Nearly every company with a Human Resources Department will tell you how vital employee recognition truly is. Rewards and recognition can give an employee a purpose and direction in his job. It can make him feel valued and eager to do more. But what happens when your best intentions lead you down the wrong path? While recognizing an employee can be genuinely great, many employers face problems in their approach. Here are five of the most common issues that have been found in trying to create a recognition program.
- Not Personalized
Managers and leaders alike have often shown recognition to their employees in a cookie-cutter kind of way. The problem with this idea is that while it is much easier to execute, it is less likely to make an impression. When the reward you receive is exactly the same as the reward someone else wins, it can dilute its value. After all, you are recognizing something that goes above and beyond the call of duty. So, why not make your recognition match his actions. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. Sometimes all it takes is just a handwritten note with a personal message, and you’d be a hit.
- Doing It Yourself
If a company is trying to save money, they may attempt to do everything in-house. Statistics show that companies that do all their recognition in-house do not get as much of a return on their investment as they might have hoped. With an average 42% return for those who were really good at it compared to an average 65% for those who use an externally created recognition program, it is easy to see just how well a company can benefit from using outside experience. Since you may not have the expertise needed to create a quality program, why not trust the experts to do it for you.
- Not Made Public
A recognition program that doesn’t get communicated to others tends to fall flat. One key to successful recognition is making the announcement public. This validates the employee and lets others know that you appreciate their contribution to your business. It can also serve as a means of motivation to other employees, encouraging them to do more to attain recognition for themselves. Public attention offers employees a chance to do something great, which can boost the morale of everyone. But only if it is communicated to the rest of the world.
- Not Creating An Experience
There is a powerful element to employee recognition that plays a role. When an employee is publicly honored and recognized, it infuses in him a spirit that changes not only him but others around him as well. It is not just the act of giving a reward – it is how that reward is given. There are several ways you can do this. By verbally presenting it in front of his peers or one-on-one through a private email. Think about which one is more likely to inspire the employee and which one will be forgotten by the end of the day. So, make sure you don’t just give a reward – focus on giving them an experience instead.
- Not Consistent
Consistency is key to successful recognition. Once you’ve decided who will be recognized and how you need to remain consistent. Giving credit once every now and then means you have to follow through repeatedly. Occasional rewards with no firm timetable are likely to have employees feeling that your program is unfair or that you’re showing favoritism and you won’t see the kind of results you are hoping to get.
Just like customer service matters when dealing with the public, putting a recognition program in place is equally essential for any company. However, you must execute it in a way that will inspire the changes you want to see. Make your recognition personal and give the employee an experience he will cherish, and your program will result in a win-win for everybody.