Employee Recognition Programs
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Creating an Effective Employee Recognition Program

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If you're involved in designing your company's employee recognition program, there are specific factors which should be incorporated into the design to ensure the employee recognition program is effective and will truly raise morale and productivity.

No matter what product or service your organization delivers, the design factors in the employee recognition program are the same or very similar.

Most employee recognition awards should involve objective criteria. Whether the recognition is for top sales closed or for the fewest widgets failing quality control checks, metrics or measurements should provide a basis to ensure the proper employees are recognized.

Perfect attendance recognition is easy to measure; payroll and accounting department can provide accurate, correct measurements for this type of recognition. Other recognition awards should have easy to verify backup material in terms of specific definable, measurable data.

Performance above and beyond the normal job duties is another criterion for certain employee recognition awards. Customer service awards and certificates of appreciate can be the result of a customer, either inside the company or external to the company, receiving exceptional service from an employee or a group of employees.

This type of award does not lend itself so easily to measurement, but very seldom will clients, customers or peers submit nominations or recommendations for recognition unless the service they received was memorable.

Significant employee recognition awards, especially those that carry a significant financial reward, must be based on very measurable criteria. These awards are most effective if they are reasonably difficult to achieve, yet not so difficult that no employee can look forward to achieving the recognition.

If awards are to be meaningful, they must not be too easy to obtain or so difficult to obtain that no one can reasonable expect that doing an exceptional job will gain recognition.

Ideally, employee recognition programs should have clearly published criteria for each and every recognition award. Forms should be designed for submission of nominations for each employee award that can be generated by other employees or management, clearly stating exactly what must be included to provide the most effective consideration of the nomination.

Backup materials that are required or suggested should be listed on the form as well. Letting employees know what the exact criteria used for judging nominations will encourage employees in their efforts to perform to those high standards.

The more clearly defined an employee recognition program, the more participation and the greater the rewards to the business. The effectiveness of an employee reward program will be greatly diminished if employees perceive that awards are given out as a result of popularity rather than merit.

Keeping the employee recognition program fair and measurable is a perquisite to having an effective program and one that will have positive consequences for morale and productivity.


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