Raises can be expensive, but with calculating the cost of wages and salaries, you also have to take into account the cost of training new employees. In many cases, retention is much more cost effective than retraining.

A recent survey discovered that about a quarter of a workforce would be willing to leave for just a 10% raise. When asked why, those surveyed gave a number of reasons. Some of the reasons like life circumstances may be beyond an employer's control. The other reasons like professional growth and competitive salaries come down to the bottom line, and employers have to make a decision about which is going to cost more--retention or retraining.

However, one of the biggest reasons that employees cited is something you can address affordably and immediately. Many of the people surveyed said that felt unappreciated. We know that once workers achieve a certain level of security, factors unrelated to compensation become bigger factors.

One of those factors, and it's a major one, is how appreciated employees feel. A common comment is the lack of positive feedback. When employees feel that everything they do is scrutinized and criticized, they build up resentment. They feel like all of their hard work goes unrecognized.

When looking at the bottom line, you can balance the cost of a commemorative gift as a factor to promote retention. Looking for opportunities to recognize the sort of performance that will make your employees even more productive could actually cause your award program to develop a return on your investment, and everyone loves positive ROI.

Employee of the month programs are a great way to keep your best employees while creating models for what will make your company better. Do you have a quarterly or annual recognition program? Custom crystal awards are a beautiful option for specifically recognizing employees. They come in an assortment of designs so you can find what is perfect for your business. With quarterly and annual awards, you can come up with objective metrics related to different positions to promote a friendly competition and build loyalty.

You have to worry about the bottom line, and you might not be able to meet some employee demands and stay in business. You don't control their life circumstances that can come into play any more than you control the salary or benefits a competitor is likely to offer. But if wall plaques that acknowledge monthly accomplishments or custom crystal awards that recognize more long term achievements, they might be worth every penny in keeping your workers productive.