Workplace Recognition and Incentive Programs

Recognition Rewards Reinforcement

Posted on November 30, 2010 by Motivo Staff in Uncategorized

Praise and recognition are key factors in increasing morale, especially in a difficult economy. There is much research (Overview) showing that when employees are sincerely praised for their efforts, morale increases. It follows that when morale increases so will employee productivity. When productivity is high so, too, are revenues! When employees know that their contributions are valued their self-worth escalates. It only makes sense that when this happens people feel important to the organization and its mission and they become increasingly engaged. Engaged employees are good for the bottom line.

We are not talking about manipulating employees with false and pretentious recognition but with sincere, timely and relevant recognition and rewards. It is easy for managers to think, “Why should I award Joe for doing his job?” While we believe that showing appreciation for doing the job is valid, it is more so that rewarding for efforts that go beyond the normal scope of work or duties. This is where the real value comes into play. This is where you can reinforce self-worth and foster a positive work environment with positive recognition. Recall the days when a positive comment from a parent or teacher created a sense of pride in you. Remember how you felt. Were you “on top of the world”? Did it make you feel like dong more for them, not to disappoint them? Well, those feelings do not go away as an adult. It is human nature to desire acknowledgement, recognition and praise for achievement.

How to Reward

Reward publicly. Make sure colleagues and peers are aware of the recognition and the reason for it. This will send a message that you value these contributions and others will want to emulate that behavior.

Give an award, too. Everyone likes the praise but adding a tangible award may very well be what an employee needs to excel. A company coffee mug is not an award. Choose unique or custom made items that show some thought was put into its selection.

Make sure the award is presented as quickly as possible after the desired behavior is identified and acknowledged. You do not want to lose the connection between the what and the why.

When to Reward

In addition to rewarding in a timely manner, be sure to recognize when most employees are around to see it happen, to be part of the recognition event. It is best if the company principals are also involved in the presentation and if they cannot be then apologies and a handwritten note, phone call or perhaps a personal email will suffice. The important thing is that the employee knows that management is aware of their contributions and that they care.

Getting the best from your team is important but it is not easy! It takes time and effort and good managers are willing to put in the necessary work. When one employee’s good work is valued it adds value to the whole organization. Positives beget positives. So, reward, recognize and reinforce — because it works!