Looking to Boost Employee Retention? Launch a Rewards Program

By Satta Sarmah Hightower 04-06-2021
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Good employees are key to building a successful contracting business—but recruitment and retention don't happen all on their own.

Employee rewards and recognition programs can help you foster workplace loyalty and strengthen employee retention, and there are many ways to reward your staff and crew for the work they do every day.

Why It's Important to Reward Employees

It's crucial to create an environment that prioritizes rewarding and acknowledging employees—without them, you wouldn't be able to sustain your business or serve customers. Paying someone a salary is great, but establishing a workplace culture where people feel that they're valued for their contributions is just as important. Building a successful company comes with a lot of sacrifices, and not just for you as an owner. Your employees work long hours, deal with challenging projects, and provide great service to customers even when they may test their patience. This loyalty is worth acknowledging.

But rewarding employees is more than just its own reward. There's also a more practical reason: incentives have a concrete impact on employee recruitment, morale, and retention. According to SHRM, nearly 10% of employees who quit their jobs do so because of compensation and benefits, which includes rewards and incentives. Staff turnover is expensive. Studies have found it costs between six and nine months' salary to replace and train a salaried employee. During this time, other team members may have to assume more responsibility, which only hurts your company's productivity, efficiency, and profitability.

Bonuses

Everyone desires financial stability, and bonuses can provide an additional way for your crew to support their families. In addition to rewarding staff and crew, though, developing a bonus incentive program can be a tool to reach quarterly or annual goals. The key to an effective bonus incentive is to align it with performance metrics.

For instance, you might reward a crew for finishing 90% of their projects on time or ahead of schedule. Or, your office staff may earn a year-end team bonus tied to marketing goals and customer satisfaction targets, such as if they achieve a year-over-year increase in customer referrals, win a record number of positive online reviews, or bring the company's social media following to a certain number.

Financial incentives can be a huge motivator for employees, but they also demonstrate that you appreciate their efforts to drive better results for your business.

Profit-sharing

You can also recognize employees' loyalty by letting them financially share in your company's success.

With a profit-sharing program, you set a goal for your annual revenue and net profit. If the company achieves its goals, all team members get an equal share of the profit at the end of the year. This approach gives every employee an equal stake in the company's future and overall performance. It also boosts employee retention, since profit-sharing can foster collaboration and camaraderie—everyone is working toward the same goal.

Rewards & Gifts

Acknowledgment may come in the form of smaller gifts and rewards. This could be as simple as giving your office manager a $25 gift card for providing exceptional service to a homeowner throughout a challenging project or handing out sporting event tickets to your crew after they complete a huge roofing project.

While bonus and profit-sharing programs come with a more formal structure, giving small gifts throughout the year is a casual way to say thank you to employees for all the little things they do every day to make your business thrive.

Recognition

Sometimes the most effective way to show employees you appreciate them is to just say so. Employee of the month programs and staff appreciation awards offer a way to publicly praise employees throughout the year and highlight their contributions. Sending a company-wide email detailing how they made an impact can show employees how much you value them.

Keep in mind that you don't have to call these recognition programs by their traditional names—if "employee of the month" sounds trite, then lose the name and keep the spirit of recognition. The most important thing is to find a way to highlight your employees' contributions and show your gratitude on an ongoing basis.

How You Can Fund a Rewards Program

While you can fund your rewards program out of the revenue coming into your business, you also can leverage existing programs such as the GAF Rewards program. Forty-six percent of contractors in the GAF Rewards program use the rewards they earn from buying qualifying GAF residential roofing products to give back and reward employees. You can redeem GAF rewards for gift cards, merchandise or even a vacation—both of which you can pass on to deserving employees.

Through September 30, 2021, you can earn up to 3x more rewards points through GAF Rewards for purchases of qualified GAF residential roofing products. GAF Master Elite® contractors who sign up will earn 2.5% on their eligible GAF product purchases; GAF Certified™ contractors will earn 2%; noncertified contractors and individuals will earn 1.5%, equaling a 1% additional bonus for all reward tiers*.

Whether you take advantage of the GAF Rewards program or create your own bonus, profit-sharing, or awards initiatives, it's important to thank employees for their loyalty, dedication, and hard work. Making this effort shows employees that you don't just recognize them—you recognize how indispensable they are to your success.


*GAF Rewards is open to individuals and professional roofing contractor, builder and remodeler companies. U.S. only. Points earned may vary based on membership tier. GAF reserves the right to audit all claims. Cannot be combined with any other promotion or offer unless specified by GAF. Visit gaf.com/rewards for complete terms and conditions, special offers and qualifying GAF products.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Satta Sarmah Hightower is a freelance writer who covers business, healthcare and technology topics for a wide range of brands and publications. A former journalist, Satta holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School.
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