The Keys to an Effective Employee Recognition Program

The Keys to an Effective Employee Recognition Program

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It’s no secret that creating a culture of employee recognition and rewards can be a powerful driver of improved business results. According to award-winning speaker and HR author Scott Christopher, however, the key to success lies not in outdated ceremonial employee appreciation but in the art of employee recognition done right.

Scott has co-authored several best-selling business books, including “A Carrot A Day”, and recently spoke at WorkTango’s employee recognition webinar, “Employee Recognition Done Right: How to Delight Your People & Drive Business Results with Recognition & Rewards”. In the webinar, Scott dove into the ways organizations and managers can use formal and informal recognition to connect employees to core values and drive key strategic initiatives.

When sending employee recognition, Scott suggests that the following steps, when followed, ensure recognition is meaningful and has a lasting impact on the employee and the organization. Let’s take a look at the keys to effective employee recognition that were discussed in the webinar.

What is an Effective Employee Recognition Program?

Scott Christopher’s book firmly establishes that the link between recognition and business results is not only real, but also highly predictable. However, he doesn’t mean run-of-the-mill employee recognition programs that some organizations have been using for years. He means modern, effective employee recognition. But what does that entail?

Employee recognition creates a sense of belonging, engagement, and appreciation among employees. When individuals feel valued for their contributions, they are more inclined to stay with the company and stay engaged in their jobs. Additionally, recognition serves as motivation, driving employees to go above and beyond at work.

However, effective employee recognition goes beyond the occasional annual luncheon where names are read aloud and lapel pins are distributed. While there’s certainly value in acknowledging service anniversary awards when done properly, the real magic happens in the day-to-day moments that help cultivate trust, respect, and long-term loyalty among employees. So, what are some key employee recognition ideas to leverage the full potential of your program?

Meaningful Informal Recognition

According to Scott, recognition doesn’t always have to be formal or tied to specific milestones. Informal recognition is equally valuable and often more meaningful. It involves acknowledging employees’ daily efforts, their dedication, and the positive impact they have on the team. By making recognition a part of your daily routine, you reinforce positive behaviors and create a supportive workplace atmosphere.

Praising Effort vs. Rewarding Results

Recognizing employees is not solely about celebrating outcomes; it also involves acknowledging the effort put into achieving those results. While results matter, praising effort sends a powerful message that hard work and dedication are highly valued.

Recognition over Cash

While financial rewards certainly have their place, non-monetary recognition can be just as, if not more, effective. It’s those daily nuggets of acknowledgment of an employee’s contributions that drive their motivation and personal fulfillment.

Effectively Presenting Recognition

Presenting recognition effectively is essential for the program to produce real business results. It’s not just about what you say but also the value you put behind your appreciation. Be specific in your praise and highlight the actions or qualities that deserve recognition. Make it personal and sincere, ensuring your acknowledgment comes from the heart. Consider the timing as well. Timely recognition has a more significant impact, reinforcing the connection between the action and the appreciation.