According to the SHRM (www.shrm.org), there are several key success criteria for an effective and sustainable Employee Recognition Program. It is good to learn about best practices from SHRM so we can avoid the risks and pitfalls in having a successful recognition program. Let’s us share below their recommendations.
For a recognition program to be effective it should meet several criteria. The program should be well-funded, aligned with organizational goals, appropriate for employees' achievements and timely. The methods of presenting awards must be managed well, with managers themselves playing key roles. The process for choosing and recognizing employees should be straightforward, and the program should be reviewed and evaluated regularly.
The key to success for a recognition programis management's commitment of resources. During the budgeting process for theyear ahead, the organization should earmark funds for the program. Managersmust dedicate the resources—including the time it takes to plan and execute aprogram—and must enable employees and supervisors to run the program.
Through this process, managers can see thatthe distribution is fair and equitable and that the money is allocated andimmediately available to fund the program once it is announced to employees.
ALIGNED WITH GOALS AND VALUES
Recognition programs are most successful whenthey are aligned with the organization's mission, vision, values and goals.Employees can tell if there is—or is not—a clear connection between whatmanagement says is important and what is actually rewarded at work.
In the SHRM/Globoforce survey, the vast majority oforganizations with an employee recognition program in place said they"agree" or "strongly agree" that their program is aligned with their organization's overall values.
Employees must understand the rationale for arecognition program and should be convinced that the awards are in line withthe achievement and the degree of effort they represent. A recognition system will falter if employees feel that their work is trivialized or even insulted by inconsequential incentives or insincere gestures of appreciation.
Program participants must believe that therecognition system is just and objective. Thus, all employees who meet thecriteria for receiving an award should be included and recognized. And employers must make certain that the awards are in keeping with the organization's culture; what works in one environment may not work in another.
One way to ensure that the program is seen asappropriate is to give employees a role in guiding its direction. Someorganizations have employees take part in choosing incentive recipients and in selecting rewards. See Instant Feedback Tools Can Boost Engagement, Productivity.
The reward or recognition should be deliveredas close as possible to the time of the desired behavior to strengthen the linkbetween the employee's action and the result to the organization.
Although some organizations designate aspecific day or week for employee recognition, recognizing employees in realtime rather than waiting for a future event is considered the better practice.
See CARROTS real-time employee recognition and rewards platform enabling managers to give recognition and rewards instantly with built-in employee notifications.
ARTFULLY CARRIED OUT
The manner of delivery can make or break aprogram. The reason for the award—the behavior that is being reinforced—shouldbe spelled out. Awards should be presented in a sincere and heartfelt manner. Employees can be motivated more by a manager's single act of personal consideration than by a substantial gift delivered poorly.
Although recognition awards are generallypresented directly to recipients by their manager, in some organizations,awards are held for presentation at a special event such as a banquet, a luncheon, a staff meeting or a companywide meeting.
Some employers can generate recognition awardsand gifts—for teams at multiple sites, for example—via the Internet. See CARROTS Internet-based platform for employee recognition and rewards.
Managers and supervisors may neglect to recognize employee achievements because they do not know what to say. A simple recipe for recognition can work magic. Addressing the person by name and saying that you personally value his or her effort can be as motivating as the actual reward.
Managers must know their subordinates wellenough to know the types of awards and recognition they would regard asmotivating and important. See Employee Recognition Should Consider Personal and Generational Preferences.
SIMPLE TO USE AND MANAGE
The entire recognition process should be managed with a minimum of administrative effort. A system that requires excessive management control, complex financial calculations or exceptional employee efforts to be understood will not likely achieve its desired results. Check out a simple but effective Recognition program.
Programs must be monitored continually forrelevance. Employers should consider asking the following questions whenevaluating their programs:
- Are the program's rewards adequate, fair, competitive and appropriate?
- Are the program's objectives being met?
- Is the program helping improve processes in the organization, and does it support performance initiatives?
- The evaluation process should be completedafter every award cycle so that adjustments can be made to improve the systemand retain employees' interest. Employers should keep in mind that the behaviors rewarded are likely to be repeated. See Award Programs Can Have Unintended Consequences.