High Impact Employee Recognition Programs

by on May 11, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Employee reward that work link directly to your corporate goals

Employee Recognition starts with a thank you
Thank yous should be frequent, specific and timely. Remember the things your mother tells you, right? When we pick up our kids from our play dates and the other parents say, hello, what do we say? Thanks for having me. Our kids get Christmas presents or holidays gifts, what do we say? Make sure you write a note to grandma. Thanks for the little knit sweater. Even though you’ll never wear it, make sure you write a letter to grandma. It’s interesting, Some organizations will say if we say thank you too much it becomes trite.

You really can do it too much, if it’s heartfelt. I agree that if you’ve got managers that just running around saying thank you, thank you, thank you, that’s not going to have any impact. But we know in our personal lives as we build personal relationships ; if you’ve got a great marriage or you’re madly in love and dating someone that you’re crazy about, how often do you tell them you love them? Every day. Does it get tired? No, not if you mean it. When you translate it to workplace, you know, I love you in our personal lives translates to thank you in the workplace. I love you in your personal life, thank you in the workplace. Don’t get that mixed up by the way. That’ll cause HR a lot of problems.

General praise has no impact on people. Specificity has great impact. Hey, Tom, thanks for staying late. I know you had to work on those invoices, getting them out on time was critical for that client, we’re known for our on-time delivery. That was a tremendous job.

The other thing about praise is there are no “buts” in employee recognition. We’ve all had managers come up and say, “Hey, thanks for getting that out on time, that’s really important to us. If you’d followed procedure you probably wouldn’t have had to stay late. So next time in training, pay a little more attention, okay? And by the way, I’m not paying you for any overtime. But, glad you got it out. Thanks.” You know, that employee remembers what? They remember the but, doesn’t remember the praise.

Employee recognition communicates value
When you’re timely in your employee recognition, it communicates value, that you’re paying attention, that you’re involved. Have you ever done something and then had somebody come by two months later and say, hey man, remember back in March when you did that thing with the guy in the hey, that was a great job. What does that mean to you? You know, basically nothing. And we do that in our personal lives, right?

Have any of you ever missed your wedding anniversary? What does that communicate? Well, I guess it just wasn’t that important. Right? So this idea of frequency reinforcing the message by using specificity in directing your praise and doing it in a timely manner are three really important keys to an effective employee recognition strategy.

Reward positive corporate behaviors in your employee recognition program
Praise and reward are indelibly linked. If you’ve been an athlete or a musician, you understand this really intimately. Musicians practice and practice and practice, right? So that when you perform, you can perform at a high level and reward your audience with what a beautiful rendition of the piece. Athletes are coached to practice, practice, practice, let’s get it right. Coaches encourage people to run it again, let’s do it one more time.

Why? So that when you play you can win. When you win, you celebrate, you reward that excellence. The idea of praise and reward and interlink; the informal employee recognition, the day-to-day, simple little things you can do. There are little things you can do as a manager that don’t cost a lot of money. The tricks are high frequency, low cost, high yield employee recognition, high engagement. Then of course when you get the results you want you celebrate and you party. That praising effort-rewarding the results- are so intimately linked.

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