Finance News & Insights

Keys to employee recognition programs that don't suck

You don’t have to spend a fortune to have an effective employee recognition program. But if your efforts are poorly planned, the program could backfire.

Keep these things in mind when rolling out your employee recognition program:

1. Go heavy on the recognition. For whatever reason, many employers fall short on actually recognizing employees’ accomplishments. For employees, seeing that their efforts have been noticed is just as important as any monetary reward – if not more.

Even if your company is acknowledging an entire group’s achievement, it’s important to say something about each individual in the group.

For best results: Talk to upper management about publicly recognizing employees any time they do something that saves your firm a significant amount of time or money.

2. Personalize the rewards. Even something as small as a $20 spot bonus in the form of a gift card can have a major impact. The key is tailoring the reward to the recipient. Example: If the employee is a coffee enthusiast, get a gift certificate to his or her favorite coffee shop.

3. Tie the reward back to the job. The most effective recognition programs can motivate employees to take on greater responsibility within the company.

Example: Sending the most hardworking, driven employees to important industry conferences is a great way to bolster engagement and industry knowledge.

Reimbursing employees for any work-related training or further education is another good idea. It sends the message that the company cares about their future.

Adapted fromYour Employee Recognition Program May Be Working Against You,” by Martha Finney.

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