Employee recognition needs to go beyond monetary rewards. Today’s workplace requires more than bonuses, gold watches, and restaurant gift cards. These isolated acts are important, yet need to be part of a comprehensive, results-driven program that is both meaningful and engaging for all team members. Supported by visual and digital communications that showcase each achievement, employee recognition programs are instrumental in helping to create and maintain a high-performance culture.
Recognition fuels employee motivation to increase productivity and teamwork. However, recognition can backfire if employees don’t understand the “rules of the game.” Even worse, it can be viewed as unfair when employees witness the same folks being regularly feted, while they never are.
Therefore, it’s essential that every employee understands exactly what performance areas are recognized. The cause for recognition should be clearly defined and reflect a key performance objective of the company. To illustrate, a top corporate priority for a manufacturer is workplace safety. In this case, for example:
- The production team is recognized for no accidents for the past 90 days.
- A production worker is recognized for completing a forklift driver safety course.
- Corporate communication is recognized for producing a video on workplace accident prevention.
All of the above actions exemplify positive behaviors that contribute to the performance objective of workplace safety. Tactics that range from achievement certificates, special parking space privileges and bonus incentives to pizza parties and president’s awards ceremonies could be deployed based on the type and level of performance achieved. All should be planned and executed consistently to demonstrate the company’s commitment to a high-performance culture.
Management makes the difference
The key ingredient to any employee recognition program is the staunch participation of management....
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