Personalize employee rewards and recognition

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

Employee rewards need to be tailored to the person and your goals for the best impact

A customer wrote to us and said one of his employees was receiving several employee awards. He said; “Hey Susan, congratulations on the chairman’s award tomorrow. Its in the big auditorium, all 700 employees are going to be there, it’s going to be great for you, free coffee and the spotlight is going to be on you, in front of everybody. You know, we’ll follow you. You’ll probably have to say something, not long, maybe talk for 10 or 15 minutes, right? We’ll present you with an employee rewards program plaque, it’s going to be a great day. Enjoy it, go home, sleep well, and see you tomorrow.” Well, the guy wrote, of course, it completely freaked her out and she called in sick. The last thing in the world she wanted to be was have a spotlight on her in front of 700 people.

Know what employee rewards are appropriate for that individual employee. But invite others to participate. Be specific about what it is they did, their contributions to the organization. Make sure that specificity is there. That makes it so that there’s no jealousy, right? Some of those people say well the darker side of employee rewards is well I never get recognized. Well, specificity dispels a lot of that. Because you’re saying well this is what Jack did. Headed up this team. Saved the client. New process, whatever it might be. Specificity takes away a lot of that jealousy in employee rewards.

Link employee rewards to your corporate vision
Link the accomplishments to the vision of the company. Again, back to Jack Welch, in the four things you do is my mission and vision understood? Has it been communicated properly? Well this is a great way to link it back to your customer service initiative, your zero defects initiative, and your on-time delivery initiative. Do it in a timely way. Again, what does that communicate? Value. We do it now. Don’t put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today. And then obviously, let other people participate. This is a great piece if you haven’t done this in your organizations. Once the President or the Director or the VP or whomever it is who is presenting the award, has kind of said their piece. Give the chance for co-workers and you might want to preview this, what are they going to say?

Do not come unprepared. Nothing is worse than a presenter who is not prepared. You know, the kind who doesn’t have the employee rewards with him, not really sure what it’s for. In the crush of business kind of makes it almost an indictment of the entire department in how they’re progressing this year. We’ve all seen that. Come prepared. Make a list of things you want to do and we’ll give you some tips on that in just a second. Don’t embarrass them. Take the buts out of employee rewards.

Take the buts out of employee rewards and recognition
If you’re going to praise somebody, praise them. I was talking to one manager one time who said, “I think that recognition and criticism, it needs to be balanced. For every compliment, I think you need to balance it with a criticism.” And I thought, you got to be kidding me. That would never work in your personal life. Hey son, you know, I really appreciate you cleaning your room, however, you left a mess in the kitchen. Is that motivating? Is that engaging? No. Don’t embarrass people. Don’t criticize. If you’re there to praise and present, praise and present.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. You don’t want to say, “I’m looking forward to working for you, with you for the next ten years”. Nobody knows what ten years down the road looks like. Right? So be careful in your wording there. It can actually cause you a few legal problems.

Last key, don’t waste the opportunity. This is their Olympic moment. It doesn’t take a lot of time. You can make a really effective heart-felt presentation in less than two minutes. The more you can create emotional moments and emotional engaging moments with your recognition strategy, the better off you’re going to be and the more engaged employee you’re going to have.

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