Keeping Employee Recognition Programs Effective
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The benefits of an employee recognition program are great but the program must be effective
over the long run to provide the benefit that will justify the expense of the program. What must be incorporated into the employee recognition program to ensure it remains effective?
First, the employee
recognition awards must be meaningful. If recognition is too easy to obtain, the meaning will be lost. Employees will simply think, "Oh, another award, no big deal."
The goal of the employee recognition program is, instead, to make the employee feel they have
accomplished something worthy of recognition. Just doing the minimum necessary to remain employed is not worthy of an employee recognition award. Facing a challenging problem and finding a unique, creative solution
is worthy of recognition.
A Certificate of Appreciate should be the result of having a customer, whether internal or external, recognize that the service they received was exceptional. All other employee
recognition awards should be the result of measurable success.
If your company is involved in sales, the Salesperson of the Month should be backed up by
records of sales closed. A Quality Award should be backed up by measurements that truly indicate the employee awarded has achieved higher quality than anyone else. This will keep the employee recognition program
honest and meaningful.
The criteria for the various awards in any employee recognition program should be published for all to see. Employees should be encouraged to nominate other employees for awards when
they see someone who deserves recognition.
This will allow the employees to feel empowerment and ownership of the employee recognition
program. Any program that does not have clearly defined criteria for earning each award will cause employees to feel that awards simply mean the boss likes the employee recognized better than other employees.
If awards are given out like paychecks, there will be little reason for employees to go above and beyond the minimum requirements of their jobs.
Employee recognition awards should be sufficiently rare to make employees work hard to achieve
an award. On the other hand, they should not be so rare that no employees feel they can work hard and be recognized.
If awards are too scarce or too plentiful, the cost of an employee
recognition awards program will not be cost-effective.