Employee Recognition Programs: Rewarding a Job Well Done
Employee satisfaction in the workplace is a key element to attracting and retaining talented workers in any field. While monetary compensation is clearly a major motivator for many workers, the idea of employee recognition is an important one that can often be overlooked.
Beyond the desire for money, the need to feel appreciated and good at their work is a major factor for most employees. Many workers who switch jobs cite job satisfaction as at least as important, or maybe even more important, than wages. Employees are statistically more likely to stay at a job where they feel appreciated than at a job where they don’t feel like their work is recognized by anything more than a paycheck.
It is therefore in management’s best interests to facilitate a work environment where employees are treated and made to feel like more than a set of hours on a schedule.
A Little Recognition Goes a Long Way
Before we even get into formal employee recognition programs, it’s a good idea to have management get into the habit of applauding quality work. Managers should be open to regular and sincere compliments of all their employees’ performance.
Simple small gestures such as regular “thank you”‘s and compliments on a job well done can make a huge difference. This small human touch helps the workers feel like they are being treated like people and this has been proven to increase worker happiness and productivity, two factors that are related.
Beyond the simple acts of thanking employees are things like incentive programs and open recognition.
As great as it feels to be complimented on one’s work, it’s even better if that recognition is done in front of other staff. Being acknowledged for good performance in front of coworkers boosts the employee’s self-esteem, and the other workers see that their work could be recognized as well, prompting many workers to work harder to seek this recognition.
Public recognition can take several forms. In addition to verbal recognition, things like performance walls that acknowledge good work or even daily, weekly or monthly e-mails citing top performers for the time period are also proven options.
Another successful method of improving employee recognition are incentive programs. These can be individual or group, though it is always a good idea to have some form of universal incentive reward in place for all employees. Recognizing superior work is important, but recognizing work done in general helps the whole staff reap the benefits in satisfaction and productivity that come from incentives.
Individual incentives can range from a free lunch on the company tab to an extra day off to some novelty prize or award. Employees who make the most sales, file the most reports accurately or receive the most customer and/or co-worker compliments can be given individual incentives to boost not only their own performance, but also that of those around them who want that same prize.
Free meals each week can be expensive for an employer, but even a Thank You card or an award printed out for the employee are positive responses to work done that cost very little. The important part is recognition of work done: the actual reward is merely a bonus to the morale-boosting compliment.
Rewarding a group of employees who worked on a project or tied for some category works similar to individual rewards: Things like a meal out for the group or a card or certificate of appreciation can go a long way in motivating the employees receiving them.
Getting the whole staff an incentive reward can be costly but rewarding. Whether it is a casual dress day for the whole office, a pot-luck style lunch for everyone or a day out at the park, making the whole staff feel appreciated at once not only helps each individual employee but helps make all workers feel like part of a team with management that appreciates their work as a whole.
Beyond Work Performance
By acknowledging life events such as birthdays, anniversaries and family milestones, a company can further increase employee happiness by showing them that they are cared for outside of the work environment as well as in it. This furthers the employee feeling that they are valued members of team and not just cogs in a machine.
Whatever methods and rewards fit the individual work environment, it is important to remember to include everyone in compliments and rewards.
Excluding anyone can have a ripple effect on all the employees: If it is perceived that one employee or group of employees receives all the rewards, then the incentive to work harder for recognition decreases. Spreading the compliments around can help make everyone feel that the workplace is run fairly and that all are appreciated.
This can apply to poorly performing employees as well. If a worker needs to told they have need of improvement in some areas, this discussion and its negative impacts can be mitigated by remembering to compliment the employee on what it is they are doing well and remind that while they need to improve in this area or that area, they are still bringing something good and productive to the workplace.
Don’t wait to reward employees for work done today: Make sure to thank them as soon as possible. While receiving a compliment for work done last week can be a boost, being complimented for work done just now is the most effective. Associating the compliment with the performance so closely is proven to be a bigger boost than being complimented later.
Keeping workers who perform well is important to any business. The right incentives help accomplish this. If you’ve kicked around ideas for employee recognition programs but aren’t sure where to start, or you have one in place that isn’t accomplishing its objectives as you’d hoped, contact us for a demo. We’ll be happy to show you how GoPivot can help you more effectively motivate employees and boost morale.