Written by Colleen Cormier, Account Executive for Credit Union Strategies

When my son was in Kindergarten, he sometimes came home with a little badge stuck to his shirt that said “Caught Doing Something Good.” The bottom of the badge had a place for the teacher to write a few words about how he was demonstrating exemplary behavior. This was a simple yet effective way to celebrate good behavior which made my son feel good about himself. It also reinforced future good decisions, because he remembered how it felt to be praised for doing the right thing.

Let’s’ face it, the human psyche thrives on validation and appreciation. Even as adults, we love it when someone praises us for making a good choice, doing a good job or going above and beyond to get something done. Why is it, then, that more companies don’t implement programs to praise their employees for a job well done, or for doing something that isn’t necessarily their job at all?

Caught walking an elderly member to her car. Awesome service, Mary! 

Caught helping a co-worker diffuse a heated member interaction. Good job, Joe!

Caught putting more paper in the copy machine after finishing a copy job. Way to go, Pat!

Caught filling in for another employee who had a family emergency. Thank you, Bob!

Employee job satisfaction directly impacts your bottom line. This infographic produced by Good & Co shows that happy employees increase company productivity and revenue. Here are just a few statistics:

  • Happy employees are 31% more productive
  • Companies where the majority of employees are disengaged saw their operating income worsen year over year by 32.7%
  • Companies with a highly engaged workforce have nearly 50% fewer accidents, 41% fewer quality defects and incur far fewer healthcare costs than their counterparts
  • 69% of employees said they would work harder if they were better recognized

Of all the tasks leaders have to accomplish on a daily basis, this might be the easiest thing her or she can do to impact the bottom line. Sometimes, the simple act of saying thank you is enough to make an employee feel appreciated. Don’t stop there. Give them something tangible that serves as a reminder that you appreciate them – a special badge, certificate or other token they can display in their work stations to show everyone they are doing a great job.

Just like that Kindergarten program that recognized my son’s good behavior, your simple act of recognizing your employees will do more than just celebrate them. It also will be an incentive for them to continue doing a great job. That’s a win-win for your credit union, your employees and your members.