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A No/Low-Cost Solution to Employee Retention

Studies show a little employee recognition goes a long way.
Here are the 5Ws to consider for success.

by Carli Kistler-Miller

Director of Programs & Marketing, PMPA

Published January 1, 2024

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What retention technique is easy to do, takes little eff ort and fits in the budget? Employee recognition. According to Gallup’s 2022 Workhuman report,
“One of the best ways to engage and inspire employees is to recognize them”


Money may be getting tight.
Recruitment may be more challenging. It’s cheaper and easier to keep an employee than to hire a new one. Employees have experience and knowledge worth keeping. Additionally, here are some of Gallup’s findings about great recognition experiences:

• Employees are 20 times more likely to be engaged.
• Th e “little things” are most commonly recognized.
• Employees are 3.8 times more likely to equate recognition to a connection to company culture.


The person giving the recognition can be a supervisor, management, owner, co-worker or customer. Anyone who has an actual connection to the work.


The message should be authentic and sincere. The recognition should be about a specific behavior. Instead of “great job,” be clear: “You had the lowest downtime on the floor this week. Great job.” It shows the employee is being noticed for their work/behavior and gives value to the recognition.

Where and When

The timing of the recognition depends on the type of recognition. Determine if the recognition is more appropriate for public or private delivery.

• Public: annual picnic, holiday party or function where all employees attend. Daily or weekly huddles/meetings could be appropriate. On company bulletin boards or shop monitors.
• Private: employee reviews or impromptu when witnessing good work.


There are many forms of recognition both physical and verbal. Some ideas are:

• Posting acknowledgement or positive customer feedback on employee bulletin board or shop floor monitors.
• A place for co-workers to post recognition of other co-workers (for example, bulletin board with slips of paper employees can write on and pin to the board.)
• Making a point to notice good work and recognizing it on the spot. (for example, “You are doing a great job keeping your area clean. Thank you.)
• Employee “shout outs” or “spotlights” at a daily or monthly meeting/huddle.
• Lunch voucher or gift card.
• Certificates or plaques.

It is important not to take each other for granted. Recognizing good work is contagious, rewarding and helps retain employees. It’s part of company culture. By the way…You earned a gold star for caring enough about your company culture to read this column. Great job!




Carli Kistler-Miller, MBA has over 25 years of experience with
communications, event/meeting planning, marketing, writing and
operations. Email: gro.apmp@rellimc — Website: