According to the most recent workforce studies, around three-quarters of all companies have some type of employee recognition program in place. The only problem is that these programs are hard to manage, don’t give managers enough options, and often result in only the top-level of high-performance employees ever receiving recognition. This leaves the rest of the team feeling left out. The resentment can build to the point where the program becomes detrimental to the company, instead of beneficial.
It’s time to rethink the current employee recognition strategy. There are better ways to make sure that all employees experience being valued by the company. Here are some ways to redo the employee recognition program so that it works in everyone’s favor.
Connect Perks to Performance
The only thing that incentives should be linked to are actual performance metrics. This creates more fairness in your incentive program then if you just arbitrarily hand them out to your favorite employees. Whenever an employee reaches an important performance milestone, be sure to reward them with a perk of their choice.
Encourage Peers to Promote
Employees are the first line of contact with performance examples in the workplace. Unfortunately, they often go overlooked because peers do not know how to recommend someone for a recognition award. Make sure that your employee handbook includes a clause for peer-to-peer recognition rewards. Use an internal, anonymous system for taking suggestions via email.
Make it About the Team
Instead of focusing on just individual employees, why not include the entire team? This is especially important at the completion of projects or when dealing with difficult situations such as changes in the company. Reward the loyalty and hard work of your entire team by planning a fun team-wide event. No one gets left out.
Bring Leadership into the Mix
One of the things that all employees crave is little recognition from the executive leadership team. Encourage your CEO and executive managers to regularly thank employees for their service to the company. Each month, invite one employee to have lunch with a member of management for some special recognition and a chance to talk about their career goals.
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