Employee recognition programmes are key to employee engagement and motivation. In fact, a well developed programme, with the correct communications to support, will help employees feel valued by the business, improving productivity and reducing attrition – implementing one is a no brainer surely.
But what constitutes a good employee recognition programme? How do you engage employees and, more importantly, keep them engaged with the scheme? The start point for any reward and recognition programme is communication. The effectiveness of this communication is paramount to a programme’s success.
While you can recognise someone without reward, you can’t recognise them without effective communication. In fact, it is how the recognition is communicated that is key to its effectiveness. This may be on a one-to-one basis, in a team meeting, posted on a website, in a letter or even at a company-wide awards ceremony.
Once a communications strategy is in place, the focus should be placed on the recognition and the celebration of best practice. Whilst rewards play their part, and should be appropriate to the lifestyle of the audience and also conducive to the amount of effort given, recognition from peers is likely to be more valuable to an individual than a tangible reward. Getting this balance right is paramount to keep employees tuned in. Discrepancy in the area can really turn people off so think about your audience as there is no ‘one size fits all’ in this area.
The key here is to ensure that the experience of the participant matches the effort they have exerted. Your star performers deserve star treatment throughout the process. It is vital that their rewards are delivered as soon as possible after they have been earned, in order to reinforce the link between effort and reward. A recipient should never receive a reward weeks, or in worse cases months, after earning it, resulting in them no longer being able to recall exactly why they have received it. The star treatment should, of course, also apply if a mistake is made in the delivery. Exceptional customer service and after-sales care is essential. Your participants shouldn’t need to queue up at the returns counter at Argos!
Cash vs Non-cash?
BI WORLDWIDE is an advocate of the cash is not king philosophy, here’s why...
The advantages of offering non-cash rewards over cash include:
Social reinforcement - boasting to friends and family about a new company car is far more socially acceptable than discussing cash
Idiosyncratic fit, where the benefits offered are tailored for the audience profile
Evaluative - you would be hard pushed to find someone who remembers every cash bonus they have received, but receiving a car is much more long-lasting.
Here's what we suggest
The role of engagement and performance consultants is to question and advise the companies that come to them to develop a motivational reward and recognition programme with them. An independent agency’s responsibility is to get under the skin of a company and determine what behaviours (desired or otherwise) may come about as a result of the motivation programme, and will achieve the company’s ultimate business objectives.
A reputable engagement and performance agency has a clear duty to act as the conscience of its client and guide them accordingly.
It is for this reason that companies must ensure they work with a true and reputable agency that will always look at the whole picture and work towards positively motivating people, not simply selling lots of merchandise, rewards or travel incentives.
Contact us today so we can get an understanding of your business's needs and provide you with a tailored recognition programme solution that's perfect for your employees, and in turn, improves your business's profitability.