Employee recognition does more than reward your employees; it rewards your business. When you recognize your workers, both temporary employees and permanent staff, you reinforce the actions and behaviors that boost your business. That’s what makes an effective employee recognition system is simple, immediate and powerfully reinforcing.

When asked about starting an employee recognition program, many managers claim they just don’t have the time. We understand that most leaders and business owners live with tightly packed schedules. However, in the long run, designing and implementing an employee awards program will become so lucrative and rewarding that you’ll quickly understand why the time is worth it.

Informal Recognition – Start Today.

Start out everyday by recognizing your staff’s achievements. Does one of your machinists exceed quotas every time? Perhaps one of your database managers consistently makes other employees feel like their issues are number one? Make sure to take time out of your day to show him or her some informal praise, showing that you have pride in their work. Give them a pack of “Starburst” candy for being a star employee or maybe even hand out an extra day off. Your employees will strive to do their best if they know their work is valued. Take the time to acknowledge when they made a specific impact on the company’s success.

Formal Recognition – The Certificate and Ceremony

Formal recognition programs require more planning and foresight. You must decide on specific traits to award, ones that every employee can achieve. Then, you’ll need to decide how to determine winners and we highly recommend taking yourself out of the equation. Let the entire company nominate candidates for each category and then a designated committee, comprised of employees from all levels, will vote on winners. This way you don’t run the risk of embittering other employees with suspicions of favoritism.

Remember to get creative! Employee recognition programs can be fun for both you and your employees. Don’t be afraid to get a little spunky with your rewards and recognition. Try these off-the-wall ideas:

  • After dealing with a high stress situation or a high volume season, reward employees for keeping their cool with an ice cream social.
  • Studies show that pets help reduce stress and boost morale. Recognize your star employees with a bring-your-pet-to-work day. Not only will they enjoy the special consideration, but the whole workplace will get the benefit of a new best friend.
  • Reward your hardest working employee by giving him or her the boss’s office for a day.
  • Call the in entire company, from the highest ranking executives to the part-time college intern, to one room and give a standing ovation to an accomplished employee.
  • Recognize an employee with a custom trophy. You can have it made or take to the local thrift shops to find something with personality. Then, at the end of the the week, that employee must choose a coworker to pass it on to. Keep it going every week, but make sure to be specific about the criteria to win the trophy.

You have an endless array of possibilities for formal recognition. They can be paired with actual awards, like gift cards or extra vacation days. They can also be tied to a general employee appreciation banquet or reception. Whatever you decide to do, pick it and stick with it. By conducting even just bi-annual formal recognition events, you’ll fuel the momentum by staying consistent.

Photo from www.silverliningent.com



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