Recognizing employees for their hard work is an essential component in improving employee engagement. Despite the importance of employee recognition, a Deloitte survey reveals that 45% of U.S. workers reported they haven't been recognized at work in at least six months.
By implementing an ongoing employee recognition program, you can improve your employee engagement and assist with attraction and retention efforts.
An employee recognition program is a formal program designed to recognize and reward employees for a job well done. Often, each organization has its own version of an employee recognition program, but it's common to include recognition for:
Recognition in these programs can include such things as formal written thank-you cards, paid time off, gift cards, company merchandise, and cash bonuses. Some organizations host company-wide staff appreciation events.
Regardless of how you structure your employee recognition program, the most important component of a successful one is that it recognizes employees for their contributions.
What are the benefits of employee recognition programs?
In addition to boosting employee engagement at your organization, employee recognition programs can raise morale, increase productivity, and improve attraction and retention efforts. In fact, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management and Globoforce, 68% of HR professionals believe these programs positively affect employee retention.
Moreover, these programs have the potential to reduce stress, absenteeism, and turnover. In short, when employees feel valued by their company, they're happier and more productive. Happy employees are also more likely to tell prospective employees that your organization is a great place to work. Finally, employee recognition programs can motivate employees to continue working hard even if opportunities for advancement are unavailable, and the budget doesn't allow for compensation increases.
How do you implement an employee recognition program?
If you're considering implementing a formal employee recognition program at your organization, it can be difficult to know where you should start. To get started, you should create clear, written policies and guidelines explaining the program. Things to cover in these guidelines include:
Once you've developed these guidelines, communicate the new program and its stipulations to managers and employees. Your communications should include the program's criteria as well as examples of the types of behavior that would warrant recognition or an award. This way, employees and managers are clear on the program's guidelines. Doing so also promotes transparency and understanding of what an employee must do to receive recognition.
Like many other work-sponsored programs, there are considerations you should be aware of before you implement an employee recognition program at your workplace. One of the most prominent factors is that all employees are different, and it's unlikely that they'll all be motivated by the same recognition rewards. As such, you'll need to offer variety in the types of recognition rewards you endorse.
Additionally, you'll need to implement an employee recognition program that can easily be adjusted as circumstances require. For example, a new project may pop up that requires employees to work harder. To reward their hard work, you may want to add a recognition program in response to the new project's demands.
In the majority of cases, a multifaceted approach is needed for employee recognition programs to be successful.