Every employee working at your workplace – from a simple technician to a richly experienced manager expects you to recognize his/her work and appreciate the efforts he/she puts in day after day for the success of your business. Employee recognition and rewarding is a process through which employers or business owners make a conscious effort to reward and award your employees not just to acknowledge their work but also to motivate them to continue with the same passion.
This article explores in detail
EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION: AN INSIGHT
There is absolutely no one in the world who doesn’t like being rewarded and recognized for the hard work they do and the same holds true for employees of your workplace as well. Employee recognition is the acknowledgment of an employee’s efforts, hard work and behavior at the workplace that have contributed to the organization’s success and objectives in some way. Both things are very important: recognizing and acknowledging these efforts, as well as rewarding employees for their fruitful efforts. Here are some ways in which you as an employer or business owner can recognize the efforts of your workplace and reward them accordingly:
Importance of Employee recognition
As an employer, it becomes your responsibility to make sure there is a proper employee recognition program in your organization. Such program offers many benefits and, hence, is of high importance. To know what the various benefits of such a program are, you can go through the following given information:
Guidelines for an effective employee recognition program
Now that you know how important an effective employee recognition program or reward system is, you must consider creating a strong and effective one for your workplace. It is a fact that organizations that make recognition a priority are highly successful. In order to come up with an effective and well-designed recognition program, you can follow the given basic guidelines:
TIPS TO START A FORMAL EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION PROGRAM
A formal employee recognition program is a kind of a program which is aimed to reward your employees formally either in terms of bonuses or awards handed out at the month of a time cycle. These programs are well-planned and designed to improve work place performances, boost morale and confidence among employees and achieve overall organization goals with a positive workforce. If you still haven’t started an employee recognition program at your workplace, then it is important that you take steps to do so. For your help and reference, we have come up with a well detailed process to create a program of this kind.
STEP 1: Identify the Goal of Your Recognition Program
The first step to setting up a reward program is to come up with a long term goal or objective. You must identify and define what you want to achieve from the program. The objective must be appropriate and meaningful to your company and should not violate company policies in any way. In order to identify the goal of a strong recognition program, you can follow the given below points and tips:
STEP 2: Establish a Budget
Now that you have set up the goal of the recognition program, it is time to establish a budget keeping in mind the financial position of the business and reserving a practical amount for awards or rewards. For this, talk to the finance or accounts department and figure out the amount that you can afford to spend on such a program every month or year. It is important to know that such programs can run on either no cost or little costs as well. However, keeping aside some money for cash rewards, coupons, gift cards and other rewards too may be a good way to differentiate between levels of recognition and awarding. Make sure you do not overstep the budget just in order to strengthen your program as this can eventually lead to a loss rather than major profits.
STEP 3: Set a Committee
The 3rd step in this process is to set up a committee and appoint a few employees or managerial level executives to handle the functioning of the reward program. Try not to form too huge a committee in the beginning and include only a few recognized employees in it. The committee can then be given the responsibility to handle everything related to the program including the formation of formal awards; creation of new reward types every month or quarter and interesting ways to promote the program internally. Doing so will help you get a more streamlined approach to the program that does not leak out among the employees and remains a surprise for them.
STEP 4: Set criteria and guidelines
Every successful and effective employee recognition program has a set of guidelines and criteria on the basis of which it functions and goes on smoothly. It is important for you too to create core values and guidelines so that it remains fair and unbiased. Make rules, discuss exceptional cases of recognition and have a list of points according to which an employee will be recognized or rewarded. The following are a few guidelines that you can follow.
Potential criteria for assigning a reward:
Rules about setting criteria:
STEP 5: Select the rewards
Rewards that you give to your employee doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. At the end of the day, it is the appreciation and recognition of efforts that matters the most to employees and hence the formal reward can be nominal in cost. The reward must be chosen in such a way that it suits your budget and is given keeping in mind the needs and interests of your employees. While selecting an award or a reward, you can get as creative as you want but it should be tied closely to the goal of the program. Some good examples of possible rewards can be:
STEP 6: Communicate with Your Employees
Once you have figured out the entire program and worked out each of its details, the next step for you is to tell all your employees about the idea or initiative. You can send a mail to the entire workforce, put up bulletin notification or send promotional materials across the workspace for everyone to be aware of such a program. If employees know and understand the program and the way it will work, they will be encouraged to pump up their performance. This will encourage them to be at the top of their game and may automatically improve the overall performance. Moreover, this helps to create a trust factor in their minds and makes them feel like their efforts count.
Make sure the communication material or method explains the various factors on which employees shall be evaluated so that they can consciously work on those areas and know that the process is unbiased and fair for all.
STEP 7: Maintain and Repeat Recognition Program
The key to running a successful recognition program at your workplace is to make sure it runs continuously and keeps adding more creative awarding ideas to maintain the fun element and interest among the workforce. You must make sure that you define the frequency of the rewards, for example – weekly, monthly or yearly, etc. Also, ask the recognition committee to keep changing the criteria and technique of selecting candidates and awarding them every now and then so that employees look forward to performing better through each cycle. Only when the program will run for a long time will it become truly a part of the corporate culture.
FORMAL RECOGNITION EXAMPLES
Example 1: Monthly hero from Zappos
Zappo’s has an extremely effective formal recognition method that it calls ‘Monthly Hero’. In this program, every employee of the company is given $50 which he/she is supposed to give to another worker or employee for his/her efforts or excellence in performance. The managers or executives then pick one name among the employees who have received the $50 from others and name him/her ‘Monthly Hero’. Then a mini-parade is held to announce to everyone who that Hero of the month is. The hero then receives a $150 gift card, a cape to wear and a covered parking space as a reward.
Example 2: Learn from your employees as well
Another amazing example of an effective formal recognition program is the ‘Giraffe Award’ which is awarded by an agency to those employees who stick their neck out by taking risks, accepting challenges and inspiring others to follow suit. The whole idea behind this award is to encourage high performance and contribution from employees and to create a sense of ownership of the place among the workers.
INFORMAL WAYS TO REWARD YOUR EMPLOYEES
Besides the formal ways to award and reward employees and recognize their hard work, there are endless informal ways or gestures that can say and express that you are proud of the way an employee has performed and encourage the efforts. But since these methods are merely gestures, you and your managers must make sure that they in no way are out of the bounds of the workplace culture and policies. They must be polite, subtle, suitable to the interest of the various employees and not bothersome or out of line in any way the following are some of the informal ways to recognize the well-performed job/tasks of your employees: