of how your organization has created non-monetary recognition programs, send our team an e-mail message to openminds@openminds.com.

Sincerely,
Jeremy Mann
Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS

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For some related information, check out  “Conducting Effective Performance Appraisals and Using Progressive Discipline” 
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