📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

Here is a Simple and Fun Way to Boost Employee Engagement While it might seem like a lot of work, implementing this strategy is essential if you want to maintain a happy and productive workplace.

By Russ Fradin

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on Salesforce

While it might seem like a lot of work, implementing a rewards program for your employees is essential if you want to maintain a happy and productive workplace. Don't believe us? A Gallup estimate shows that unhappy workers are costing employers $300 billion annually due to a loss in productivity.

This productivity loss manifests itself in a number of ways, from an increased number of sick days taken to a general slower work progress pace. The lack of productivity also results in a loss of work creativity and reduces overall drive to succeed within the company.

To foster a work environment that boosts happiness, productivity, and morale, you can certainly offer perks--in theory, these are great motivators, they won't automatically boost employee engagement or foster brand advocacy. These perks need to be implemented as a part of a larger rewards and recognition program.

Related: The Successful Entrepreneur's Secret Weapon -- Employee Engagement

Proper recognition and meaningful feedback is vital to maintaining positive morale within the rank and file. You would be doing a disservice to your employees if you never reviewed their work or didn't provide adequate training and support. These things are an invaluable part of recognizing all the hard work that your employees do for your company.

Building an effective rewards program

Once you've recognized the efforts and output of your employees, you'll need to start building an effective rewards program. A pat on the back will only take you so far. Your employees need to know there is a system in place that encourages their engagement and productivity in order for these perks to be considered valuable rewards.

Rewards programs should be customized and tailored to each individual company. What may work for one company might not necessarily work for another, so it's important that you create a program that fits your company's and employees' needs. For example, a company like Dropbox, the data management company, offers laser tag and arcade games in their office so that their employees can blow off steam and reset their creative juices. While these perks are fitting for a company like this, they might not work very well for a designer fashion retailer.

Not only is it important that your rewards match your company culture, they should also reflect your employees' interests. You're probably not going to want to reward your employees with an all-you-can-eat dessert and fried food bars if you run a health food company. Chances are, you hired employees who were interested in and passionate about health food, and therefore, would not really be motivated by a reward of a junk food pig-out.

So you see, a rewards program that works for your company will need to be individualized and customized. However, there are a few basic elements you need to include if you want to see success:

Gamify social selling

When your company has a big announcement, a product launch, or just a day-to-day bit of info to share, encourage your employees to jump on the social bandwagon through gamification. Using leaderboards, badges, and other video game-inspired attributes as rewards, employee engagement will go through the roof because: a) people like to play games and b) people like to win.

Related: Today's Most Satisfied Employees Demand These 4 Things

Incentivize productivity

As with gamification, you can provide rewards for the sales team hitting certain numbers or marketing meeting a certain social sharing quota. Offer unique incentives to motivate your team to share with their social networks.

Reward results

For extra special achievements, you can provide greater rewards like gift cards, free lunches, company swag, or even vacation days. Also, announce the great things your employees have done so coworkers can join you in congratulating them on their successes. Peer recognition is an excellent motivator.

Utilize the proper management tools

Keeping track of employee progress is difficult without the right management tools. An employee advocacy platform offers a convenient way to get everyone on the same social page, monitor social sharing, and set up a variety of incentivized programs like leaderboards, badges, and internal recognition.

By taking these steps to implement a rewards program, you are guaranteed to see a rapid increase in employee engagement. Plus, you'll be outfitted with the proper tools to sustain this level of interest, communication and results so that your team will continue to want to share with their social networks. When you reward your employees for doing a job well done, you tell them that you appreciate what they're doing for you and for your company. You're telling them that their efforts matter. And that kind of encouragement can go a long way toward improving productivity, your bottom line, and employee advocacy.

Related: This Company Thinks It's Unlocked the Secret to Employee Engagement and Productivity

Russ is a digital media industry veteran with more than 15 years' experience in the online marketing world.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Franchise

Franchising Is Not For Everyone. Explore These Lucrative Alternatives to Expand Your Business.

Not every business can be franchised, nor should it. While franchising can be the right growth vehicle for someone with an established brand and proven concept that's ripe for growth, there are other options available for business owners.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Passengers Are Now Entitled to a Full Cash Refund for Canceled Flights, 'Significant' Delays

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced new rules for commercial passengers on Wednesday.

Leadership

Why Companies Should Prioritize Emotional Intelligence Training Alongside AI Implementation

Emotional intelligence is just as important as artificial intelligence, and we need it now more than ever.

Business News

Elon Musk Tells Investors Cheaper Tesla Electric Cars Should Arrive Ahead of Schedule

On an earnings call, Musk told shareholders that Tesla could start producing new, affordable electric cars earlier than expected.