The right employee recognition and rewards scheme can offer workers a lot of benefits. These advantages include successfully motivating employees to maintain and improve their performance, giving them a clear idea of what behaviors and outcomes the organization values, and providing them a fair return for all their efforts.
If you are still starting an employee rewards and recognition scheme in your organization, below are some important things and tips to consider in the planning and implementation process:
Include your employees the actual design and planning of your recognition program. Seasoned HR professionals say that you don’t actually need a lot of money to implement a meaningful rewards and recognition program. Most employees will take pride in a token award when this acknowledges they did a good job that successfully impressed their boss and peers. A good way to give your recognition program the credibility it deserves is to involve employees in creating and administering it. If they have a hand in designing it, they will know exactly what they have to do to earn rewards. This strategy can also ensure that the program provides everyone in the workplace with an opportunity to earn a reward.
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Clearly identify the reward criteria. Awards for general benchmarks such as “innovation” and “quality improvement” can be a bit vague and don’t define what employees need to do to win. Without specific details, some employees will be stymied before they start. In case of “employee of the month” awards, workers may think everyone’s turn comes up eventually and they don’t have to work hard to get this recognition.
In addition to outcomes, recognize behaviors as well. Generally, organizations reward results. Although this appropriate, this can lessen the opportunity to use recognition as a way to encourage poor performers to improve. By recognizing small behavior shifts in employees such as arriving on time, correcting mistakes, helping a co-worker, etc., you can reinforce incremental improvements. Also, keep in mind that when rewarding these changes, you don’t have to spend a fortune; a sincere thank you or some specific positive feedback can already be an appropriate response.
Personalize the rewards you will be giving. To get the most out of your rewards and recognition scheme, give your employees what they want. One worker may be happy to get some additional time off from work; however, one may be more responsive to getting cash rewards.
Lastly, say “thank you” to your employees frequently. Saying the simple words “thank you” is one of the simplest and most important ways of recognizing employees. If you are sincere with your appreciation, this validates the importance of the work that your employees do.