When you run a business, recognizing your employees is one of the best things you can do to improve morale and to improve productivity within the ranks. In fact, research has shown that firms that make an effort to recognize employees who perform well tend to retain such employees more, and are usually very attractive to other people who might be interested in a job as well. This means that in the end, you will end up with workforce that will appreciate working with you, and who will be more than willing to go beyond their normal duties for the good of the company.
If you are interested in instituting such a program, one of the problems you are likely to come across is finding that it does not really have the effect that you wanted it to have initially. For instance, you may give the awards, but find that employees are not as responsive to it as you had anticipated. In a few other cases, you may find that the program simply dies out after some time, leaving you to wonder why it never worked in the first place. The key to avoiding all of these scenarios is by having a sober approach in doing such recognition. Some of the things that you definitely need to do include:
Have a strategy
An employee recognition program might seem simple enough to pull off. After all, all you need to do is identify an employee with an exceptional record and then award them, right? Unfortunately, this type of mindset has been the cause for the failure of many such programs in the past. When you are creating such a program, you need to have very clearly defined variables that will determine who wins the award. More importantly, you need to make sure that such variables are in keeping with the company’s goals. The goal is to make sure that your employees know what they need to do in order to win the award, and also understand how this will affect the overall position of the company.
Another common problem that businesses face when starting such a program is generating a lot of hype initially, and then letting it simply die off after some time. You will need to provide constant communication about the program so as to keep the employees not only aware of its presence, but also motivate them to work towards it. In addition to that, you will also need to use effective communication to give information about the rules of the program. Of course, you would need to first make sure that such rules are easy to understand; having very complex and incomprehensible rules will make most people simply ignore the program.
Make the goals attainable
Say you want to use the award system to boost marketing by awarding the employees who exceed a particular margin in sales. When you are deciding what margin to use, you should first figure out what is actually attainable. If you set goals that are not attainable, most of your employees will simply ignore the program, since they know that they will not be able to win it no matter how hard they try. This means that you would be using time and other resources to promote the program, but it will not be having the effect you want it to.
Consider giving positive reinforcements
Most companies have a policy of recognizing individuals at the end of the year during parties. However, unless the metrics used to determine who wins the award or not are calculated at the end of the year, you should consider giving employee recognition awards regularly. For instance, if you hold weekly departmental meetings, you could use this opportunity to award a member of staff who has achieved a particular milestone for that week or for the past few months. This way, they don’t need to wait for so many more months in order to get the recognition. This will work better in motivating people to do things that will result in short term benefits for the company.
Make sure the rewards are relevant
Employees in a blue chip accounting firm are likely to have different tastes compared to someone of a different rank in a toy company. When thinking of ordering awards, you should always keep in mind the type of demographic you are working with, so that you end up getting the relevant awards.
Consider engaging employees using technology
You can use technologies such as social media to engage with employees more, and as a platform to recognize them as well. This makes it easier for the winner of an award to share their success with other people, which will in turn make them appreciate it more.
By following some of the guidelines above, you can make it much easier to appreciate your employees by awarding them. All in all, coming up with a system based on the above pointers will also make your business more efficient due to the higher level of staff motivation to contribute to your business.