Importance of Recognition Levels
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Creating an Effective Employee Recognition Program

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If your company employees more than a very small staff, you'll want to design your employee recognition program to contain several levels of awards. The smallest businesses may find that a recognition program with only one or two awards works well because of the small staff size, but any company with 100 or more employees should develop a program with several levels of recognition to gain the maximum benefit from the program.

One level of recognition should be the simple Certificate of Appreciation. This can be a letter, a printed certificate or an award with a simple graphic design.

These should be given to employees in any company of any size when an employee goes above and beyond the duties of the job or when the leaders receive a thank you from an outside customer for an employee's work. These awards cost almost nothing and can increase loyalty and motivation greatly.

The next level of award in the employee recognition program should be an Achievement Award, or an Employee of the Month Award. If your business is large and employees many people, this award level can be used to recognize one employee per division or branch each month. This award can also be a printed certificate but a plague or more substantial presentation method will work better.

If at all possible, this level of award should carry a small monetary bonus. You'll be amazed at how much an award of only $25 or $50 can increase the team's productivity and morale. If your firm is larger, a slightly larger reward can be assigned to this level of recognition.

Another award level for the large company can be a division award. If your company is smaller, the next level of recognition should probably be a company-wide award.

This could be the Employee of the Quarter or Employee of the Year. At this level, a larger monetary reward should be assigned and a well-designed plaque or other award that can be displayed should be given.

Without regard to the level of award, recognition for perfect attendance can make a great morale building award. Many companies give one day of extra paid vacation to those employees who do not call in sick for one whole year.

The cost to the company for paying for one day of vacation time is much smaller than paying for 10 days of sick time. A simple certification can be presented to these employees. Even the very small business can implement this type of award and the result will be less sick time and better morale.

Whatever size your business may be, design a multi-level employee recognition program to gain the most benefit for the money and time invested. Certificates for presentation can be purchased at an office supply firm and printed on your computer or you can design a unique certificate including your company logo and make it even more special.

For the higher-level recognitions, seek out a local trophy company or search online for some very nice, inexpensive but beautiful recognitions that can be personalized with the employee's name, the date and the award name. You'll find that a small investment in these awards will gain a lot in morale, loyalty and productivity.

Copyright © 2006 by Bill Roche.  All rights reserved.  All material on this site ( is protected by U.S. Federal Copyright law. It may not be reprinted in any form, or hosted on any Web site, without explicit permission.


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