The Use of Gifting in Employee Retention
T Over the years, there has been significant research into the science of employee retention. As the business world continues to grow, there has become greater competition for quality employees. Prospective employees have more choice in the job pool; therefore, organizations must do more to attract and retain those employees. The research has highlighted the importance of gifting in employee retention, as perceived perks and benefits are likely to attract and maintain employees at an organization. More specifically, compensation, personal and professional growth, and company branding are three key factors in the retention of staff that can greatly impact employee turnover and company loyalty. When executed in a way that is attractive to staff, gifting as a form of employee retention can serve to create dedicated employees who are passionate and satisfied with their career and the organization as a whole.
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When it comes to employee retention, one of the most obvious incentives to satisfy employees is adequate compensation. While financial pay may be the first form of compensation that comes to mind, there are other forms of compensation that are equally as important in order to retain employees at an organization. According to Lockwood et al. (2008), as cited in Lyria et al. (2017), “a good compensation package is important in retaining employees, offering an attractive, competitive benefits package with components such as life insurance, disability insurance and flexible hours motivates employees to commit themselves to an organization” (p. 59). In today’s society, wage is not enough to entice an employee to an organization. Additional critical pieces to include in compensation are benefits and options for flex time. An attractive benefits package often includes health and dental insurance, adequate vacation, sick, and personal time, and Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions by the employer. In implementing these forms of compensation, “institutions […] may increase management’s control of rewards so that they can immediately support employees by providing them with appropriate financial and non-financial incentives that help raise staff retention levels” (Matongolo et al., 2018, p. 229). Organizations need to focus on ways in which management can roll out a compensation plan that not only aids to retain current employees but attracts new ones that become loyal staff for years to come. In doing so, companies can ensure a solid team of employees that have the best interests of the organization in mind when conducting business on a day-to-day basis.
As a younger group of prospective employees begin to enter the workforce, the topic of personal and professional growth has become a key factor to consider in employee retention. Younger generations often aspire to climb the corporate ladder and must be made aware of opportunities to do so during the hiring process. As noted by Scott et al. (2012), “management should have development and succession planning processes in place for each key employee. Furthermore, key employees should be kept apprised of their development and advancement opportunities” (p. 68). It is important to keep this line of communication as open as possible, as organizations should not want staff feeling stagnant in their career. Employees who are unfulfilled are more likely to leave the organization, leading to higher staff turnover rates. Opportunities for growth within the organization may include more personal ventures as well, such as professional development and training sessions that will vary in interest by employee. In a study by Chandrasekaran (2020), it was stated that “organizations should provide more opportunity for career growth of the employees by coaching, and by helping employees to achieve their personal goals, by providing adequate training and encourage for the staff development, and opportunities for growth” (p. 60). Young professionals desire a workplace that allows them to explore their personal interests and grow as individuals. By providing opportunities for personal and professional development, employees can discover a niche that will contribute to success in their careers. While a previously overlooked aspect of corporate gifting for employee retention, more organizations are beginning to understand the importance of personal and professional growth to overall career satisfaction.
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Central to employee retention and equally important for both employer and employee is pride in an organization through brand image. Many companies promote their brand by providing current and prospective employees with branded merchandise. When employees possess items with their company’s brand, they unconsciously build a loyalty and in-group mindset to that brand. Gifting branded items to prospective employees may work to strengthen an in-group association, as these individuals will feel as though they are already a part of the organization. They begin to build their loyalty early in the employer-employee relationship. Further emphasized by Backhaus and Tikoo (2004), “firms are using employer branding to attract recruits and assure that current employees are engaged in the culture and the strategy of the firm” (p. 501). The feeling of loyalty that branding creates can translate into higher productivity for the organization. Individuals who feel connected to their companies are motivated to produce high quality product. Consequently, those who produce high quality product are also more likely to advance within the organization. In this way, brand image can create a sense of predictability in the market. If superior employees work within the organization, consumers know to expect quality product. Brand image can help to strengthen this association, as discovered by Matongolo et al. (2018). In a study, they concluded that “employer brand identifies an organization in the marketplace and makes it unique. It gives everyone in the organization a grip on what the organization is, and everyone interested in joining the organization a clear picture of what to expect” (p. 219). Once a positive association has been created between the staff and the brand, this can be extended to the wider industry, giving prospective employees a better understanding of the organization’s mission, vision, and values. Investing in a brand’s image is essential to a company’s growth and recognition and can promote brand success.
In the corporate world, competition for high-quality, dedicated employees is at an all-time high. It is important for organizations to offer enticing perks to current and potential employees to ensure they remain with the company. Individuals are prioritizing their health and wellbeing as employees within organizations; therefore, companies must do more to ensure staff needs are being met. Following extensive research, three key aspects to employee retention have been identified: compensation, personal and professional growth, and brand image. Adequate compensation must not only be monetary but also include reasonable opportunities for flex time and a competitive benefits package. Companies must provide individuals with opportunities for professional learning and training for staff to grow as members of their organizations. Furthermore, offering employees these growth opportunities can allow them to grow as individuals which can be beneficial to the wider organization. When organizations have strong employees, their brand image is positively impacted. Staff feel proud to work for a successful brand, and prospective employees are attracted to work at the organization. In these ways, gifting can be extremely influential for employee retention and can have a positive impact on employee quality.
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