Signs that the organization needs a new employee rewards and recognition platform

Technology has deeply impacted the everyday functioning of organizations. In addition to ensuring the automation of various complex business processes, it has also helped in enhancing employee experience, engagement, and overall behavior. Even employee rewards and recognition programs have benefited from the use of technology. In fact, the experts are of the opinion that the use of technology in employee recognition systems, makes them more meaningful and an integral part of the organization’s employee engagement roadmap. A well-integrated employee recognition platform can provide amazing results in terms of enhancing the organization’s culture and employee retention through a seamless experience that brings people and businesses together.

Benefits of an effective recognition platform

Recognition is extremely impactful in any work environment and boosts the motivation and performance of employees significantly. A good recognition platform helps in driving deeper employee engagement besides making the rewards programs fair, connected and operationally efficient. It also helps in making the recognition program more transparent and integrated with the core values and culture of the organization. Most importantly, it enables employees to be recognized for their achievements in real-time.

Need to adopt a new recognition platform

Most organizations choose a recognition platform after careful consideration of the various factors that might impact their efficiency and usefulness. However, organizations need to understand that even the best systems need to be re-assessed from time to time. Business and work environment is constantly changing; these changes can severely impact the effectiveness of even the most perfect recognition platform. Given this, organizations might  have to look a more advanced and relevant recognition platform from time to time, to continue driving enhanced greater engagement of employees.

When to change the rewards and recognition platform

As mentioned above, it is important for organizations to regularly assess the suitability of the current rewards and recognition platform based on their current and future organizational needs. They need to keep an eye open for any of the below-discussed gaps that might arise with respect to the existing platform and thus prompt them to start looking for a new one.

  1. Inefficient recognition process due to difficulty in budgeting and administration

One of the key benefits of using a recognition platform is that it helps in easy budgeting and administration, increasing the efficiency of the process. However, many times organizations find it increasingly difficult to manage and track recognition efforts using the current platform; reducing the effectiveness of the entire program. This, in turn, may result in an increase in the manual efforts and the administration costs of the program unless the platform is replaced with a more efficient one.

  1. Reduced flexibility in responding to changing business needs

Businesses today are undergoing rapid changes in line with customer expectations and market needs. However, if the current recognition platform being used by an organization is not flexible enough to respond to the changes required in the workplace driven by business needs, it definitely needs to be replaced. Not doing so can make the recognition program obsolete and ineffective. This can, in turn, make the employees feel dissatisfied and undervalued, affecting their engagement and productivity.

  1. Improper integration with social media platforms

Social media (internal or external) integration plays an important role in enhancing the effectiveness of any employee recognition program. Apart from influencing the social recognition of employees for their positive performance,  it also helps in hiring and building a brand as an employer.  However, if the recognition program does not provide proper integration with the right social media tools, the program might lose its effectiveness. In such a scenario, it might be better to switch to a new platform that has better integration features.

  1. Difficulty in tracking and reporting

Organizations need to be able to measure the success or failure of their employee rewards system in an accurate and timely manner. This should be one of the key features offered by any good recognition platform. However, if the current platform makes it difficult for an organization to track and report such details, it would be better to look at alternate options. Not being able to track the program metrics might become a big bottleneck towards the effectiveness of the recognition program.

Constantly monitoring and benchmarking the effectiveness and relevance of the recognition program and the platform being used by them is essential for organizations to know when to change over to a new and better platform.

Building a culture of appreciation in the organization through employee recognition

Employers today are well aware of the fact that lack of appreciation creates a disengaged workforce that is extremely difficult to retain over a long period of time. The failure to appreciate the employees makes them feel that their efforts and achievements are going unnoticed. This, in turn, makes the employees feel less appreciative of any efforts being made by the organization for their professional growth and development. Over the course of time, the employee dissatisfaction level grows to the extent that they may seek better employment opportunities. The best way to avoid such situations is to build and nurture a strong culture of appreciation. In this context, exploring and implementing creative employee recognition ideas can go a long way in creating a great work environment that encourages growth, loyalty, and engagement.

Benefits of a culture of appreciation

Developing a culture of appreciation can help organizations in many ways. It can create a work environment that fosters growth and creativity by boosting the morale and confidence of the employees. Organizations that work towards building a culture of appreciation through innovative employee recognition ideas reap benefits through significant improvement in the happiness levels of members of the workforce and a boost in overall productivity. Discussed below are some effective ways that organizations can use to build such a culture:

Begin the day by sharing thoughts of gratitude

When individuals choose to start their day on a positive note, it helps in keeping them in high spirits through the rest of the day as well. The best way to ensure the same is by sharing a thought of gratitude or motivational employee recognition quotes with the workforce through the intranet, emails or digital displays. Doing so, helps employees focus on the positive things around them and makes it easier to handle challenges at work.

Promote the habit of sending prompt ‘Thank You’ notes

Organizations should encourage employees across levels to send prompt “Thank You” notes digitally or otherwise to anyone who might have helped them in any manner. These thank you notes are often the most effective of all forms of employee recognition, especially in the context of peer-to-peer recognition. It helps in building a sense of companionship and enhancing the value of the effort made by one member of the workforce to help another member.

Learn to appreciate employees in ways preferred by them

It is a common perception that appreciating employees on a public platform is the most effective. However, this might not always be the case as individual employees have unique appreciation expectations. Hence it is essential for organizations to learn the art of recognizing employees in a manner they like. For some employees, a few words of praise from the CEO or chairman might suffice, while others might prefer more tangible non-monetary awards. Appreciating individual employees in their preferred way makes it easier to connect and communicate with them in a more effective manner. So giving a choice to the employee on how he or she should be appreciated is an effective way to create the culture of giving and receiving appreciation.

Publicizing the appreciation for a co-worker

It is not uncommon for employees to seek the help and support of their co-workers for the completion of various tasks. In fact, there might be times when such help can take an employee out of a really tight spot. In such cases, the employees should be motivated to write an employee recognition email or post a message for their savior. The manager or the HR can take the initiative to get the employee to read it aloud in front of other team members. In addition to making the employee receiving such appreciation feel happy and valued, it makes the givers of such appreciation feel genuinely good.

Celebrate important milestones in a grand manner

It is important to celebrate the milestones achieved by the organization as well as employees in a grand way. Such celebrations inspire the members of the workforce to keep performing at a high level or at an even higher level. The celebrations also help in assuring the employees that their contribution is valued, whether it is on an individual level or at the organizational level.

Engage with employees at a more personal level

For most professionals today, their workplace is their second home, which is why they often expect their employers to behave in a more empathetic manner. By encouraging the managers and supervisors across all levels within the organization to engage with their subordinates at a more personal level, organizations can gain the benefit of greater commitment and loyalty of the employees. Such an attitude of their superiors makes the employees feel more appreciative of their organizational culture and inspires them to contribute towards it in a positive manner. In fact, this could be one of the more cost-effective ways of earning employee appreciation.

Building a strong culture of appreciation assures individual employees that they are not only seen and heard but also valued by their employers and peers. This enhances their sense of self-worth and makes them an active contributor in the process of growth and success of the business.

Innovative Award Names for Employee Recognition

It is a well-acknowledged fact that recognition and rewards are essential for creating a highly engaged and motivated workforce. However, deciding the most appropriate rewards and the best ways to present them to the deserving employees is not enough to make these programs effective. It is also important to ensure that each award has a unique name, which is also relevant to the reason for it being presented to the employees in question. Giving a unique name to the different staff awards makes them easy to identify besides making the recipients feel special. It also helps to simplify the process of classifying the awards according to the level and role of the employees within the organization.

Choosing recognition award names

The primary focus of most organizations, while implementing a recognition program is to find the most innovative employee recognition ideas. They rarely pay attention to naming the recognition awards as they believe that citing the reasons for which an employee is being rewarded would suffice. Hence, choosing the appropriate award names might seem to be an overwhelming task for companies doing it for the first time. One way that organizations can use to simplify this task is by considering the names that reflect their unique organization culture or the values that they intend to promote through the awards. Discussed below are a few recognition categories along with a few unique award names within each category to help organizations initiate a great recognition and rewards program:

Top Performer Awards

In most cases, the growth and success of an organization are driven by the top-performing members of the workforce. Hence, recognizing the efforts and contribution of such employees is essential for maintaining their high motivation levels and also inspiring others to follow their example. For this, it is important to not only choose the appropriate awards but also the most creative employee recognition award names. A few examples of such names are listed as follows:

  • Top Gun Award
  • Excellence Performance
  • Over The Top
  • Super Star
  • Master Performer
  • Best In Class
  • Wow Award

Customer Service Awards

Employees, who interact directly with the customers have perhaps the greatest need for constant motivation and encouragement from their superiors. Boosting their morale ensures better customer service experience and this, in turn, directly impacts business profitability and growth. That is why organizations need to come up with appropriately named and creative employee recognition ideas that will drive engagement for these employees. Listed below are a few innovative award names for this category:

  • Client Delighter
  • Consider it done
  • Customer First
  • Five Star Customer Service
  • Calmer of Storms

Welcome Aboard Category

The need to be constantly encouraged and motivated in new recruits is very important for the organization. Hence naming the rewards for employees to motivate and inspire can go a long way in enhancing the engagement and commitment level of these newest members of the workforce. It can make them feel welcomed and ensure that they keep giving their best irrespective of the role or responsibility assigned to them. A few impressive award names for this category are as follows:

  • Exceptional Hire
  • Star Debutante
  • Early Adapter
  • Rising Star
  • Great Beginnings
  • Rockstar Rookie

Leadership Awards

Contrary to popular belief, leaders need to be rewarded and in the same manner and to the same extent as other members of the workforce. It is important to appreciate the outstanding traits that have helped these professionals to reach the top and lead their teams to make a constructive contribution towards organizational growth. Listed below are a few cool names awards in this category:

  • Leading by Example
  • Platinum Leaders Club
  • Role Model of the Year
  • Standout Chief
  • Five Star Honors
  • Leading Light
  • Guiding Star

Long Service Awards

Rewarding and recognizing employees, who have been with the organization for a long time, tends to promote a sense of loyalty and commitment among the other members of the workforce. However, organizations need to think beyond naming these awards based on the number of years of service put in by the employees. Rather they might try innovative names such as the ones below:

  • Silver Star
  • Creating a Legacy
  • Prevailed Persistence
  • A Legend in Making
  • Flagbearer Award
  • Anchor Person

Peer to Peer Awards

It has been proven beyond any doubt that peer to peer recognition is one of the most effective types of employee recognition in modern workplaces. It makes the employees receiving the awards feel truly loved and appreciated by the people they work closely with. A few award names that will work best in this category are listed below:

  • Associate Appreciation
  • You are a gem
  • Sidekick Salute
  • High Five Award
  • Cheers to Peers
  • Standing Ovation
  • Tip Your Hat
  • Pat on the Back

Organizations engage their employees to the maximum fare much better than their industry peers. Recognizing the efforts of employees with innovative awards is an important aspect of employee engagement. Coming up with creative award titles like the ones suggested above can be a good starting point for creating a successful employee recognition program.

10 best ideas for non-monetary form of employee recognition

Most employers generally think that the practice of offering cash rewards to recognize and appreciate the efforts of employees is likely to provide the best results. As such, they completely ignore the concept of non-monetary recognition at the workplace. However, organizations are now increasingly waking up to the fact that non-monetary rewards can often prove to be more effective than any cash rewards to motivate and engage employees. In fact, an increasing number of employees prefer to be recognized and appreciated in ways that go beyond financial benefits. This is one of the reasons why non-monetary recognition is gaining so much popularity while offering the desired outcomes.

Advantages of non-monetary recognition

There is little doubt about the fact that receiving some extra money as an incentive for their efforts and achievements is an idea welcomed by most individuals. At the same time, any such financial benefit is often considered to be nothing more than a temporary benefit, rather than recognition of their hard work and contribution towards organizational growth. Employees often prefer non-financial recognition, which they consider to be a more interesting, memorable and effective way for organizations to acknowledge and appreciate high-performing employees. In addition to ensuring greater employee satisfaction, such recognition proves advantageous and organization in the following ways.

  • It acts as a great motivational tool in enhancing the sense of loyalty and engagement of the employees.
  • It offers a more creative and effective way to appreciate employees for their good work and inspires them to continue doing so.
  • It is the most cost-effective of all the different types of employee recognition methods and hence can be implemented by organizations of all sizes.
  • It makes the whole experience of being recognized and appreciated truly amazing for the employees and encourages their co-workers to put in their best efforts.

Best non-monetary recognition ideas

In order to get the above-discussed benefits of non-monetary recognition, it is important to do some research on the various options available. While there are numerous ideas that can be categorized as nonmonetary awards, not all of them might suit the unique recognition needs of the organization and its employees. However, there are a few top ideas that can be implemented by almost every organization irrespective of its size and operating model. Here are the top ten such ideas:

Flexible work timing/ Time-off

Most employees today strive to attain a great work-life balance, hence providing them the freedom to work flexible hours helps them to fulfill this objective. This can be one of the most satisfactory employee recognition ideas.

Extra paid leave

Providing the employees a couple of additional paid off days can enhance their happiness significantly. Being able to spend a bit more quality time with family and friends enables them to relax and keeps them motivated.

Choice of projects

Another effective way to recognize the achievements of employees is to allow them to choose their next project. In addition to making the employees feel truly appreciated it strengthens their sense of reliability and commitment.

Organize a luncheon

Organizing a formal lunch in honor of the employee to be recognized is one of the most popular employee recognition practices. It is better to choose an out-of-office restaurant to minimize stress and have more fun.

Provide career opportunities

Enabling the employees to step into the shoes of their supervisors or managers is also a great way to recognize them. It also helps them to access their suitability for such roles.

Handwritten letter of appreciation

Rather than sending the usual employee recognition email, delivering a handwritten letter of appreciation can prove more effective. It helps the employees to feel valued and gives them a sense of belonging.

Make use of a brag board

Set up a board in the workspace where other employees leave short notes of appreciation for the employee for a specific duration. Being recognized by peers can prove to be a great motivator.

Do the genie act

Learn about one specific desire of the employee that can be fulfilled by the organization and make sure that it is done. This might require managers and supervisors to do extensive research.

Help them learn a new skill

In order to remain competitive, employees need to constantly upgrade their skills. Providing assistance in this context to deserving employees can actually prove to be an effective method of recognition.

Arrange a meeting with their role model

Most employees draw inspiration from one or more senior executives, whom they consider to be their role models. Arranging a one-on-one meeting with this executive can prove extremely gratifying and rewarding for the employee

Overall non-monetary staff awards provide a cost-effective way of assuring the employees that they are valued and appreciated for their hard work and contribution and this, in turn, enhances their sense of belonging and loyalty.

Making employee recognition a fun and wacky experience– useful tips and ideas

Recognizing the efforts and achievements of employees is essential to keep them motivated and engaged. While most organizations have an employee recognition program in place, a majority of these end up being simply plain and boring. This is true even for organizations that use innovative employee recognition ideas to boost the morale and confidence of their workforce. In fact, most organizations focus only on finding the best ways to recognize and reward the employees based on their competency and performance. This makes them ignore the other equally important aspect of making the whole experience a truly fun-filled and memorable experience for the employees.

Need to make employee recognition fun

It is a well-acknowledged fact that the primary objective of employee recognition is to enhance the happiness and satisfaction levels of employees as it inspires them to be more productive. However, offering recognition in a dull and boring manner can reduce its effectiveness. By adding a fun element to the entire process, organizations can make sure that the event remains etched in the memory of the employees for a long time. They feel happy and motivated upon reminiscing the event and that drives them to improve their performance.

Tips to make recognition wacky and fun-filled

Making employee recognition wacky and fun is known to provide better results than using plain employee recognition quotes. Moreover, recognizing employees in a funny way is often simpler and provides them yet another opportunity to share a laugh with co-workers. Discussed below are a few useful tips and ideas that can help organizations in this context:

Use funny titles for the awards

Using wacky and funny titles while recognizing employees can make the process highly interesting and enjoyable. The important thing to remember here is that the titles chosen should be laughable without being hurtful to the employees in any manner. Even though making up appropriate titles might require some research and creativity, it is sure to make the whole experience of being recognized as truly memorable and enthralling for the employees.

Examples: Some examples of hilarious employee recognition award names include the following.

  • Mr/Ms. Sqeauky Clean – For employees who like to keep their workspaces immaculately clean.
  • Mr/Ms. Bermuda Triangle – For employees who can always be counted on to have a stock of extra paper, stapler, markers, and other such office accessories, etc.
  • The Snack King/Queen – For employees who constantly need to munch on something while working.

Invest in unusual trophies

Another way to make staff rewards exciting and joyful is for the organizations to invest in unusual trophies. These trophies should reflect the reason for which the employees are being recognized in a physical sense of the word. Such mementos are not only unique but also quite easy and cost-effective to acquire. Most importantly, these trophies are sure to bring a smile on the faces of the recipients whenever they look at them.

Examples: Given below are a few examples of unique trophy ideas that can add a fun element to employee recognition.

  • An actual rock – To recognize employees who are known to offer constant support and exhibit a high sense of team spirit.
  • A monthly planner – For employees who are constantly busy in meetings and conferences.
  • A duct tape – For employees capable of fixing almost anything in the office.

Certificates craved in wood in various cartoon characters

Certificates and citations form an integral part of recognition and rewards for employees to motivate and inspire them constantly. However, rather than getting them printed on paper, an interesting twist would be to get the wordings of the certificates and citations inscribed onto wooden plaques shaped like cartoon characters. Alternately, the wooden plaques may be designed in the shape of an animal that best matches the purpose of the award.

Examples: Some examples of wooden plaques that can be extremely fun-filled and creative as follows.

  • Mickey Mouse – For employees with a high maturity level and great team spirit.
  • Jerry the Mouse – For employees with a deep sense of curiosity and resourcefulness.
  • Dog-shaped Plaque – For employees who exhibit great loyalty and commitment towards the organization.

A funny surprise on reaching the office

A funny reception awaiting the employees on their office arrival also makes the process of recognition much memorable. This would often require the participation of colleagues of the employees. Due to this, it may be more effective than other ideas.

Examples: A few examples of recognition through funny pranks by co-workers:

  • Covering the entire workspace of the employee with sticky notes having messages of appreciation from colleagues.
  • Reception by colleagues dressed up as the favorite characters or people that the employee might consider their role models

There is no end to the number of ideas for employee recognition that one can come up with through some amount of brainstorming. Implementing such fun and wacky ideas can add more value to the employee recognition program and make it a truly amazing experience for the recipients.

Peer-to-Peer Recognition – understanding the nuts and bolts

When it comes to recognizing and rewarding their employees, organizations follow their own unique systems and processes. This is due to the differences in the work culture and operational models of organizations. Increasingly, peer to peer recognition is emerging as a popular and effective way of employee engagement and motivation. In fact, experts consider it to be an important contributor towards building an excellent company culture, which in turn impacts employee satisfaction and retention. When implemented and managed in a proper manner, peer to peer recognition can offer a wide range of benefits for the organization.

Benefits of peer to peer recognition

In recent years, peer to peer recognition has emerged as a powerful technique for organizations to drive employee motivation. Being recognized and appreciated by their peers tends to make employees get a greater sense of satisfaction, self-worth, acknowledgment, and achievement. The important benefits are as follows:

  1. It helps in creating a great culture at the workplace

Peer to peer recognition empowers employees with the necessary tools to praise others, appreciate their accomplishments and provide positive feedback. This makes them feel truly engaged and helps build a great team. Moreover, it provides employees with an opportunity to share their views and opinions beyond their own assignments and responsibilities. This helps to create a more friendly and atmosphere at the workplace and promotes the development of strong interpersonal bonds between employees. This ultimately contributes towards creating a positive work culture.

  1. It helps develop a sense of collaboration among employees

A recognition culture that involves peers helps in fostering a deep sense of collaboration and camaraderie between members of the workforce. Whether it is finding the best employee recognition quotes or choosing the most appropriate way to appreciate their colleagues’ contributions and achievements, it improves team spirit and interdependency between team members.

  1. It helps in the empowerment of employees

The ability to recognize and reward the efforts and achievements of co-workers tends to give employees positive energy and happiness. They are also likely to experience a greater sense of satisfaction about the entire process of recognition as they are in control of what is happening. This creates a greater sense of empowerment and hence ensures greater level of participation. This, in turn, has a positive impact on employee efficiency and productivity.

  1. It helps in promoting transparency and openness

Most organizations strive to create a transparent and open work culture; implementing peer to peer recognition systems helps in enhancing the level of trust and camaraderie between employees. The employees feel free to share their opinions and express their views in a free and frank manner. As the employees become more open with each other and their seniors, the work environment becomes increasingly transparent.

  1. Changing role of managers and senior leadership

It is a common perception that the growing popularity of peer to peer recognition may make managers and leaders irrelevant in the whole process. However, this is not true; as the planning and implementation of peer to peer recognition will still remain the responsibility of the managers. Also, despite the effectiveness of this type of recognition, employees would still want to be appreciated for their achievements by their superiors. In fact, most employees are likely to consider a simple appreciation from their managers as valuable (if not more than) as the recognition and appreciation they receive from their peers. Hence, it would be safe to say that the managers and senior leadership still have an important role to play in employee recognition.

Peer recognition has become an important part of the workplace today and has been helpful for organizations to improve employee satisfaction and well-being, which directly impacts organizational performance and retention.

Tips to write great ‘Thank You’ notes and appreciation emails for Employee Recognition

Organizations today understand the importance of rewarding and recognizing the efforts and achievements of their employees in a proper and timely manner. Hence it is not surprising that they consider the time, money and effort spent in setting up such recognition programs truly worthwhile. While the employee recognition ideas followed within each organization may differ significantly, they all share the common objective of enhancing workforce motivation and engagement levels. In this context, the appreciation mails and thank you notes provided to the employees as a part of the overall recognition or reward are of great significance. Hence these mails and notes need to be composed with utmost care and consideration.

Importance of good appreciation emails

It is the responsibility of the employers to ensure that their employees feel happy and satisfied with the current work environment. One effective way of ensuring the same is by appreciating their smallest efforts, achievements, and behaviors that may affect organizational growth. A well-written email of appreciation featuring relevant employee recognition quotes can prove extremely effective in this respect. Such emails ensure the following benefits for employers in terms of employee engagement and motivation:

  • They help in building a strong relationship between the employers and their managers and supervisors. A hand-written letter appreciating the service and achievement of the employees can go a long way in fostering a positive bond between the two.
  • The emails/letters help in enhancing the sense of belonging and loyalty for the organization among the employees. An employee recognition mail, containing a note of thanks, assures the members of the workforce that their efforts are valued and appreciated by their superiors.
  • The appreciation emails help in enhancing the job satisfaction levels of the employees and reduce their chances of quitting the organization. These emails act as reminders for the employees about their significant contribution towards organizational growth and success.
  • The most important benefit of employee recognition citation is that it keeps the employees motivated and encouraged to perform better. These emails reflect the fact that their employers are happy with them and it motivates them to push up their performance even more.

Challenges of writing a good appreciation email

Most organizations focus their efforts on finding creative employee recognition ideas while ignoring the importance of writing good appreciation notes to accompany the rewards. This is mainly due to the fact that writing such letters requires specific skills and a good hold over language. However, not all managers might possess these key skills and hence might not be capable of compiling a good citation. In addition, the managers might feel confused about which points to highlight and which to omit while compiling an email of appreciation, especially in the case of employees receiving staff awards for multiple reasons.

Tips for writing citations

Writing a good email of appreciation to accompany the rewards for employees to motivate and inspire them requires some effort on the part of the managers. While it is not important for the managers to write these emails in an elaborate manner, they, however, need to make sure that they cover specific points to get the desired results. Given below are some useful tips that can it easier for managers to write authentic, memorable and impactful messages of appreciation for their employees to accompany both cash and non-financial rewards.

  • Clearly specify the reason: The reason for which the employees are being rewarded and recognized should be specified clearly and precisely, preferably in the first paragraph of the email/ letter.
  • Highlight the results of their efforts: In addition to specifying the reason for recognition, the managers also need to cite the benefits attained by the organization that made the employee worthy of recognition.
  • Use the right language and tone: The managers should use the language that is relevant according to the type of employee recognition being conferred on the selected individuals so that it makes them feel valued.
  • Try to keep it personal: It is important for the managers to frame each email of appreciation to make it unique and personal for every employee.
  • Use the name of the employee multiple times: It is a good practice for the managers to focus on using the name of the employee in the email as many times as they can.
  • Narrate a story: Managers may also try relating the specific reward with other employee recognition examples of the employee and weaving a success story for them.
  • Don’t forget to say thanks: The most important aspect of writing a great email of appreciation is to include a line thanking the employees for their hard work and achievements.

Getting rewarded ad recognized by their superiors for their good work and performance can boost the morale of employees in a big way. However, when these rewards are accompanied by a well-worded email or letter of appreciation, it ensures even great sense of happiness and satisfaction.

10 innovative ideas for employee recognition that organizations should consider

Employee engagement is one of the key aspects of enhancing employee engagement and motivation levels. When employees feel appreciated, they are consistently self-driven to perform their best and make a positive contribution to organizational growth. Given this, an increasing number of organizations are investing in employee recognition programs. Unfortunately, a majority of these programs are based on traditional employee recognition concepts, which, in most cases have lost their appeal and validity for most employees. Such programs often fail to provide the desired results in term of enhancing employee output and engagement. That is why companies today need to find innovative recognition ideas to create a motivated workforce. Discussed in this article such creative employee recognition ideas that organizations may consider.

Plan a surprise event

Planning a surprise recognition event or party is a unique way to appreciate the contribution and achievements of employees. Receiving appreciation for their work in an unexpected manner from peers and superiors can go a long way in boosting the morale of the employees. Organizations can even make employees feel a little unappreciated during the run-up to the surprise event to make it more impactful.

Set up a wall of fame

Create a wall within the workplace for putting up notices detailing the achievements of the employees along with their candid images when they are engrossed in work. These notices and images can be accompanied by relevant employee recognition quotes, to further inspire the other members of the workforce. This can be accomplished digitally as well.

Unplanned treats

Announce a spontaneous team lunch to acknowledge the efforts or achievements of a specific employee. Managers can also treat their teams at their favorite restaurants without any prior announcements as a mark of appreciation. Such initiatives give employees a sense of being valued and also helps in enhancing team spirit.

Citations and sticky notes

Another innovative way of appreciating employees is to leave employee recognition citation or sticky notes saying “Thank You!” or even a few words of praise on their workstations. An even better idea might be to place the notes along with a bunch of flowers on the employees’ desks before their arrival at work. This will make them feel pleasantly surprised besides keeping them happy and motivated for many days to come.

Provide paid time-off

One of the best ways of appreciating the efforts and hard work of employees is to offer them paid time off from work. Alternately, organizations can sponsor a day-long outing for the employees with their family or friends at a destination of their choice. This method of recognition can prove extremely effective as it helps the employees to relax while feeling appreciated for their contribution.

Introduce prize tokens

Prize tokens are definitely one of the most innovative employee recognition examples that companies can implement. Every time an employee does something that is worthy of appreciation and recognition, they can be given a prize token. These token can then be exchanged for specific gifts, which might be decided by the organizations after careful consideration of employee expectations and the recognition budget.

Announce it on social media

Social media has come to play an important role in the everyday lives of most individuals. Hence announcing the achievements of the employees on social media is a good idea for recognition for the modern workforce. With the extensive reach of social media, sharing such news can help in enhancing the appreciation received by the employees manifold and from all quarters.

Freedom to pick a project of choice

Giving the employees the freedom to take a pick from special upcoming projects is another creative employee recognition idea. In addition to providing the employees with an opportunity to showcase their skills and competence, it assures them of being trusted by the management to shoulder bigger responsibilities.

Special privileges for a limited period

Providing special privileges to employees for a limited period is another innovative employee recognition idea. Special facilities may be accorded in the form of free meals, transportation facility or even an opportunity to interact and work with their role models within the company for a fortnight or month. Such recognition can help in enhancing the self-confidence and sense of self-worth of the employees.

Give the desired experience

An innovative recognition idea is to present the employees with an experience that they might have been craving for long. This may be related to work or even personal in nature, although the employees should be made aware of exactly why they are receiving it. This helps in enhancing the sense of self-worth and the level of happiness of the employees.

Adopting innovative ideas for employee recognition gives the adds greater meaning to the entire program besides enhancing its impact towards creating a highly motivated workforce, which in turn leads to enhanced organizational growth and success.

5 Common mistakes organizations make with their employee recognition programs and how to avoid them

The main objective of employee rewards and recognition programs is to appreciate and celebrate the efforts and achievements of the members of the workforce and make them feel valued. These programs prove extremely effective in boosting employee morale and engagement levels besides improving retention. However, these benefits can be reaped by an organization only if they manage the employee recognition program effectively. Poorly structured programs can cause more harm than good and even affect the overall performance and productivity of the workforce. The failure of recognition systems is often due to mistakes that organizations make while developing and implementing them. The five most common mistakes and the best ways to avoid them are discussed in this article.

Adopting the one-size-fits-all approach

Most organizations feel that when it comes to recognizing and rewarding the employees, having a single uniform approach is the best strategy. However, such an approach often doesn’t work since the workforce comprises of different individuals with varying demographics and motivational factors. The “one-size-fits-all” approach tends to turn even the most effective reward systems into a mere formality and fails to generate the desired results.

The best way to avoid this mistake is to focus on developing a flexible reward system that can be customized as varying employee needs and expectations.

Focusing only on cash rewards

Cash rewards are often viewed by organizations as the best way to motivate employees across all levels. However, focusing only on the cash without actually appreciating or praising the efforts or achievements of the employees may not prove as effective. While employees might appreciate the additional amount they receive, it might not keep them motivated for long. Moreover, cash rewards tend to lose their novelty after some time and may fail to generate any excitement among future recipients. On the other hand, non-monetary rewards tend to have a deeper impact and are generally more relevant and effective over time.

Organizations can create an employee recognition system that includes both cash and non-monetary rewards as per the preference of the recipients.

Offering rewards only for performance and efficiency

Organizations that base their reward systems only on the performance and efficiency shown by the employees are likely to get poor results. While it is important to reward these aspects, they should not be the only criteria for the nomination or selection of an employee. This might result in the creation of a system where the same people get rewarded and recognized repeatedly simply because they are more efficient and better performers than their peers.

Organizations should consider other aspects such as the initiatives taken by the employees, improvement in their performance, specific behaviours that boost efficiency and even innovative ideas should also be considered for recognizing employees. This can help in making the reward programs more inclusive and ensure greater participation from a majority of the workforce.

Limiting recognition only to a specific level of employment

One major mistake made by organizations with respect to their recognition programs is to limit it only to employees within a specific level of the organizational hierarchy. Such organizations tend to overlook the need to reward and appreciate mid and senior-level managers and supervisors for their efforts, believing that they are self-motivated and not require such incentives. They might not understand that senior professionals crave for recognition and appreciation, as much, and sometimes even more than their juniors.

It is important for organizations to develop a comprehensive reward and recognition system that is applicable across all levels of the organization. The system can have various categories of recognition to include different levels of employees, ensuring that employee reward system is more efficient, appropriate and satisfactory for everyone involved.

Keeping rewards and recognition private

Many times the organizations choose to make reward and recognition a low key affair and avoid having a proper presentation ceremony for the recipients. This conflicts with the very basic idea of appreciating and acknowledging the efforts and contribution of employees and often makes the system ineffective.

Employees feel elated when their employers choose to appreciate and reward them publicly and the entire organization aware of their hard work and achievements. That is why organizations should make every effort to spread the news about their employees being rewarded and for what, as it can help keep them motivated and inspired for a long time.

Being aware of the above pitfalls of employee recognition and the best ways to avoid them can help organizations get the most of out of their workforce through enhanced productivity and a greater sense of loyalty.

Advent of customer-driven employee rewards system – How and what role can customers play?

The benefits of having an effective employee reward and recognition system are well known to most organizations today.  However, there is a new debate has already begun, if and how customers can play any role in rewarding employees or even influencing the process of rewarding within an organization. Even though the idea of letting customers play a direct and decisive role in employee rewards might seem fairly disruptive for organizations, but it could be an innovative way to incorporate customer feedback into the whole process, thereby increasing its credibility and transparency.

Questions that need to be answered first

Even though the idea of providing the customers a greater say in rewarding and recognition of employees might seem quite appealing, implementing it may not be as easy. In fact, organizations may have to face considerable challenges getting buy-in for setting up up such a system and implementing the same. Organizations intending to set up such a program need to answer several questions  such as:

  1. How much say would customers have in rewarding and recognizing the employees?
  2. Can customers be granted the freedom to recommend employees for receiving rewards and recognition?
  3. What system should organizations need to provide to their customers for providing their feedback and recommendations?
  4. Who will fund the rewards programs if the customers are also involved in the process (especially in a B2B context)?
  5. What will be the potential impact on productivity and employee motivation? Will it justify the investment?

Answering the questions

Finding satisfactory answers to the above questions is the first step in the direction of establishing a truly effective and well-integrated reward system. The points below can help organizations in this context and provide them with the appropriate guidelines to implement the most efficient reward programs:

Level of customer involvement

The first and the most important question that needs to be answered is the level to which the customers should be allowed to become involved in the recognition process. This would generally depend on the type of products and services being offered by the organization as well as their level of customer engagement.  Most organizations might feel that reward and recognition in an internal matter of the company and hence customer involvement should be kept to a minimum. They would prefer the common methods of seeking feedback about individual customer interactions and rating of such interactions as the best way to involve them in the recognition process. This would be most relevant in businesses such as retail, hospitality, customer service operations, etc.

Customer recommendation

When it comes to answering the question of allowing the customers to recommend employees for rewards and recognition, organizations need to consider two main types of employees namely blue collared and white collared employees.  In most organizations, customer interaction with white collared employees is more direct, as compared to blue-collared one, especially for employees working in junior positions. So, allowing the customers to recommend white-collared employees (and those blue-collared employees offering direct customer service) for rewards and recognitions may actually help in improving overall customer experience.

Infrastructure required

Most organizations feel concerned about the investment required for providing the right infrastructure to facilitate customer involvement in reward programs. However, they can utilize existing systems with minor changes and even various online and social media tools to achieve this objective in a cost-effective manner. They can simply seek customer feedback or ask them about the employees they would like to recommend for rewards and recognition through e-mail, SMS, Whatsapp messages or even in-app features.

Funding the program

This is perhaps the biggest challenge that organizations face with respect to involving customers in the recognition process. Since most organizations have set budgets for recognition programs, such customer-driven programs need to be incorporated within those budgets. However, in specific cases, the organizations might ask their customers to contribute in some manner towards the funding of rewards for exceptional employees. This might be especially through for higher-end process such as IT, analytics, accounting, etc. including those who work in a virtual captive model.

Impact of the program

As far as the impact of customer involvement is concerned, organizations can rest assured that such initiatives that have been well thought-through will provide generally favorable results. Such programs will help in enhancing customer satisfaction levels besides assuring the employees of a completely transparent reward system based on customer centricity and performance. This will, in turn, enhance the overall productivity and efficiency of the employees and the organization.

Keeping in mind the above points, organizations can come up with an effective strategy to secure customer involvement in their employee reward and recognition programs and build greater customer-centricity, motivation, and productivity of their workforce.