|Are employee retention,
morale and job performance important to your organization?
Obviously, that question is asked
tongue-in-cheek. These things are vitally important to every
Now, here's a serious question: Does
your company have any sort of formal employee reward and recognition
program ... for such things as individual years of service or
performance excellence? ("Performance excellence", by the way,
may refer to either individual or organizational performance.) If not,
you may be missing the boat.
Harvard Business Review reported that
the use of rewards was the single highest predictor of organizational
A recent study conducted by the Gallup
organization found that employee recognition was one of the 12 key
dimensions of great workplaces.
Fortune magazine recently featured the
"100 Best Companies to work for in America," based on data
collected by Hewitt Associates. According to Hewitt, "the 100 Best
are all leaders in their own right when it comes to employee
Every day, your people throw their
hearts into their work. They want to succeed. They want their work to be
appreciated and their efforts to be recognized. When we remember to take
care of this need for recognition and appreciation, we take strides
toward creating the kind of energized workplace we need to succeed in
today's business world.
It is so easy to get caught up in the
daily struggle that you never stop to recognize the good work you and
your employees do. Recognizing your people will pay off in the form of
retention, morale, and job performance ... all of which positively
impact your bottom line.
If you recognize the good things
employees do, then you will find yourself spending a lot less time
worrying about the bad things they do. They will do less of the
negative, and they will strive to do more of the positive things you are
recognizing. It is far easier to lead people to improved performances by
thanking them when they do it right than by giving them grief when they
do it wrong.
Looking at it another way: You'll get
more of the behavior you reward. It's human nature.
There are important milestones and
accomplishments in the life of your business. Stop and take a moment to
celebrate. Annual service anniversaries. Birthdays. The company hits a
new all-time revenue goal. An employee or department achieves a new
productivity level. Quality is up. A customer tells you about a great
job done by an employee. An employee finds a new vendor and saves a
bunch of money. A year-end or holiday thank you for a great year.
Be sure to single out your high
performers for recognition. Some of your recognition budget, however
small, should go toward spotlighting role model performance and role
model employees. It inspires your people and gives everyone a clearer
idea of what you want them to shoot for.
So, how do you get started? It can be
as simple as deciding to hand out a plaque for every 5 year employment
anniversary, or it can be as detailed and involved as you want it to be.
Here is a process that can be modified for your particular situation:
- Get top management's full support.
Then establish a planning team.
- Determine the context for
-Why a recognition program is needed (purpose, goals)
-What needs to be recognized (achievement, service, company
-How much is available to spend on the program
- Get input from potential recipients
on their recognition preferences (gifts, plaques, cash, etc.)
- Research resources. (If you're
giving gifts or something other than money, you'll need a source for
- Decide on recognition strategies:
- Who hands out the recognition?
- What criteria will be used to determine who is eligible to receive
- When or how often the recognition will occur?
- How the recognition will be accomplished (private or public,
formal or informal)?
- Document everything for future
reference: research findings, decisions made and the program's
design details. Good documentation ensures consistency and fairness,
plus avoids the "reinventing the wheel" syndrome.
- Seek feedback on the program after
it is implemented. Make adjustments to the program as appropriate to
ensure maximum effectiveness. Are the goals established in step 2
above being achieved? If not, make changes.
The process sounds more complicated
than it is. Don't be discouraged. The point is to do something and get
some activity started.
Employee rewards and recognition can be
a key part of reducing turnover, enhancing performance, good attitudes
and strong financial results for your organization.
Collier is a St. Louis-based business coach, consultant and speaker. He
is the author of the book “How
to Succeed as a Small Business Owner … and Still Have a Life.”
His website is www.collierbiz.com,
and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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