Employee recognition is a key part of developing and maintaining a highly productive workforce. Although at times it might be thought of as being a nice gesture that an employer uses periodically to make employees feel good, in reality, it is an important tool for communicating what is important to an organization. By recognizing certain behaviors and the associated outcomes, an employer specifies for employees what they would like to see repeated in the future.
When an organization puts into place an effective employee recognition program it accomplishes several key things:
- establishes that the organizational culture values high performance;
- sets the standard for the difference between average or acceptable and high performance while encouraging employees to close the gap;
- attracts highly qualified candidates to the organization that want to work in a dynamic, high performing environment;
- develops strong linkages between employees and managers as they jointly seek to improve organization;
- boosts morale when employees are made aware that the employer notices their contribution and provides recognition in a public manner;
- encourages team members to develop behaviors that exhibit innovation, calculated risk taking, and process improvement; and
- demonstrates that the organization possesses opportunities that lead to employee growth and development.
Research has demonstrated that there are five key characteristics to an effective employee recognition program:
|All team members can participate in the program.|
|Clear and specific guidelines are provided that identifies the rewarded behaviors and outcomes.|
|Possesses objective measures that employees can accomplish.|
|Everyone that meets the identified criteria is rewarded.|
|Recognition is done in a timely and consistent manner with a small award.|
By funding and implementing an employee recognition program, an organization’s goals and objectives will be realized in a more efficient and effective manner. Moreover, customers will receive a higher level of customer service. It is a well-documented fact that the more that employees find their workplace assignments, environment, and relationships to be rewarding, the more productive they are. Employee recognition is a key part of that work equation that leads to better results.