Michele Adams: Employee Recognition Programs

As a leader in my company, I realize my employees are my biggest asset. Motivating, engaging and rewarding can be challenging for some. After all, employee recognition is not “one size fits all.”

Employee recognition programs are the perfect solution for creating an environment where your employees feel appreciated for their dedication.

Employee recognition is not only about increasing morale, though. By recognizing your employees, you create a chain reaction of success in your organization. Employee recognition has been proven to strengthen your bottom line and improve productivity.

Businesses with strong employee recognition programs yield 12 times stronger business results than those without, 69% of employees work harder when they feel their efforts are appreciated, and companies with recognition programs have 31% lower voluntary turnover rate.

Here are some of the tips on how to build successful employee recognition programs:

Tip #1: Start with the End in Mind

Before starting an employee recognition program, you should research and analyze, as you would before beginning any venture in your company.

You wouldn’t run your business without a business plan, so how can you design an employee recognition program without knowing what you are trying to achieve? We usually find most clients want to align employee recognition to business goals, and we would recommend the same for you. If the program ties into your overall plans you will receive higher reward from both.  

Tip #2: Analyze Your Goals

With your end goal in mind, analyze how you can utilize the program to help measure success.

  • Where are you today?
  • What are your goals for the future?

If it is a sales goal that you want to achieve, what will be measured? An increase in revenue, or maybe an increase in profit percentage? If it is a Safety Incentive Program you are implementing, will you be reporting near misses or the completion of OSHA safety courses? If you are looking to implement a Service Award Program, are you trying to retain top performers and reduce turn over? Or maybe support a company culture of team building?

Center the program on your company and its needs.

Tip #3: Define the Metrics

Set clear objectives for everyone. Since you have aligned the program with your overall goals and decided on what you are specifically measuring, you can now determine the best way to track success in your employees.

Online, point-based systems are the most popular.

Formalize the program by putting the rules of engagement in writing. You can’t expect your employees to succeed if they are unaware of the program and your goals for it. Clarity is key— let your employees know what they have to do to be rewarded.

Tip #4: Choose the Best Rewards for Your Company

The rewards you offer need to be meaningful to the individual employee and to their family. They need to speak to what someone wants in their personal life, beyond their life on the job.

Rewards today offer nearly unlimited choices, from shopping and entertainment to travel and more. Keep your staff and your budget in mind, and pick the rewards that best reflect your company culture. What would your staff be excited to receive? This is a recognition program, so pick items to incentivize your employees.

Your staff and your organization are unique, so the best way to show appreciation varies per company; that’s why recognition programs are built specifically for your business.

Tip #5: Find the Right Vendor Partner

A successful employee recognition program demands more than expertise, proficiency, and technological know-how. You want a partner that has the flexibility to design a program around your company’s needs. Every recognition program will be different, and every company’s needs are different, so pick the vendor you feel comfortable with and will help guide you through the process.

Remember, it is important that your partner designs a program that mirrors your company culture.

Tip #6: Implement

You’ve defined the goals, listed out how employees can reach those goals, chosen your awards, and your vendor partners, now all you need to do is implement the program!

During the implementation process, don’t forget about making your employees aware. Communication is vital during the roll out. The usage of signage, printed materials, promotional products, and kick-off meetings are effective ways to let employees know of Management’s investment in the program.

Michele Adams

Levy Marketing + Awards
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Levy Marketing + Awards powered by Proforma is a recognition solutions provider and custom awards manufacturer. From people recognition to brand recognition and everything in-between, they want to become an extension of their clients.


Posted on May 19, 2016 .