The unpredictability of today's economic and competitive environment has forced employers to rethink traditional employee recognition programs. Tenure or service awards are no longer the gold standard. Productivity and performance rewards are the true motivators in today's recognition programs and should be customized to a corporate culture. Employers are realizing that recognition contibutes to job satisfaction – not only does it keep the best performers from going elsewhere, but it motivates the whole staff.
Tips for making a good employee recognition program great:
- Employees work best if given concrete goals and objectives that they and their supervisors can both measure and manage. Clear, understandable criteria is important.
- Understand each employee's needs and "hot buttons." What motivates a 19 year-old part-timer isn't what a full-time career, management track employee finds valuable.
- Successful programs involve year round reinforcement rather than multiple awards saved for an annual event. Instead of employees focused on winning, they become focused on just doing well at their jobs.
- Successful programs allow for multiple winners and all employees at all levels should be recognized for good work, including managers and supervisors.
- Versatile recognition programs include awards for all types of employee contributions – from measurable sales increases to something less tangible, like a consistently demonstrated "can do" attitude.
- Successful programs create role models throughout the company – the awards themselves must be noteworthy and something to show off – as a reminder of a job well done for years to come.
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~ Margit Fawbush