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Organizations spend a great deal of money, time and training to onboard the right talent, but that effort can be wasted if the employee leaves. A recent Gallup survey found that nearly two-thirds of the workforce is disengaged at work. Employers, however, have the tools they need to strategically recognize and retain workers. Gregg Lederman, president of Employee Engagement at Reward Gateway, says that just 10 minutes of recognition can make a difference. There are three simple things that HR leaders can do to improve engagement: respect workers for who they are and what they do; help employees see the purpose of their work and how it contributes to the overall company strategy and goals; and create engaging relationships between bosses and workers. When HR can get managers to employ these tools in the workplace, employees are more engaged and more productive, enabling organizations to not just retain employees but also retain productive employees, he says. Lederman adds that employers can ensure that employees embrace and live the core values by integrating those values into operations, including how workers are hired and how their performances are evaluated. “Recognition is huge,” he says. “It has a huge impact on productivity and happiness.” Recognition in extreme, either too much or too little, is not helpful, adds Lederman. Employers he works with often see three times the engagement from employees when their managers highlight the contributions of at least one person per month and how those contributions were important to the success of the company. These sessions should focus on what the employee did, link it to a company focus area and share the impact of it on customers or the business’ bottom line. He adds that if companies can spend 10 minutes once per week recognizing employees, engagement could increase significantly. Lederman also explains that front-line managers must be involved, as well as those up the leadership chain. The health of recognition programs also can be measured with the help of technology that tracks employee engagement.

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