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Reward and Recognition

Question:

Our company has been focused on productivity lately. What are your thoughts on productivity as it relates to reward and recognition?

Answer:

Employees like being recognized. Those that feel valued are often the most productive and engaged in the workforce. The great thing about reward and recognition is that the ‘reward’ doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary (though that is always appreciated too). Giving praise for a project well done or extra effort given is not only cost effective but easy to do, once you get into the habit. While simply acknowledging a job well done is a great first step, try to make the recognition public so that other employees can join in the celebration, providing their own praise, and also see that hard efforts are rewarded.

What are some things to provide recognition for?

  • Extra effort – getting a project or task done before the deadline or under budget
  • Providing great customer service – to both internal or external customers
  • Compliments give from another department, a vendor or even a customer – this seems simple enough, but often times these thanks are filed away in the employment file and forgotten

How you choose to recognize or reward the efforts will often depend on the magnitude of the accomplishment or the impact to the company. Some ideas to consider:

  • Putting accomplishments in the company newsletter or other public forum
  • Sending a hand-written Thank You note
  • Sharing accomplishments with others during a staff meeting
  • Recognition as Employee of the month
  • Rewarding with money or gift cards
  • Bringing in treats, lunch or taking a special outing as a team
  • Offering to pay for continuing education, training event or seminar
  • Giving the employee more responsibility or mentoring opportunities

As with most things HR, be sure to document in the employee’s file those times when you offered praise and recognition. We definitely don’t recommend saving the accolades to present during a regular performance review (recognize them at the time the event happens) – but having them documented and being able to again refer to them during the review is a great idea and a great way to enforce that you do indeed appreciate their hard work.

Next week is Administrative Professionals Week (always the last full week of April). Be sure to take some time to thank your administrative staff by recognizing their hard work. Not only is it important to recognize them during this specially designated week of recognition, but be sure to show your thanks throughout the year.

Employee recognition is just one aspect of Employee Relations, but is vital to maintaining an engaged and productive workforce that is content to continue employment with the company for many years. We love creating no cost/low cost ideas for improving productivity and impacting employee engagement and retention. Visit our Employee Relations page to learn how we can assist you with ideas for improving your productivity and handling other Employee Relations issues.