Do you have a formal employee recognition program in place? Do you think it´s a sound strategy for furthering company values and objectives? Pats on the back and thank-you´s are essential, but are they enough to sustain an employee´s motivation?
Giving our rewards for a job well done sends out lots of positive messages. In addition to the person receiving an award or kudos or whatever you´re also telling the rest of the staff how you value good work.
Last year, a survey published by WorldatWork and the National Association for Employee Recognition (NAER), found that employee recognition is still an important human resources strategy. Out of those surveyed, 89 percent use recognition programs-60 percent have written strategies and 95 percent indicated that the programs are directly linked to their organizational goals. Some programs are more formal than others, which tend to be more spontaneous. Here´s the breakout of the most common types of recognition:
"?¢ 89%–length of service
"?¢ 87%–"above and beyond" performance
"?¢ 51%–sales performance
"?¢ 41%–useful employee suggestions
"?¢ 35%–employee of the year, month, etc.
If you´re thinking of ways you can recognize your employees, the items above should give you a fairly good starting point. And if you´re still giving out turkeys and pies in November, you might want to reconsider your efforts. People want to be valued (how many times have I said that in the last several months?); people want to feel as if the contributions they make mean something; people want to be part of something big like helping their company achieve its goals and objectives. If employees are successfully impacting the company´s bottom line, then you´re doing something right. Actually, you´re achieving two things: you´re furthering your organization´s business strategy and making people feel pretty good about it. Reinforcing your company´s values with recognition programs is a positive way to influence employees. It might seem contrived, hokey, whatever. But it works.
However, despite the list above some people believe we need to move away from awards that are linked to years of service and get closer to performance. Just because someone has been able to hang on to a job for years and years doesn´t necessarily mean he or she should get employee of the month. On the other hand, if this person has demonstrated incredible talent over the course of time and many changes, then recognition is essential.
What´s key is that you create a program, a plan really, that has specific goals in and of itself. Know, for example, why you´re putting such a recognition program in place. And remember this too: a good recognition program doesn´t have to break your budget.
Next time: how companies recognize their stars.