In an interesting development
, the productivity of workers in the U.S. has actually increased during this recession. Typically, productivity falls in a downturn, as it did in the recession of the early 1980s and in the 1990-91 downturn. But look at these productivity numbers in the second quarter:
• Productivity rose 6.4% (the biggest gains since 2003)
• Hours worked dropped 7.6%
• Unit labor costs fell 5.8%
• Unemployment was at 8.6%
It’s easy to see what those numbers mean. Employers are getting a lot more work per hour out of many fewer employees and are paying those remaining employees less for it.
What thanks are employees getting for this hard work – beyond keeping their job I mean? One article
that hit my screen this week suggests lapel pins – yes, lapel pins! – are the way to go. Let’s pause for a moment and consider how many working professionals actually wear clothing with lapels on a regular basis. Bankers and lawyers, yes. Some doctors, but not all. Executives and senior leaders, perhaps, in some more “corporate” environments. But generally speaking, the vast majority of rank and file employees do not wear lapels to office on anything like a regular basis. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not sticking a company-logo pin into the lapel of my best suit at the next wedding or funeral I attend.
While I don’t want to lend credence to this idea, I feel I must share how this author thought lapel pins could be rewarding to employees:
“Employee recognition has become a very important part of every company's HR strategy. Boost your employee's morale by gifting custom made pins for employee recognition. These lapel pins will not only make the winner happy, they will also act as a constant source of encouragement to others in the organization.”
Please. A colleague tells me her husband believes he’d get more value out of his three company-issued lapel pins if he could melt them down for the gold (if they are indeed real gold). The last time he wore a suit or jacket was at their wedding.
If you truly want to reward employees who have gone the extra mile for less pay to deliver your strategic objectives, then give them the Gift of Choice
and let them choose what would be a personally meaningful and culturally relevant reward, anywhere in the world.
What do you think? Are lapel pins or other company-logo tchotchkes a key part of your reward strategy? How effective are these rewards in reinforcing your company values and showing your employees how much you truly appreciate them and their efforts? What other forms of reward do you offer?
Read the complete post at http://globoforce.blogspot.com/2009/08/productivity-increases-and-i-get-lapel.html
19 Aug 2009 12:22 PM
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