What Most Companies Get Wrong About Employee Recognition Programs

Employee recognition programs don’t take care of themselves.  While your company may have a program in place, you may well be flying by the seat of your pants, in terms of rewards and how they’re awarded. A truly effective employee recognition program encompasses the entirety of the organization, providing employees with clear benchmarks for performance and winning behaviors.  Everyone’s onboard.  Everyone knows what it takes to win and everyone has a crack at incentives. What most companies get wrong about employee recognition programs is what we’re going to talk about in this post.   If you recognize your company and its program here, then maybe it’s time to put your incentives and recognition in the hands of the pros at Incentive Travel Group.

Created in Isolation

If your employee recognition program was created in isolation from the opinions and feedback of the people it’s been created for, then you’re doing it wrong. Your people have clear ideas about how they’d like to be recognized and rewarded, so not asking them their opinion while you’re formulating the program is a major oversight. Survey your people.  Ask they what gets them fired up and whether they feel their efforts are being recognized.  A good survey will reveal holes in the program.  It’s never to late to re-design, re-jig and recuperate.

Lack of Clarity

We touched on this above, but it deserves a section of its own.  Most companies aren’t clear or consistent about what they expect from employees to be recognized.  Employees don’t know what they need to do to achieve the incentive. A key component of an effective employee recognition program is clearly defining expectations around the behaviors and achievements which win recognition.  Random prizes and contests are fun, but they fail when they’re not supported by targeted incentives which encourage employees to build on their strengths.

No Data

Without data, why do you even have an employee recognition program in place?  If you’re not tracking participation and results; if you’re not examining the trends in performance arising from your program, then you’re just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. Putting in place the right software to help you collect, collate and interpret data around your program is what’s going to make it count.

The Little Things

Rewarding major achievements is certainly something every company should do, but the little things matter too. Reward the employee who noticed a discrepancy in the quarterly report.  Reward the go-getter who worked overtime to get that key item on the critical path done on time.  Even reward the creative thinker who pointed out that having snacks available on-site would boost productivity. Employee recognition is about identifying the company’s goals and translating them into how employees can meet them in their respective roles.  With communication, clarity, the right data and a consistent approach to all achievements (not just big ones), you’ll find your program’s effectiveness will improve. Incentive Travel Group has been helping companies like yours create exceptional employee recognition programs for over 20 years.  Contact us.

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