Monday, October 22, 2012

Tip #414: How to Implement an Effective Employee Recognition Program

Whether you are an owner of a company or a leader in your organization, an employee recognition program is the perfect tool to help create a productive and innovative business atmosphere.

In addition to thanking a staff member for an excellent job well done, you should also consider a formal employee reward program. Reason being is this: Research has proven that people who feel respected in the workplace are more positive about themselves and their ability to contribute. And people who work for an organization who have a positive sense of worth are potentially the best employees.

Why Are So Many Employee Rewards Programs Short-Lived?

It takes time to carry out an employee recognition program. Such a program can cause some unrecognized employees to complain, become jealous or lead them to a sense of dissatisfaction. Because of these issues, many employers are hesitant to implement employee recognition programs.

Employee recognition programs are also sparse for other reasons including:

  • Employers limit their thoughts on what people will find rewarding.
  • Management teams are not educated on how to implement an effective program.
  • Many assume "one size fits all" for an employee recognition program.

Listed below are three ideas to help you effectively establish an employee recognition program and avoid some potential landmines.

3 Tips For An Effective Employee Recognition Program:

Tip #1: Adequately Develop Your Employee Recognition Program. Many organizations use the shotgun approach to creating an employee recognition program. They put a lot of programs out there and hope some of their efforts will stick and create a few results. Conversely, some companies' programs are so infrequent that their staff does not respect their employee recognition programs.

Suggestion: If you need to increase quality in your organization, hand out weekly thank-you notes for anyone that meets and exceeds your standards. At the end of the month, place the winners' names in a bowl for a gift card.

Tip #2: Establish Clarity And Consistency. If your staff sees someone getting recognized, they will also want to be recognized for the same or a similar contribution. We advise setting up certain employee recognition programs based on specific criteria on what makes a person eligible for the recognition. Should someone meet this criteria they will be recognized.

Tip #3: Acknowledge Daily Contributions. If you are in an environment that needs daily rewards, you will want to set up certain guidelines so that ALL managers acknowledge equal and/or similar contributions. One thing we have seen work is the implementation of a weekly group lunch time to discuss ideas for department improvements (quality, process improvement, etc.). If an employee takes part in this meeting, they get a free lunch and can stay in the meeting until it is over - even if it should exceed their normal lunch break time.

Executive Summary. It is important to recognize everyone who contributes to the success of the organization. Just make sure that the standards are set and everyone knows what they are (both leaders and staff).  We also recommend 1.) Avoiding biased reward systems and 2.) Match the rewards and recognition to the accomplishment.

Informal recognition combined with daily acknowledgments and a formal rewards system will provide the most powerful return on investment and create the kind of motivational climate where people come to work more fully engaged and eager to contribute.

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1 comment:

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