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Recognition Programs / Reward and Recognition Programs
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An Effective Employee Recognition Program Can Affect the Bottom Line

A study done by Forbes found that companies that scored in the top 20% for building a “recognition-rich culture” actually had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates. This goes to show that recognition matters, and should be an important part of your HR department’s agenda.

An employee recognition program is intended to recognize employees for their hard work and successes on the job. Many organizations implement recognition and reward programs to encourage employees, improve performance, and increase morale.

Developing a recognition program

When designing a recognition program, it’s best practice to gather input from employees and senior leadership on what they feel should be recognized and how they would want to be recognized. Getting input will help you to create a recognition program in which employees will be more willing to participate.

First, take a look at the organization’s mission and objectives to find a purpose for the recognition program. When putting your ideas together, think of the recognition criteria as well. Also, do you have a budget for your program? How will you market the program to employees?

Next, define the program. Now that you’ve brainstormed your ideas, create a process for your recognition program. Make sure to consider the frequency of recognition, rewards, eligibility, nomination process, etc.

Keep in mind that throughout the process of creating your recognition program, you should let the employees know it’s coming, and spell out the program in-person with employees to make sure everyone fully understands how the program will work, to ensure everyone gets involved.

Best practices for your recognition program

There are many best practices to employ when implementing an employee reward and recognition program. Here are our top 3 best practices to follow:

Be vocal. People like to be appreciated, so show your appreciation and truly recognize that employee. Whether it be announcing it in your weekly meeting, highlighting it in the company email newsletter, or other ways of displaying their recognition, it’s important to make that person feel appreciated for their work. In turn, others will notice and it will bump up performance expectations amongst the team.

Be specific. Don’t just do the standard “Employee of the Month” award, but instead recognize and reward employees based on specific examples of them going above and beyond in their work. This gives all employees an idea of what is appreciated around the office.

Be attainable. Make sure that the achievements you look for don’t involve onerous duties from the employees. This leads to stress and lack of motivation. Give out recognition generously. This means be frequent in rewarding employees for their hard work! Also, don’t reward only major achievements, and instead recognize Michelle for staying late on Monday to wrap up a project, or Bill for putting together that last minute presentation. This ensures that your employees will feel appreciated and encouraged, and also lets them know you’re paying attention to their hard work.

Learn more about recognition programs by joining the Recognition Professionals International network. Recognition Professionals International is the only professional association at the forefront of workforce recognition. They provide information and resources for professionals to tailor the best, leading recognition programs in any industry, for any organization.

Join our powerful and passionate network of Recognition Professionals today.