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Employee Engagement Program

Employee Recognition Tools and Programs

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According to a report published on InteliSpend as of 2010 55% of employees were unsatisfied at work. This is more than half the entire workforce. Various studies have been conducted and all come to the conclusion that saying thank you to employees can help increase their engagement at work and satisfaction. Forbes terms the employee recognition industry as a billion dollar industry. This is not surprising considering that employers are now more than ever eager to set up with rewards and recognitions programs. The Incentive Research Foundation says that more than $100 billion is spent on reward and recognition programs every year and this culture has been adopted by more than half of U.S employers.  
Defining Employee Recognition Programs
Employee recognition programs are meant to appreciate employees for individual or team effort made in meeting pre-determined goals. They also could be offered as a sign of appreciation for loyalty and many companies offer rewards for tenure. There are very many reasons why employers may choose to give employees rewards and recognition.  
Best Practices with Employee Recognition
  1. Recognize employees based on results and efforts
    There is nothing wrong with the vastly used employee of the month. However, it needs to have substance. Employees need to be recognized for their outstanding service, habits and efforts made in delivering results.
  2. Encourage involvement
    While designing the recognition program, it helps if you involve the employees. Ask them how they would like to be recognized and implement the program as a team effort.
  3. Have transparency
    There should be transparency on what management looks at when evaluating employees otherwise you may create a culture where employees assume that recognition is based on favoritism.
  4. Encourage all round participation
    The program should offer recognition for individuals and teams. These could be peer-to-peer teams or staff to manger teams. There also should be recognition for collaborators who are from different departments to make the program more exciting and include all levels of employment including subordinate staff.
  5. Set attainable goal
    If recognition is given for attained goals, ensure that these are actually goals that are attainable. There is nothing worse than having management set unrealistic goals that cannot be met. Making it hard for employees to gain recognition does not boost their morale and demoralizes them.
  6. Have consistent recognition programs
    Most organizations assume that rewards and recognition should only be offered at the end of the year.It has been proven that this is not very effective. The program needs to be continuous otherwise it will create a culture where people are only excited during award season. Annual awards are without a doubt essential but these should be a culmination of the employee recognition activities that have been conducted throughout the year.
Its one thing to develop employee recognition programs and another to maintain them. It takes effort and collaboration between the employees and management. Continually review the program and make necessary changes to have a successful program year round.

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