The Complete Guide To Creating An Employee Recognition Program

As human beings, we thrive on social interaction and praise from our superiors and peers. It makes us feel good when we know that our efforts at work are worth something and that they are making a positive contribution to the team and the company.

For these reasons, your company must have team member recognition programs to boost your worker’s confidence, mood, and productivity. After all, when employees are doing an excellent job, it will affect your company’s bottom line.

The key to creating a successful recognition program is something that could elude your management team, as you may set up a program that doesn’t give you the results you were hoping for in the long run. Keep reading to explore how to create a better team member recognition program!

Employee Recognition Program

  • Recognize The Need For A Recognition Program

Before throwing together a barrage of ideas to start a recognition program, your management should know why you must set up a proper one. Your company could have many different reasons to want to improve the output of your employees, but it is clear that most companies have the following in common:

  • Increase team productivity
  • Keep employees engaged
  • Prevent frequent absenteeism
  • Decrease in employee turnover
  • Greater employee satisfaction and enjoyment of work

Not only will such a program benefit your company, but it will also benefit the team members, such as giving them improved emotional wellness. Teams operating in high-stress environments are particularly susceptible to feeling run down. Companies will often ask themselves how to prevent employee burnout without reducing output. 

The answer to this concerning question may be simple: implement a recognition program to reward the team members for their hard work. In doing so, your company ensures that each member will deliver their best work continuously.

  • Decide On The Parameters Of The Program

A recognition program shouldn’t leave employees feeling like they won second prize, so you should devise a well-thought-through plan to include meaningful parameters in the program. If the rewards don’t inspire team members, the whole program could fall flat before it even starts.

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So, to set the correct parameters and criteria the employees will have to meet, you should decide how to execute the program. Along with the selection criteria that employees will have to meet, the most successful recognition programs will also have a few things in common:

  • It gives recognition immediately when it is due
  • It adds a personal touch to the incentive
  • It is consistent throughout the year
  • It creates anticipation and mystery
  • It aligns with the company values
  • Employees receive it publicly
  • The qualifying criteria are attainable

Parameters will thus include the qualifying criteria and how you will award the recognition to the employees. If these don’t line up, your company could expect lower employee engagement and less success with its program.

  • Include The Program Into The Financial Planning

Depending on the type of recognition, your company may have to set aside some profits for the rewards. Whether a monetary bonus, physical gift, trophy, or certificate, they all have to come out of your company budget.

Businesses will often have to spend money before they can start making a more significant profit. It could be true for team member recognition programs where you must inspire your teams to reach new heights by implementing recognition programs.

  • Ask For Feedback From Teams And Management

Because a recognition program should motivate employees, it should include rewards they would want to work for daily. Avoid neglecting the feedback team members will have about the incentives that will make the program worthwhile for them.

Although most employees will be content with a monetary bonus in recognition of their hard work, some may prefer time off or other incentives. To get a feel for what the employees would consider an excellent recognition program, you can send out a questionnaire for your teams to complete, asking them for all the relevant information your company needs clarity on for the program.

  • Refrain From Making It Too Difficult For Teams

Recognition programs should be about celebrating the hard work and dedication of the team members, but when the qualifying criteria for getting a reward are set too high, it may have the opposite effect. Your company will then lose some of the recognition program benefits you hoped would improve their teams and bottom line.

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Employees will want to work hard for the reward if they know it is attainable. If not, they may lose interest in it and underperform instead. The program should also allow team members to prove themselves and reach their goals even if they start behind other employees.

  • Introduce The Program With Enthusiasm

If you want your teams to have faith in and work for the rewards of the recognition program, they would have to believe in it themselves. Why would the employees be excited about the program when your management doesn’t sound enthusiastic about the program?

Presenting the recognition program to the staff is one of the moments the management team should capitalize on and garner as much support from everyone as possible. The more people see the value, the more they will invest time into working for it.

  • Monitor The Recognition Process And Adjust

After implementing the recognition program, your management should keep an eye on the program and how it works for employees. If possible, ask them for more feedback to consider adjusting some aspects if needed.

You may note that there is room for improvement in the current program, and when you change the aspects you and the employees aren’t happy about, they could be even more successful in motivating their teams.

Final Thoughts

An employee recognition program could go a long way in boosting team members’ morale and giving them a good reason to work hard each day. But the program will only be as good as your staff deems it. If they don’t agree with the parameters or rewards, you may have to rethink your entire strategy.

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Sometimes a pat on the back or a kind word from a manager could mean more to someone than lucrative awards, meaning recognition programs don’t need expensive rewards, only sincere ones