Employee recognition

Employee recognition is not just a nice thing to do for people. It is a communication tool that reinforces and rewards the most important outcomes people create for your business. When you recognize people effectively, you reinforce, with your chosen means of recognition, the actions and behaviors you most want to see people repeat. An effective employee recognition system is simple, immediate, and powerfully reinforcing.

When you consider employee recognition processes, you need to develop recognition that is equally powerful for both the organization and the employee. You must address five important issues if you want the recognition you offer to be viewed as motivating and rewarding by your employees and important for the success of your organization.

1.   You need to establish criteria for what performance or contribution constitutes rewardable behavior or actions.
2.   All employees must be eligible for the employee recognition.
3.   The recognition must supply the employer and employee with specific information about what behaviors or actions are being rewarded and recognized.
4.   Anyone who then performs at the level or standard stated in the criteria receives the reward.
5.   The employee recognition should occur as close to the performance of the actions as possible, so if you attach recognition to "real" accomplishments and goal achievement as negotiated in a performance development planning meeting, you need to make sure the recognition meets the above stated requirements. Supervisors must also apply the criteria consistently, so some organizational oversight may be necessary.

The challenge of individually negotiated goals is to make certain their accomplishment is viewed as similarly difficult by the organization for the process to be a success.

People also like employee recognition that is random and that provides an element of surprise. If you thank a manufacturing group every time they make customer deliveries on time with a lunch, gradually the lunch becomes a "given" or an entitlement and is no longer rewarding.

Employee recognition gifts are powerful motivators in the workplace – both for those who receive these employee awards, and for other employees, who see the concrete proof that hard work does truly pay off, but also promote employee loyalty, and professional and personal satisfaction levels.

The top three things to know about employee recognition awards:

1.   Corporate recognition awards inspire all of your employees (not only the gift recipients).
2.   Employee gifts promote employee loyalty.
3.   Employee awards increase workers’ professional and personal satisfaction and fulfillment.

 Food and drink employee recognition gifts - Don’t forget to reward all of your employees when they all deserve it – say, after the whole group has done an all-night inventory, or after a holiday rush. In general, some good group employee gift ideas include a variety of food, coffee, tea, and dessert rewards.

Employee recognition awards for display - Don’t forget that the point of employee gifts is the recognition aspect to it. Praise your employee, shout it from the rooftops, and find a great workplace display or trophy so others – employees and customers – will notice and offer their own congratulations.