A good recognition program must be carefully planned and set up to be effective. You want program to be clearly defined so every employee knows how it works and what it is intends to accomplish. And, of course, it must help retain your employees and enhance their productivity.
The program should include formal recognition of work employees do, but should also include more casual types of recognition as well. Here are a few things to consider when setting up a reward program.
1. What is the purpose?
You have to consider what you want the program to accomplish. What exactly are the objectives of the program? In coming up with these objectives, you want to get input from everybody, from company leadership and managers to the employees. For the program ultimately to be successful, everyone has to feel they have a stake in it.
2. Consider how much you are willing to spend.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a recognition program. There are many ways to show appreciation to employees that don’t break your budget. However, you may want to set aside some funds for rewards like bonuses for long-term recognition and appreciation. Simple awards like gift cards and office lunches can be done without costing a lot of money. When employees feel appreciated, those rewards will be worth the cost.
3. Establish a working group.
This is a committee whose purpose is to run the program, to develop they kinds of awards that will be given, and to develop new awards. This committee will be able to provide employee input and share a viewpoint that isn’t coming directly from a manager’s office. That difference in viewpoint can mean a lot.
4. Develop criteria for the awards
What kinds of things are you going to give the awards for? There are a range of behaviors that you can recognize – the length of time a person has been with the company, level of performance, leadership, teamwork or other milestones achieved. The criteria are necessary so everyone knows how people are being judged, and so that the same standards are applied to everyone.
5. Determine what you will use as awards
There is a wide variety of things you can give as awards, limited pretty much only by your imagination. They can include rewards like gift cards, cash bonuses, electronics, short vacations, lunch or dinner at the person’s favorite restaurant, tickets to a sporting event, a free stay at a hotel, magazine subscription, movie tickets, a day off with pay, free haircut, a free round of golf – the list is nearly endless.
But, beyond the gift itself, the recognition is important as well. Knowing that the company leadership recognizes their efforts and their contribution is even more valuable than any material gift. Toward that end, the company needs to publicize the winner and what the person did to earn the reward.
6. Notify workers
After a plan has been developed for the reward program, the company needs to inform all of the employees about it, how it works, and why it was established. Be consistent with the rewards and recognition. Holding a recognition ceremony inconsistently won’t have any positive effect because if you don’t reward behavior after one month, the employee who worked really hard for that goal will get frustrated and discouraged.
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