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Employee Recognition Programs: A Guide

Employees not only want good pay and benefits. They also want to be treated fairly, to make a substantial contribution to the organization through their work, and to be valued and appreciated for their efforts. Hence, organizations implement employee recognition programs to appreciate employees for their good work. Recognizing and appreciating employee work has various benefits, going hand in hand with other reward systems in place. Hence, in this article, we will look at what these programs entail, why they are important, and how you can implement them.

Read: How to Improve Motivation in the Workplace

What are Employee Recognition Programs?

Employee recognition programs are designed to appreciate special achievements and good work of employees. They help motivate employees towards better performances and give them a sense of achievement. Hence, this internal motivation further leads to higher levels of performance and productivity by the workers. Among the most common programs are those that recognize:

  • Length of service, generally in five-year increments.
  • Exemplary one-time achievement, often with an on-the-spot cash award or additional paid time off.
  • Noteworthy performance over a period of time, often for employees who add quality to the work process or product or who provide superior customer or client service.

The Importance of Employee Recognition

Employee recognition is essential in motivating employees to be more productive and loyal. Hence, if an employee’s work is recognized and appreciated, they are more loyal to their organizations. This is because they feel a sense of ownership with the organization, a feeling of belonging that satisfies them from within. Moreover, motivated and satisfied employees are more productive. Hence, employee reward and recognition programs may actually lead to better productivity and profitability for the organization.

Communication is key

As with every other organizational function, communication is key here. When starting a new recognition program, organizations must provide senior management with information about the reasoning behind the program and how it will pan out before they begin to field questions from employees. A Q&A session can be an effective way to brief managers. Once supervisors and managers are up to speed, the organization’s senior management should send out a kick-off communication to all employees explaining the reasons for the program and the potential recognition awards.

A group of friends at a coffee shop

The methods of telling employees who is receiving recognition and why depends on the organization’s culture, including how comfortable employees are with public recognition. In some corporate cultures, recognition by peer groups is significant. However, in others, an acknowledgment in the company newsletter is sufficient. 

Read: The Importance of Business Communication

Metrics and Reporting: Evaluation

An employee recognition program should include a method of measuring the value it creates. Few organizations track the return on investment of their employee engagement or recognition programs. Those that do such tracking, however, generally use employee retention levels, overall financial results, and employee productivity levels.

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Management should monitor the programs closely to keep them relevant and current. Among the questions that can help determine the program’s effectiveness are the following:

  • Are rewards adequate, fair, competitive, and appropriate?
  • Has the program met the objectives?
  • Has the program helped change processes, or did it support the organization’s other performance initiatives?
  • Does the program have appropriate levels of communication?
  • Do employees find the program meaningful?
  • How can it improve?

Do you think employee recognition programs are important for organizations? Let us know in the comments below!

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Syed Muhammad Ismail
Writer and Content Developer at PACE Business. With interests in Sports and Business, Ismail combined the two when he started his entrepreneurial journey. Along with the PACE Business, he has been running a sports management company, manufacturing Awards and Memorabilia for International sporting events. Check us out at: @sparkinnv

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