Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Employee Engagement: Reward and Recognition Programs

One of the known writer, Barsha Chakraborty has following to share:

I have been meeting too many people who are discontented with their jobs. Quite a few of them are top performers in their present jobs and take home good salaries. What can be done differently to retain and engage them?
Competition to attract and keep the best employees is intense. Today’s employees desire the best of everything. They need the best compensation packages, faster growth, attractive benefit packages, great working environment, etc. Ongoing recognition is a strategic business practice successful organizations embrace to increase satisfaction levels of today’s employees. Yet sometimes we struggle to find appropriate ways to recognize and reward excellent behavior and performance.
Successful R&R programs have to be carefully planned and well executed. While there is no magic formula, the following guidelines can lead you to design your own successful program:-
  1. Flexible approach- There is no set method to motivate anyone. Rewards must be designed such that it caters to employee’s aspirations and values.
  2. Align with company values – Use your company’s core values as a foundation for recognition program. You could keep an award such as ‘Values Ambassador’ for the employee who is aligned to company’s values. They can be voted by peers supported by instances.
  3. Time the rewards properly- There is no point in awarding someone for something that happened many months ago and which is not remembered by anyone now or has lost its importance.
  4. Management participation- Involve the top management during the R&R ceremonies. Getting the award from the leaders of the company has a different meaning altogether.
  5. Seek employee participation- No program can be designed in isolation by the HR team that impacts the entire workforce.
  6. Minimize rules –Keep the program simple. You don’t want employees confused and uninterested.
  7. Identify what needs to be rewarded- If innovation is the key to succeed in your business then awards that showcase new ideas need to be given preference.
  8. Set eligibility criteria – Acknowledge performance above and beyond the norm.
  9. Consider both cash and non cash options- You never know what motivates who. Rewards like paid days off, paid vacations, free meals energize employees more than monetary reward.
  10. Involve peer recognition- It is a wonderful feeling to know that your team recognizes your efforts.
  11.  Use social media to recognize- It’s faster, easier and has a high impact in today’s world.
  12. Understand the cultural difference if your program is to be run in multi locations.
  13. Recognize across levels.
  14. Always measure the effectiveness of the program in frequent intervals. Reassess & modify if required.
Apart from a formal R&R program create some small practices that impact the workforce at no or low costs, such as:-13th NOv-1
a)      Distribute thank you cards that employees can give to each other at any level. AT&T practices this in their Florida office. In four years, employees at AT&T have written more than 130,000 thank you notes.
b)      Hold surprises such as free pizzas on Fridays or movie tickets for the best teams
c)       Organize treasure hunts with exciting gifts
d)      Place a Gong on the floor and make the manager bang it every time someone is to be appreciated.
e)      Allot parking slots as awards and change them every month
f)       Host parties for high performing team members
g)      Organize a carnival in office with magicians and other surprises
h)      Organize days when employees can bring their children to work
i)        Screen sports programs or matches that interest majority in office on large screens
j)        Organize work related contests and reward the winners
k)      Mark a whiteboard as a wall of fame and place it somewhere where everyone can see it.
Employees, when they feel valued, feel secure and motivated. This translates into positive feelings and inspires them to work harder and with more passion.
Research indicates that recognizing employees is critical to engage and retain them. A good reward and recognition program can lead to:-
i.            Increase in employee morale
ii.            More engaged employees
iii.            Reinforce desired behaviors
iv.            Decrease in absenteeism
v.            Increase in productivity
vi.            Lower turnover
vii.            Encourage loyalty
viii.            Attract best talent
ix.            Higher profitability because of the above factors
As a manager, these basic tips will help you keep your team motivated:-13thNov-2
  1. Remember, the old adage – Praise in public and reprimand in private. Follow this to the T.
  2. Use every team meeting to celebrate success.
  3. Mix big awards with small pat on the back.
  4. Understand what drives each of your team members. As a manager, use those as motivators.
  5. Provide challenging role/job. A lot of times, it is very important for the employees to learn new things on job
  6. Regular and relevant training is a highly effective motivator.
  7. Organize regular review sessions. Identify their strengths and improvement areas and help them bridge the gaps.
The key is in finding fresh ways to motivate and reward your employees.
We would like to hear from you. Do you have any thoughts or ideas on how to recognize employees? Would you want to share any best practices that you follow in your current organization?

Source: Baksha, Purely People

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