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The Benefits of an Employee Recognition Program

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 9 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Employee Recognition Program Employers

Employee recognition is a concept that is much undervalued in the UK workplace. But this effective communications and rewards tool can lead to a more harmonious and productive workplace.

Employee Recognition in the UK

Employee recognition is still much underused in the UK. Many employers do not feel the need to recognise or reward employees for simply doing their jobs. Many employers also feel that setting up an employee recognition program would take time out of a busy working schedule. There is also the fact that employee recognition could breed resentment in the workplace if certain employees are continually outperforming others. But employee recognition has benefits that outweigh most of the negative assumptions made by employers.

Employee Recognition and Performance Program

There are many benefits to an employee recognition program for both employers and employees. A recognition program is one way for employers to say thank you to employees. Employee recognition also has the benefit of boosting an employee’s self esteem and this can lead to increased productivity. This program is a form of reward and encouragement and shows that employers respect and take employees seriously. Employees who are rewarded feel more involved with a company and are more likely to enjoy work knowing that their efforts are being recognised.

Principles Involved in Employee Recognition

There are certain factors to remember when implementing an employee recognition program. Employers must set out the level of efforts required from employees in order to be rewarded. This is not a ‘best employee of the month’ type of program. Fairness is a big part of employee recognition. It should be made clear to employees that everyone who puts in a certain level of effort can be rewarded. This is not just about ‘who comes out on top’ as that sort of competitive level will simply breed resentment and lead to gripes about employer favouritism.

Setting Guidelines for Employee Recognition

If implementing employee recognition the employer must make employees aware of the criteria and guidelines. Employees should know the levels expected to receive employee recognition. Setting levels will then mean that any employee who achieves this standard or above will be in line for recognition. Employers should also remember to include all employees in the recognition program; there should be no favouritism. Programs that mean an employer must select an employee without using the guidelines will also simply be viewed as favouritism.

Simple Rewards Used as Employee Recognition

A verbal thank you from an employer can be viewed as employee recognition. But a verbal or emailed thank you does not usually inspire productivity from employees. Simple rewards that can be given for employee recognition can include:

  • Rewarding employees with a free lunch during the working day
  • Financial incentives such as bonuses for teams who work above and beyond the required recognition guidelines
  • An official note of recognition that can be added to an employee file and recognised during appraisals
  • Provide work to the employee that they have mentioned enjoying but is not part of their regular duties
  • Pay more attention to the employees needs and consider ways for career development within the company
  • Provide free company services or goods for employees as a form of recognition
  • Consider new forms of employee benefits to be provided if employees are increasing productivity
  • Respect employee initiative and ask for opinions and ideas to increase workplace productivity during meetings

Ask Employees How They Would Like to Be Recognised

Before implementing an employee recognition program call a staff meeting. Ask for employee opinions on recognition and take notice of their ideas on how they would like to be rewarded. Employees will not all be impressed with staff bonuses or free lunches. Many would rather career development options such as training are used as a reward to help career progression. Employers who do take notice of their employee’s ideas will find less resistance or scepticism to an employee recognition program.

An employee recognition program does not require a great deal of work to implement. But the benefits of this type of program can usually be seen as soon as employees are made aware of it. There will always be some resistance to new initiatives in the workplace. But an employee recognition program is one of the best ways to thank employees and increase productivity.

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