Reeling in Employees with Rewards

Business Speak

By: Saun

When I kick-started my carrier as an intern, all I needed was motivation, and nothing used to be as motivating as my project manager patting my back and uttering those three magical words ‘good work mate’.

Think yourself, don’t you feel special when somebody tells you that you have done a great job? Well, don’t you dare deny the fact, because this is what human nature is all about. Humans like to feel valued and special for what they are, and what they do and this feeling is more rewarding than a salary cheque itself.

However, a reward is not just a pat on the back. Rewards come in all different shapes and sizes. While some organizations prefer paying a premium to make employees feel valued, others believe in a more culture-centric way of making employees stick. A reward is not just employee recognition ideasan incentive but a tool that has the power to impact everything from productivity and motivation to engagement and retention.

Why Employee Recognition Matters?

Praise and recognition are necessary for an outstanding workplace and here are the reasons why employee recognition matters in every firm.

Improving the Overall Environment

Employee recognition does not only uplifts an employee’s mode, but when done frequently, it could change the workplace environment as well. Being recognized for hard work puts a smile on a person’s face, therefore, making them happy and feel unique about themselves. And when employees are happy they will likely do better. Happy workers will take more pride in their work and strive hard for the carrot called recognition.

Employees will stick around if They Feel Recognized

Consider the cost of training a new employee to the point where he/she can contribute to the growth of the firm and can work as confidently as a company veteran employee can. Sounds expensive right?

Most of the employees today decide to switch either due to a lack of respect or due to lack of autonomy. With a little bit of recognition, you can make sure that talent sticks around and contributes for much longer

It Says a Lot about you and the Organization

You do not have to be best friends with everybody on your team to get the best out of them. However, you do need to have an influencing professional connection with them, which can be improved by creating warmth. Doling out employee recognition paints you, and the organization you work for, in a positive light and proves that you care about employees and the work they are doing.

Improves Productivity

Frequent staff recognition will improve the productivity of the employees. It is a simple math, you perform well, you are awarded for the same, and that adds up to your motivation level. Which means, now you are incentivized and motivated to do more of great work. The benefits do not stop there. Identifying good efforts can help teams produce work at a higher level.

Frequent recognition approaches employees with the constructive feedback they need in order to know which of their efforts are most appreciated. Armed with that information, they are able to direct their newly-inspired motivation toward work that will make the greatest possible impact on their organization.

Guidelines to an Effective  

Structuring an effective employee recognition program is essential to avoid potential problems while acknowledging the staff. This will help you in being fair towards all the employees. Here are some guidelines and ideas that will help you in doing so.

Pen down the goals you want to achieve through your employee recognition efforts. Many organizations use a diffuse approach to employee recognition, which ain’t going to work in the long run. They implement a whole bunch of employee recognition and hope that some of it sticks. Or, conversely, they tend to recognize just a few employees, and that to not very often.

The better idea is to create goals and action plans for employee recognition. Identify the actions, approaches, accomplishments, and behaviors that will make your organization more productive and efficient altogether.

Fairness and Clarity are the Important Part of an Employee Recognition.Every person who makes a same or similar contribution for the welfare of an organization has an equal likelihood of receiving recognition of his or her efforts. You need to ensure that your organization establishes criteria stating what makes a person eligible for the employee recognition.

For example, when I used to work with thanksforthehelp, their criteria for awarding employees is to award everyone who goes over a set goal. They believe that recognizing only the highest performer would demoralize the other contributors. It will create a competitive atmosphere in the organization that could be unhealthy.

Think Twice Before Making a Commitment.Yes, you should offer employee recognition and that is consistently fair, but you should also make sure that your employee recognition plan does not backfire. In simple words, you need to make sure that your employee recognition efforts do not become expectations or entitlements.

For example, if employees are invited for lunch with the boss every time they work over time, the lunch becomes an expectation or entitlement that you cannot say no to. Moreover, if a person does not receive the expected reward, it will negatively impact the person’s attitude about work. Thus always think twice before a commitment.

 Be Specific about why an Individual is Receiving the Recognition.The purpose of feedback is to reinforce what you would like to see the employee do more often, which is similar to the purpose of employee recognition. In fact, employee recognition is the most powerful form of feedback that you can provide. If you pinpoint the facts why a particular employee is receiving the recognition, others will know what they have to do more of to get noticed. 

For example, say something like, “the report had a significant impact on the committee’s decision. You did an excellent job of highlighting the key points and authentic data we needed before landing on to the final decision.”

Offer Recognition as Quickly as Possible.When a person performs positively, make sure you provide the recognition as soon as possible. You need to understand that the employee is already feeling good about his achievement and your timely recognition will add up to their mood. This will boost employee’s confidence in their ability to perform well in their position.

Remember that Employee Recognition is Personal.Not everyone enjoys being awarded in front of the office crowd. While one person might enjoy public recognition while others might prefer a private note of appreciation. The best way to determine what an employee finds rewarding is to ask your employees.

Employee recognition is not a rocket science it is an obvious thing every organization should invest in for enhanced employee engagement and better business results. The combination of the warm, fuzzy feeling of being appreciated can really light a fire under workers.