The Realty Of Recognition Programs and What To Do About It

Do a dipstick study in most of the?organizations?and you would see the dearth of recognition initiatives by the managers and HR. This is in spite of the fact that effective recognition increases employee performance ,retention & Engagement.

A research from Bersin & Associates, leaders in HR consulting pointed that the companies with recognition programs are highly effective at improving employee engagement and have 31 percent lower voluntary turnover than their peers with ineffective recognition. The survey was conducted amongst 834 organizations in 2012.?Surprisingly Only 17 percent of employees who participated in the Bersin & Associates study indicated that their organizations? cultures strongly support recognition. It is time for HR and mangers to wake up and get going.

Some of the common pitfalls in implementing a robust recognition program are elucidated below.

????????Experience tells me that most of the time we make recognizing employees a cumbersome process, thereby delaying gratification and timeliness of the awards. It?s no point rewarding an employee three months after the event.

????????Organizations should select activities to recognize that encourage behaviors that drive desired business outcomes. Its no point giving away rewards just for the sake of it if it is not going to have any real business impact. It is a good practice to do a one-pager business case for the reward rationale.

????????Organizations should incorporate employee feedback in order to and recognize in a way that motivates and engages the employee groups targeted by the program rather than trying to please everyone.

????????Managers in addition to HR play a key role in employee communication, it is important to train them on the program so they can effectively convey the intent of the program .If managers understand the rational of the program, they will be more likely to engage employees in the process and also recommend right candidates.

Going by the famous psychologist Maslow?s hierarchy of needs, two of the most valuable psychological needs we have, as humans are, the need to be appreciated & the need to ?belong.? These needs can be easily met through peer-to-peer thanks and recognition program.?Some of the easy things to do if you want to implement a great recognition program are

Peer-to-Peer Awards

  • Real Stars?all employees receive ten ?real stars? (each worth 10 points periodically, which they may then give to any other employee. Employees use ?real stars? to recognize leadership qualities, and the givers must identify how the recipient?s actions align with the organization?s framework of leadership behaviors and culture.
  • Thank You Cards?all employees may give and receive thank you cards as peer-to- peer spot reward for recognition of core values and/or contributions on a project. The thank you cards can be delivered electronically to save on paper and drive sustainability.

Make it Special

  • Send a small gift pack to their home to the employees spouse
  • Send a hand written and wet signed thank you note to employees parents acknowledging the employees contribution
  • Send the employee a luxury car for a days usage, make sure you give him a off that day
  • Plant 100 trees and give the employee a certificate depicting how much Carbon Dioxide these trees will remove from environment when fully grown.

Make it Public

  • Publish a ?kudos? column in the company newsletter
  • Create a “Wall of Fame” to honor special achievements
  • Make a photo collage about a successful project, which shows the team that worked on it
  • Publish a list of annual awardees in a local newspaper thanking them and their family

Token of Appreciation

  • Create and post an ?Employee Honor list on notice board
  • Create a Champion award
  • Give the employee an extra day off

Provide Developmental Opportunities

  • Nominate the employee to represent company at an external networking event
  • Nominate the employee to be mentored by senior management team.
  • Provide the employee an opportunity to work on a cross-functional team
  • Nominate the employee to a senior leadership review meeting as a guest of honor.

It is a known fact that top talent is scarce and organizations are increasingly looking to diversify their recognition programs beyond recognizing ?tenure? to increase employee engagement for enhanced performance.


Jappreet Sethi


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