5 Sustainability Incentives Your Employees Will Notice

When striving for business success, employee engagement is vital. Employees that truly feel appreciated and valued do better work – and are both quicker to go about it and happier doing it.

According to the Guardian, “those companies with employees registering a high level of engagement with their jobs had, on average, a 10% higher rate of productivity than those whose employees were actively disengaged.”

When your business is striving for sustainability success, the story is no different. If you can find ways to effectively and routinely motivate your employees as individuals, your business as a whole stands to reap the benefits.

And although many companies are returning to motivating staff with bonuses or the promise of a raise, motivation theory suggests that this can diminish creativity and lead to unscrupulous behavior – not to mention cost your business money it might not be able to afford.

If you have sustainability goals you want your employees to help you meet, focus first on praise and recognition. Both simple and easy to implement, praise is rarely given the credit it deserves.

Recognizing an employee’s good work and success tends to elicit a strong emotional response. And a strong (positive) emotional response almost always translates into renewed drive and dedication, though it’s important to remember that encouragement should be offered consistently and only when truly warranted.

It’s also essential that your sentiments are genuine – insincere praise won’t get you any of the results you’re looking for, and will often cost you credibility and respect. 
Here are some empowering praise-focused incentives your employees will surely notice:

1.) Say the words. Take the time to visit with the employee in question and let them know you’re pleased with their work. Expressing appreciation in a personal manner is meaningful and considerate, especially when you can speak to the specifics.

2.) Take it public. Commend an employee’s work in a staff meeting or company-wide e-mail, letting them know you’re impressed – and everybody else, too.

3.) Get everybody on board. Group gratitude goes a long way and works well with bigger jobs, particularly those that have been very time-consuming. Gather your organization together and sign a card or photo, and present with a round of enthusiastic applause.

4.) Make it visual. One of the great things about business sustainability practices is that they can often be measured. If applicable, have someone put together a chart or a graph demonstrating the trend they’ve contributed to. Bonus points for calculating estimated savings or profits.

5.) Involve your customers. If you have a company newsletter for your customers, make a habit of featuring notable employees. This honors your workers with the added benefit of highlighting sustainability objectives for your clients.

Sustainability success is a group effort. There’s no disputing the importance of employee engagement, but it’s easy to forget that sometimes the most valuable tools are already at our disposal. With the endless possibilities workplace motivation can have, praising and recognizing employees is certainly one of those tools.

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