This article accompanies On Their Own.
Recognizing and rewarding your workforce for its efforts is a key component of any successful retention strategy. For companies with large numbers of mobile workers, simple tweaks to routine reward-and-recognition practices may go a long way.
At Malvern, Pa.-based imaging and electronics provider Ricoh Americas Corp., for instance, "we have a service-award program that rewards employees for their tenure -- five years, 10 years, etc. -- and gives them awards to put on their desks," says Angie Kenworthy, director of HR programs with Ricoh.
"That probably works well for 80 percent of our employees, but what about, say, the service technicians out there fixing copiers every day?" To more appropriately reward these workers, the Ricoh HR team met with managers for different groups of remote workers to determine what they would most value.
"Managers told us that our workers in the field love our Ricoh-branded shirts," says Kenworthy. "So we decided to add numbers with employees' years of service on the sleeves of their Ricoh shirts, and they proudly wear them. And we've gotten great feedback. Any program that we, as an HR team, design and launch, we try to think about the different types of employees who are going to be impacted, and that helps us engage people working in different situations."