The 2018 WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference takes place May 21 – 23 in Dallas. If you’re attending, be on the lookout for Kazoo all around the event.

Come see Kazoo at Booth #710

According to the event website, this year’s Total Rewards Conference invites attendees to:

  • Innovate how you reward and engage employees
  • Explore fresh perspectives for forward-thinking concepts
  • Attend for creative ideas and leave brimming with inspiration

These are certainly goals we can get behind. Whether you want to redefine recognition or get a new perspective on purpose-driven workplaces, our team would be happy to hear your thoughts and offer ways to help during the 2018 Total Rewards Conference. Come by Booth #710 to chat in person.

Bonus: Get a free t-shirt for stopping by!

Conference attendees who talk to our team at Booth #710 will also get one of our incredibly comfortable t-shirts for free.

Experience Kazoo at the 2018 Total Rewards Conference

These shirts show off the four pillars of the employee experience and are a big hit at every event Kazoo attends, so be sure to pick one up before they run out.

If you’re the type who likes to plan ahead and wants to make sure we have one waiting for you, try these options:

  • Drop us an email to let our team know you’d like to meet up at the conference
  • Schedule a demo of Kazoo to get a sneak peek before the big event, and we’ll be able to follow up with you in person at Booth #710

We can’t wait to experience the WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference with you.

About Kazoo:

Kazoo amplifies company culture through its award-winning employee experience platform that delivers engagement, retention, performance management, and improved business metrics. As a dominant force in the HCM market with an industry-leading retention rate, Kazoo partners with more than 400 global organizations to build high-performance cultures and engaged workforces. Founded in 2013, Kazoo continues to revolutionize the employee experience with its platform based on the science of motivation, rewards, and recognition. To request a demo, visit info.kazoohr.com/demo-request.

workforce culture

To keep your employees, it’s important to understand what kind of workplace culture you’ve created and how it helps or hurts your retention efforts. It’s no surprise then that employee retention is at the top of the priority list for businesses around the globe.

According to a recent Glassdoor survey, nearly 35 percent of hiring decision makers expect more employees to quit over the span of 2018 than they did in 2017.

Below we’ve outlined the top seven misconceptions that keep companies from unlocking the full potential of employee retention within their organization.

7 Misconceptions about Building a Workplace Culture that Boosts Retention

1. Everyone needs to be happy.

Unhappy employees are a sure sign of your company’s demise, right? Wrong. The opposite is actually true.

You can’t make everyone happy 100% of the time, and that’s especially true in the workplace. The best companies know how to balance ongoing sentiment with internal factors like changing customer demands and company successes and failures. Every company is a work in progress, innovating and improving and growing on a continual basis. Some employee unhappiness is expected – and serves as important red flags that can set leaders back on the right track on a company’s journey.

2. Employee complaints are a bad thing.

In reality, you know you’re in trouble if no one is speaking up.

The best companies create a culture that encourages employees to share feedback – the good, the bad and even the ugly. If your employees don’t bother to tell you what you’re doing well or where you’re failing them, it means that they aren’t engaged and will likely move on. No company is perfect, so if your entire workforce is giving you the thumbs up on your pulse surveys, they likely haven’t read the question – or don’t think you’re willing to change for them.

3. You shouldn’t change your processes and policies.

Sure, too much change can be disruptive to businesses, but not enough change can be fatal to your workplace culture.

If your employees aren’t speaking up, it’s likely because you aren’t listening. If you ask for feedback, it needs to be taken into consideration and implemented. If there’s a good reason why a change isn’t in a company’s best interest, employees deserve an explanation.  Creating a feedback environment where employees feel heard, appreciated and empowered drives employee loyalty, engagement and retention.

4. Perks = culture.

A gym membership, free lunch and a lax dress code are nice, but they are not your “culture.” A workplace culture is a set of beliefs and behaviors that shape how employees interact with each other and clients. Perks can complement or reinforce those beliefs but are powerless in the absence of a strong mission and values that are communicated and well understood by employees.

5. Leadership controls the culture.

Culture flows top-down, bottom-up, side-to-side and every way in between.

The leadership team’s most important role is to help set the mission and values and create opportunities to reinforce those through a variety of channels. These can be in-person meetings, regular emails, team bonding events or a company’s recognition platform. It’s then up the rest of the company to participate, communicate and recognize each other.

6. Workplace culture doesn’t impact the bottom line.

Simply put, a great culture attracts great employers. And with an all-time low unemployment rate, finding – and keeping – top talent can make or break a company’s financial success. A negative culture is distracting to employees, pulling everyone away from their work to either contribute to it or try to fix it. Not having a strong culture can also be problematic, as it leaves employees unengaged and without a reason to feel loyalty to their company.

7. Culture is just a set of values.

Yes, core values are a critical component of a workplace culture. But it’s also inclusive of everything employees do to support those values and live them everyday. From processes and policies to social events and kitchen conversations, leadership and employees come together to create a living, breathing culture that evolves along a company’s journey.

workplace culture

 

 

As an employee incentive, cash isn’t king.

In fact, if you look at recent employee engagement trends, factors like “employee pay” aren’t even top-five engagement drivers anymore.

As part of Kazoo’s research on rewards and recognition systems that work, we uncovered how to make employee incentives effective.

Here are nine ways to create the best possible employee incentive options at your company.

1. Tie them to a thank-you

Gratitude goes a long way in the workplace. A sincere thank-you presented with an employee incentive lets an employee know exactly what they’ve done that you value.

A Glassdoor survey found that 81% of employees said they’re more motivated to work harder when their boss shows them appreciation. But the key: they didn’t just want the private words. They also wanted thanks in the form of things like company-wide recognition.

2. Increase the frequency

In the long run, big carrots handed out sparingly can be demotivating. An employee incentive approach with smaller, more frequent rewards stays meaningful and motivational.

Related: View our manager’s guide to meaningful recognition more frequently.

3. Add variety

Employees like to have more choice and control over their environment, so why not apply the same approach to their employee incentive? Offering a mix of rewards and incentives not only empowers employees, but also keeps your offerings from getting stale.

4. Include experiences

Whether it’s teambuilding, professional development, or pure fun, a custom experience can make for a truly meaningful employee incentive. And professional development doesn’t have to be costly. Incentive ideas such as a 1-on-1 lunch for career advice with the CEO or a coffee break for financial lessons with the CFO can have a major impact at a fraction of the cost of full-fledged L&D programs.

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5. Offer charitable donations

More and more studies are showing employees want to give back — and teams are more satisfied and productive when they have the option to. Everyone wins when companies add more charitable donations to the mix, so why not add them as an employee incentive option.

6. Give them time

Harvard Business Review has found that giving an employee predictable time off improves the entire team’s performance. Instead of ordering more generic gift cards, offer an employee incentive that gives them time back. In addition to days off, there are plenty of time-saving employee reward ideas you can consider.

7. Mix it up

There is no one-size-fits all employee incentive. In fact, the typical happy hour or pizza party may even be doing more harm than good by alienating employees who can’t participate for personal scheduling or dietary reasons.

The results of a study of Israeli semiconductor workers demonstrated the benefits of mixing monetary and non-monetary options:

  • Non-monetary bonuses boosted performance slightly better than monetary ones
  • Monetary bonuses affected performance more when the employee had a mix of options and chose them
  • When an employee incentive option was taken away from the mix, the impact of the remaining bonuses went down

8. Pay it forward

Boost your incentive program’s power by letting employees reward their peers as part of the experience.

In the peer-reviewed paper Prosocial Bonuses Increase Employee Satisfaction and Team Performance, researchers looked at what happens when an employee incentive can be used as a gift to coworkers.

For sales teams, every $10 that an employee spent on themselves led to only $3 back to the company. But when a team member spent $10 on others, the companies brought in $52.

“A minor adjustment to employee bonuses — shifting the focus from the self to others — can produce measurable benefits for employees and organizations,” the paper concluded.

9. Consider group activities

When two software companies got rid of individual commissions for salespeople, they found an interesting result: the whole team worked better towards a common sales goal. And their sales went up.

It’s not that you need to get rid of individual employee incentives entirely, but including team incentives can make everyone more engaged and effective. And the science backs it up. This study in the Journal of Business Research showed that rewarding a team boosted overall cooperation and performance.

These nine employee incentive ideas can give your organization a lot to think about, especially if you’re relying heavily on cash.

To learn more about creating your best possible employee incentive options, see Kazoo’s guide to reward and recognition systems that work:

Find employee incentive ideas with Rewards and Recognition Systems that Work

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About Kazoo:

Kazoo amplifies company culture through its award-winning employee experience platform that delivers engagement, retention, performance management, and improved business metrics. As a dominant force in the HCM market with an industry-leading retention rate, Kazoo partners with more than 400 global organizations to build high-performance cultures and engaged workforces. Founded in 2013, Kazoo continues to revolutionize the employee experience with its platform based on the science of motivation, rewards, and recognition. To request a demo, visit info.kazoohr.com/demo-request.

The latest from Bersin’s High-Impact Rewards research is out, and organizations building strategic employee rewards programs or seeking employee reward ideas should take note.

As reported by Business Insider, the latest findings prove that the right employee reward ideas can help you attract, retain, and motivate your top talent.

Rethinking employee reward ideas

In recent years, companies have been advised to rethink their employee reward ideas — going beyond ping pong and parties or even bonuses and benefits. Bersin’s research looked at companies that have embraced this change. These are the common threads when comparing high-performing to low-performing organizations:

  • High-performing organizations are six times more likely to use data and analysis to understand employee preferences
  • High-performing organizations are 1.7 times more likely to report that “employee experience” is an HR leader and C-suite priority

Rewards programs should include elements that go beyond compensation and benefits — it’s about things like well-being, learning and development opportunities, and taking a more holistic look at the relationship between employee and employer.

— Pete DeBellis, AVP and Total Rewards Research Leader, Bersin by Deloitte

Ultimately, their research concludes, high-impact employee reward ideas are about “best fit,” not just “best practice.” When rethinking your employee reward ideas, make sure they align with business goals while taking an employee-centric view.

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Six factors with the greatest impact

Need more guidance for your employee reward ideas? Bersin’s research also identified the traits of successful rewards programs. These are the six factors with the greatest impact:

  • An aligned strategy
  • A holistic philosophy
  • An employee focus
  • Effective communication
  • Greater rewards frequency
  • Use of team rewards

For more information on this research, visit Bersin here. You can also inspire more employee reward ideas with Kazoo’s guide to reward and recognition systems that work:

Find employee reward ideas Rewards and Recognition Systems that Work

Download now
About Kazoo:

Kazoo amplifies company culture through its award-winning employee experience platform that delivers engagement, retention, performance management, and improved business metrics. As a dominant force in the HCM market with an industry-leading retention rate, Kazoo partners with more than 400 global organizations to build high-performance cultures and engaged workforces. Founded in 2013, Kazoo continues to revolutionize the employee experience with its platform based on the science of motivation, rewards, and recognition. To request a demo, visit info.kazoohr.com/demo-request.

When it comes to employee recognition ideas, managers turn to everything from generic, last-minute thank you cards to full-featured employee experience platforms. But what makes employee recognition ideas truly effective?

To answer that, it’s important to remember why recognition is important and consider four must-have guidelines for your employee recognition ideas.

Managers, take note

If you think employee recognition ideas have to involve massive amounts of time and creativity, think again. After looking at the stats from employee surveys, it’s clear that a little would go a long way from managers and leadership:

  • 82% of employees don’t think they’re recognized for their work as often as they deserve, according to a survey of US employees by BambooHR
  • The same BambooHR survey found one-third of employees would rather be recognized in a company-wide email from an executive than receive a bonus of $500
  • Employee Benefit News reported 70% of employees say motivation and morale would improve “massively” if managers said thank you more
  • In a famous Glassdoor study, 81% of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation

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Four manager guidelines for effective employee recognition

Kazoo has done years of research on the employee experience and helped hundreds of organizations see proven ROI with employee engagement. We provide these four guidelines to help managers develop effective employee recognition ideas:

1. Make it specific: Go beyond the generic thank-you. Does this recognition idea call out what the employee did and how it was impactful?

2. Make it timely: For best results with recognition, sooner is better — a gesture weeks or months later loses its impact.

3. Make it personalized: What was it about this particular action or employee that merited recognition? Perhaps it aligned with certain goals or company core values that can be called out.

4. Make it consistent: This is the most important guideline to keep in mind. One employee recognition idea is good. Many employee recognition ideas done consistently over time create a culture of recognition, which helps improve the employee experience and boost bottom-line results.

Where common employee recognition ideas fail

With the above guidelines in mind, let’s look at common employee recognition ideas. While each of these is a nice gesture, long-term they do not help organizations engage and retain employees:

Milestone idea: The awkward glass sculpture. On the morning of an employee’s first, fifth, or tenth anniversary at the company, she finds a strange glass sculpture on her desk. It’s not clear whether (or where) she will keep it, much less remember what it was meant to stand for.

Where it fails: It’s neither specific nor personalized. What contribution is the employee being appreciated for other than time at the company? How motivational is the same milestone given to everyone?

Event idea: The holiday party shoutout. With everyone gathered at the year-end holiday party, executives turn everyone’s attention to your success of a major project — that was completed in March.

Where it fails: This employee recognition idea comes up short in being timely or consistent. Celebrating successes consistently and in the moment — even on a smaller stage than an all-hands event — is much more beneficial to the employee experience.

Employee reward idea: The gift card cabinet. In need of a quick thank-you for an above-and-beyond effort or a small prize for an impromptu competition, an admin or manager pulls a steakhouse gift cards from a stashed-away stack and tosses it on a desk, not realizing the recipient is a vegan.

Where it fails: In addition to lacking specifics, this approach lacks personalization to the point of doing more harm than good. What does it say about a manager or organization that important motivators or causes aren’t being considered when recognizing and rewarding employees?

For more reading on how to develop effective employee recognition ideas, download Reward & Recognition Systems That Work, filled with science-based tips for motivating employees.

About Kazoo:

Kazoo is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, Kazoo grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact, and appreciation. To request a demo, visit info.kazoohr.com/demo-request.

Most business leaders would agree: company culture is important.

Press them on why it’s important, however — or even what exactly company culture is — and suddenly this is a topic that’s difficult to agree on.

Consider this:

Company culture isn’t perks and parties. It’s not beer pong. Company culture is the behaviors that are encouraged and accepted. These behaviors — good or bad — drive your business.

— Autumn Manning, Co-Founder and CEO, Kazoo

In the webinar “How to Build a Best-in-Class Company Culture,” Kazoo’s CEO and Director of Employee Experience took a deep dive into the findings from our recent report The Employee Experience Optimized to uncover why company culture is important and how organizations can successfully improve theirs.

Based on our findings, here are four tips for building a best-in-class company culture.

1. Amplify your core values

If your company’s core values are little more than a document employees read and forget during onboarding, this could be affecting your company culture dramatically.

In our report, we found:

  • Only 38% of employees reported a positive employee experience when core values are not communicated clearly. The number increases to 83% when they are.
  • 91% of employees whose leadership frequently exhibited core values have positive employee experiences. Without this one factor, the number dropped to 47%.

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How to do it: tie core values to your employee recognition program.

When employees are recognized in front of the company, include the core values that were demonstrated. Not only does this keep core values top of mind in your company culture, but it’s also been shown to increase the ROI of employee recognition programs.

2. Hold regular, effective 1-on-1s

We’ve covered how to make the most of manager 1-on-1s before, but now our research has quantified how important they are to company cultures.

This summary from The Employee Experience Optimized says it all:

Effective 1-on-1s affect company culture

3. Incentivize on-the-job learning and professional growth

In our research, 95% of employees who reported a positive employee experience said they had opportunities for growth — compared to only 18% of employees with negative employee experiences.

Even if your organization doesn’t have a formal L&D program, your company culture can still benefit from your efforts here.

The key is to make learning and growth opportunities organic within your company. Do you have the ability to host lunch and learn meetings? Do you coach managers to have growth and career path conversations in 1-on-1s? Do you encourage professional shadowing or open meetings for others to attend? If so, raise awareness of these opportunities — employee experience platforms like Kazoo incentivize wellness and learning behaviors.

4. Avoid investing in perks over people

Remember that line about company culture being more than perks, parties, and beer pong? Perks certainly have their place in the employee experience, but they should not be relied on to improve company culture.

According to The Employee Experience Optimized, at companies investing in good to great perks but not company culture, 69% of employees reported a negative employee experience.

Attractive perks may seem like a required weapon in the war for talent, but the truth is these may simply mask underlying issues with the company culture. In the long run, investing in the overall employee experience helps your organization improve company culture and retain its top talent.

For more resources on this topic, download the webinar takeaways from “How to Build a Best-in-Class Company Culture” here.

About Kazoo:

Kazoo is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, Kazoo grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact, and appreciation. To request a demo, visit info.kazoohr.com/demo-request.