P&MM: how employee recognition programmes help build engagement in retail


P&MM, an award winning rewards and recognition company that specialises in performance improvement, has released a video guide that looks at what retailers should consider when designing an employee recognition programme, how to get the process right, and tips to maximise results

Making recognition work in retail

Retail faces a unique challenge when it comes to recognition. With multiple departments from warehouse to shop floor to head office, it’s important to make sure that recognition efforts are comprehensive enough to reach all staff adequately and keep them actively engaged.

Formalised recognition programmes help to build engagement and trust with a brand, reflecting positively on employees and customers alike. When designing a programme there are four key steps to consider:

Rewards should be a secondary consideration, not the primary focus. There are greater gains to be had from a well-structured ‘thank you’ than a high end reward.

Link recognition to a set of corporate values in order to encourage desired behaviours.

Make a big deal out of the presentation of the rewards you do give – ensure that your entire audience is clear of the reason behind the award, how it links to the overall goals of the organisation and make it public so that repeat behaviours are encouraged.

Be aware of gender and generational differences. For example, women tend to be much better at giving recognition; they recognise colleagues 11% more than men. Men are often more competitive, so it could be worth investigating if adding a gamification element to your recognition programme would appeal to a male dominated workforce, allowing that platform for competition.

Communication is key

Good communication is the deciding factor for the success of any recognition programme; so don’t underestimate the importance of a well structured communication plan. Retailers are already adept at creating well segmented customer journeys, be sure to apply the same techniques internally. Highly targeted messages sent via the most appropriate platform will be beneficial. For example social media might be the right platform for your Gen Z employees (shop floor and warehouse), but the same is unlikely to appeal to Baby Boomers (management and long-term employees). Find the right blend of communication channels for your audience and cater for age, sex and physical location. If you’re not sure which is most appropriate ask focus groups and send out surveys.

Remember that staff turnover in retail is typically high, so consider recognising length of service early and expand to incorporate personal milestones too, such as birthdays or weddings, to show your employees how much they are valued as individuals. Manager-led recognition will make a big impact on retention, but peer recognition is the key to creating a cohesive and engaging workplace.

For further information please visit www.staffmotivationmatters.co.uk/employee-recognition

Employee Recognition

(A Retail Times’ sponsored article)