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Susan M. Heathfield

Does Your Recognition Program Work?

By March 7, 2014

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Today is Employee Appreciation Day. For employee appreciation day, let's take a look at some of the criteria for successful employee appreciation and recognition.

A reader, working in a successful business, wrote to ask how to make his monthly employee recognition program more effective. The recognition program essentially asked coworkers to nominate each other for a monthly recognition that only one person received. And, no employees nominated anyone for the recognition program.

I responded that I am not a fan of a monthly recognition program, because I have only rarely found that such a recognition program works. Employers are attempting to provide the motivation and recognition that employees need and want, but recognizing one employee a month, with no criteria established, doesn't work well. Even if the criteria have been established, for an appropriate, appreciated recognition program, every employee who meets the criteria should then be recognized.

Whether employees will nominate each other in a recognition program is also dependent on the company culture that has been established over time. If recognition has only rarely occurred and if criteria for recognition are not communicated and understood, employees will resist getting involved in a recognition program.

Here are the criteria that a recognition program needs to meet for success. For a successful recognition program, you are best going with regular, even daily, recognition that rewards people for specific contributions, and that rewards all employees who accomplish what you specify.

In an environment in which recognition is common and widespread, it is much easier to involve employees in a recognition program or process. You may also want to ask employees how they'd like to be involved. Their answers may surprise you.

Image Copyright Lisa Gagne

More About a Recognition Program

March 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm
(1) Raphael says:

Agreed – recognition should be frequent, specific, timely, and public.

Peer-to-peer recognition platforms can get an employee recognition program up and running in minutes.

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