An effective reward and recognition programme can increase productivity and job satisfaction, enhance teamwork and increase retention of top employees, as well as lower the rate of absenteeism and stress. These programmes should constantly evolve and grow with the company and don’t have to be set in stone. It’s becoming more commonplace for organisations, both large and small, to have some sort of recognition element in place as part of the overall business metrics.
Here are five essential factors that should be considered when looking to design and implement a reward and recognition programme that works:
Peer to peer recognition is as important, if not more, than recognition coming from top-level management and leadership. Allow your employees to nominate and highlight the excellence within your team – as it is them who sees the day to day achievements first hand. This not only highlights the fact you value and respect your team, but shows a level of trust and commitment too. Let employees nominate the team for both financial and non-financial rewards, everything from a simple thank you card, a gift voucher for their favourite retailer, an extra day’s leave or an experience day. It’s imperative to build a culture of continuous recognition across your business, encourage your team to get involved.
Using automated systems to recognise employees can significantly decrease the time it takes for them to receive credit for their achievements. Gone are the days when acknowledging a team member for a great job should be an admin mountain and shoved to the bottom of the priority list. Whether it’s an announcement, a simple thank you or a pitch won, having the processes in place speeds up the procedure and shows management is on the ball. It significantly decreases the likelihood of it being forgotten at the next quarterly meeting. Instant recognition also carries an element of surprise and excitement and often makes whatever is being rewarded more likely to be repeated in the future.
It’s no secret that retaining your employees saves an organisation a considerable amount of money in the long run, so it’s always a great idea to ensure your good staff want to stay put. The days of giving a carriage clock or a gold watch are long gone. The rewards offered to celebrate long service need to be flexible to cope with that of a diverse, ever-changing workforce. Formalising these employee recognition incentives or milestones can encourage staff to remain in your business, if desirable. The rewards need to be attractive and sought after, and companies should offer a broad package for employees to choose from. Companies can also look to implement these long service awards at 3 years and 5 years as opposed to only 10 and 20 years.
It may sound simple, but saying thank you, as well as encouraging your team to do the same, can be one of the most effective way to recognise your employees for all their hard work. Integrate e-thank yous into your reward and recognition programmes, as this is an easy way to demonstrate appreciation as well as give the impression that someone has taken time out to recognise hard work. e-Thank yous are easy to send as well as share to the wider team to make them aware of a particular achievement – all at the click of a mouse. Companies can also use programmes like Open Me to thank high achieving members of the team – simple, yet powerful!
Reward and recognition should not follow a one size fits all approach. Take into account the cultural norms, geolocations and lifestyles of all your employees. What appeals to one, may not appeal to another. When creating the rewards you’ll be offering for recognition, choose useful and desirable awards, accommodating for a diverse workforce. Understand what your employees want. Often, extra annual leave as a work-related benefit would make an employee feel the most loved. A bespoke, personalised award might be more valued than money. Companies can also stagger different reward options for different levels of achievements, for example, a £10 gift card for a project well done, and a spa voucher for working overtime to complete a time pressing task.