If you’ve ever read an article or blog about the benefits of employee recognition, you’ve probably heard that it can help increase productivity. On a fundamental level, it does make sense that employees who feel appreciated will be more likely to go the extra mile for your organization. However, you’ve probably noticed that not all recognition strategies are equally effective. When it comes to increasing productivity through employee recognition, careful design of your program is key.
How to Create an Effective Employee Recognition Program
In its most basic sense, employee recognition simply consists of praising an employee for doing something well. A quick word of praise or a short thank you note are forms of employee recognition that many bosses use even when their companies don’t have formal recognition programs. These efforts are great, but you’ll need to get more organized if you want to increase productivity through employee recognition.
Before you get too far into designing your program, identify a concrete goal. For example, your organization might aim to increase business-to-business sales by 10 percent per year. Once you’ve established a goal, identify the work behaviors and accomplishments that will help your company reach it. Tying your organization’s mission to your recognition program helps employees understand what you’re looking for and empowers them to do better work on your behalf.
If you’ve established your goal and you’ve identified the types of behaviors that you want to recognize, you’re ready to find specific recognition strategies that will work for your organization. You can use either formal or informal approaches. Of course, you’ll realize the best results if you use both approaches as part of the same program.
Informal Praise and Recognition
Informal praise is one of the most powerful tools in your recognition arsenal because it’s one that you can deploy all the time. Arm company managers and leaders with a variety of easy-to-use, daily recognition strategies upon which they can draw. These can be basic things such as leaving a thank you note on an employee’s desk or giving a shout out to a top achiever at a daily team meeting.
It’s also a great idea to build peer-to-peer praise into the informal side of your recognition program. After all, employees don’t want to be recognized just by their bosses. They want to be recognized by the people that they work with too. You can create a brag board, give employees special tokens to hand out when their coworkers are especially helpful or use your enterprise social network to let workers send kudos to one another.
Formal Awards and Gifts
Of course, more formal gifts and awards should also have a place in your employee recognition program. Handing out certificates of achievement on a quarterly basis or hosting an annual awards ceremony gives your employees something to look forward to and helps them create personal benchmarks too. When it comes to awards and gifts, remember that quality also matters. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you do need to invest in awards, gifts or other mementos that are aesthetically pleasing and which employees will be proud to display.
When they’re well designed, recognition programs drive productivity because they empower employees and help them understand what types of contributions your organization values. They’re also effective in driving productivity because they’re dependable. When a good recognition program is in place, employees don’t have to wonder if they’ll be noticed for a job well done. They know that they’ll be recognized in a timely, appropriate fashion.
At Cristaux International, we’ve built our success thanks to an incredible team. As leaders in the awards and recognition industry, we’re here to help you build exactly that kind of success too.