Successful companies in the home furnishing industry have many commonalities. These companies understand the value of creating loyalty with their customers and employees. No matter the budget, any developed employee loyalty program must be well-thought-out, visible, and encourage the desired behaviors.
Where to start with an Employee Loyalty Program
When it comes to employees, start with the goal and then create a budget. While it may seem like a luxury item on your balance sheet, this is a valuable retention tool. Not only is it a necessity to retain quality employees, but it will also attract the desired clientele to help achieve profitability for the entire organization.
Some fantastic “Employee Reward and Recognition Platforms” available on the market are incredibly robust. They require a sizeable financial commitment from the company. However, even a less formalized employee loyalty program with a smaller budget can be just as effective. We will focus on the latter. Regardless of the chosen method, effectively communicate the information to the entire staff.
There should be multiple ways to recognize employees throughout their careers. Here are some ideas that all employees can benefit from:
Provide discounted or free products to employees
Getting employees to use the products sold or services your company provides will create excitement. Employees can give testimonial evidence about their experience from a personal perspective, making them more credible when speaking to customers. Be sure to have some simple controls in place to prevent abuse, such as limiting the number of discounted purchases or services within a given time period, requiring them to use the product personally, and/or only delivering the products to their address.
Create Career Paths
All employees want to see progression in their careers. Even within a job family, you can give titles to distinguish those who have excelled beyond the entry-level role. For example, the call center may have a “Call Center Rep” job title. Consider adding a Sr. Call Center Rep and a Sr. Call Center Specialist position. Time in the role should not be the determining factor. The distinction should highlight their demonstrated mastery of skills needed. Examples include increasing the number of daily calls, the complex and unique situations these employees can take, and their ability to train newer employees. Next, you should provide leadership training once they reach a certain level to prepare them for future roles within that job family or even in other areas of the company.
Employee of the Month/Quarter/Year
Most home furnishings companies already have a metrics-driven recognition program to determine the top performers. You should reserve this recognition program for someone who demonstrates the company values rather than someone on top of the leaderboard. A recognition program is an excellent way for you to convey the desired behaviors through story-telling of why these employees were selected for this recognition.
Encourage employees and managers to submit examples of when employees went above and beyond the regular call of duty to take care of a customer, co-worker, or community member, then celebrate these efforts. You can grant winners rewards such as a desirable parking spot or a company newsletter article. You can even feature them on the company’s website so that customers and potential clients can learn about awesome team members who work for your company.
Recognizing employee milestones and honoring the time employees have worked for the organization is a great way to create loyalty. Consider having a luncheon for them hosted by the executive team for designated milestones (1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years). Consider offering a progressively bigger prize for the most tenured employees. The reward can have a designated dollar amount attached for a gift at each level or even something of ‘value’ like an upgraded name badge, branded swag, an appreciation plaque, airline miles earned from the company credit card, or an extra day of vacation for each year, in the milestone year.
Conclusion on Employee Loyalty Programs
When in doubt, the best thing to do is to ask the employees. You can achieve this through a simple survey that includes ideas for employees to rank and allows for unique ideas to be submitted.
Remember, the goal of an employee loyalty program is to celebrate workers who have been faithful employees of the organization for some time. For it to succeed, it must be easy to understand! It should boost morale, increase productivity, create excitement, and improve retention rates.