Recognition and rewards: Why you need employee input

by on May 29, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Cafe
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What’s the ultimate nightmare for an HR person who sincerely tries to make sure good employees get recognized and rewarded?

Maybe to overhear something like this in the hall: “Why should I work harder just to get a dumb plaque?”

Talk like this is a clear sign your recognition and reward program isn’t having the desired effect.

Get ’em involved
Fortunately, there’s a good way to ensure that employees don’t scorn the recognition/rewards you’ve laboriously worked to implement: involve them in the program design in the first place.

Corporate rewards guru Donna Deeprose says getting employee input into your program has at least five positives going for it:

  • Employees are perfectly clear on what they have to do to earn a reward, because they helped determine the criteria.
  • The reward is valued because employees understand what it represents. A plaque means little to somebody who just gets handed one. But if the person helped decide what the plaque represents, it’ll mean a lot.
  • The people who get the reward receive peer respect, instead of possibly being derided as “butt-kissers” or “boss’s pets.”
  • Nobody’s job inadvertently gets left out of the reward criteria.
  • The criteria are realistic – that is, the goals are achievable and won’t encourage people to neglect important parts of their job in order to qualify for the reward.

Designing your recognition and reward program this way may take longer than if you did it all by yourself. But you’ll reap benefits in buy-in and participation that will make the time and effort worthwhile.

Source: “How to Recognize and Reward Employees,” by Donna Deeprose.

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