How to Build an Employee Recognition Program

Increased Job Performance
Increased Job Performance is in Direct Correlation with Recognition Programs

Companies that show appreciation towards their employees by either engaging them or recognizing them for a job well done have been known to be the companies who see a increase in their employees’ job performance and a decrease in job turnover rates that are invariable across time.

The key to keeping these factors consistent over time is to build and incorporate recognition programs into your office’s everyday life, instead of providing short term motivation that will only give you a high response in job performance and a low job turnover rate for only a period of time.  Some examples of short term motivation are handing out the occasional gift card, taking your team out to lunch every once in a while and handing out free days off throughout the year.

Actual recognition of an employee, recognition that ties in psychological well-being, is going a step further than short term motivation by giving employees a tangible reward that will be kept, and remembered for a lot longer than “that time when my boss took me out to lunch”.  For example, giving out an award for meeting sales goals will give the employee something to remember his/her achievements.  By being able to keep this award at their desk, they will be reminded daily of their achievement(s) and will be more likely be consistently productive.

So, how does a company build a comprehensive Employee Recognition program?  There are three components:

1. Day to Day Recognition 

Day to day recognition is frequent and ongoing and pertains to the company’s entire staff.  Day to Day Recognition does not mean you need to give employees a gift to start off their day.  This form of recognition is more informal and can be displayed in the form of thank you notes (or emails) and public praise on a job well done.

2. Informal Recognition

Informal recognition is recognition that is given for progress that has been made or milestones that have been met.  This type of recognition is a perfect opportunity to single out individuals and teams who have met the criteria.  For these individuals and groups, lower cost items such as tumblers, picture frames and note jotters can be given as a reward for their achievements.

3. Formal Recognition

Formal recognition is recognition given to a select few employees, publicly, on an annual basis.  The reason this type of recognition is given on an annual basis is because it is based off of  a structured program that links to your company’s organizational values and goals.  Therefore, the select few employees who demonstrate their ability to meet or exceed company standards will be recognized for their prestige in the form of higher cost/value items as an award.  Examples of higher end gifts are leather pad-folios, glass business card holders and laptop bags.

4 thoughts on “How to Build an Employee Recognition Program

  1. I think the most important factor to realize is that recognition; regardless of being informal/formal… should be frequent! When staff are acknowledged for their efforts on a consistent basis, morale and motivation increases. Building an effective recognition program such as this can significantly develop employee engagement and boost both productivity and efficiency.

  2. Day to day recognitions can really add up. Even a little comment in passing, a quick email saying “good job,” or something like that can really make the difference. It lets people know you notice what they are doing.

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