If you have an employee recognition programme it can be an excellent way to both motivate and retain your employees. And it can also play an important role in attracting and recruiting new talent into your business.
However, it’s not enough to simply create and then implement such a programme and if your efforts are failing, it may be because you’re making one of the following mistakes…
It’s about the money, money!
Are you just recognising and rewarding those employees who bring profits to the business such as salespeople who are recognise for bringing in a new customer contract that bumps up their sales commission?
Now, they may deserve credit and commission and yet, when you solely focus on money alone, you may well be undermining the personal aspect.
That’s because you really want your employees to feel that they belong, are seen to be valued and are an important part of your business. Ans if you’re only seen to care and appreciate people who bring in sales revenue, then it could well look to others as though you don’t care about other team members who are working hard to support and satisfy customers. Which means, rather than just reward monetary gain, you build relationships that reward the whole business team effort.
Too Easy or Too Hard…
The big challenge when putting in place an employee recognition programme is about making decisions on how easy or difficult it should be to reward employees. If your rewards are too easy, it won’t be much of a motivator and if your rewards are too hard to achieve and staff don’t actually reach your targets, then you’ll just kill motivation.
Instead, create recognition targets that you feel are reasonable from the outset and then test and measure so that you can be flexible to change them if employees aren’t hitting them on a regular basis. These include individual targets to hit, say with new staff or those who have gained promotion, which will make all employees feel that there is a sense of fairness.
A good employee recognition programme will also recognise incentives for staff who go the extra mile to motivate others to do their best to support the business such as the extra effort they put into a new project, dealing with a safeguarding issue, or raising funds for a chosen company charity event. This shouldn’t be seen in any way as a form of bribery or control, otherwise it will become an end in itself.
A good example in order to avoid this happening, is to use it as a surprise announcement for one of your employees or an extra bonus as opposed to a target that everyone has to work towards. This will make other employees feel motivated to also give their best knowing that they will be appreciated at one-off circumstance and that your incentives are not just focusing on company profits.
Sharing personal experiences with employees…
Finally, one method which can help to create a really strong employee recognition programme is when you personally and sincerely recognise loyalty as opposed to just following a set incentive process. Which means going above and beyond to delight and motivate key members of staff by recognising those who stay for the long-term and have become an important and valued member of your business.