Employees need to feel valued and included in the business they work for. Employee awards and recognition help achieve this sense of inclusion. Various practices of employee awards and recognition exist to help employers show employees how much they value their service.
1. Constructive Reinforcement
Managers need to engage in coaching their employees, rather than just supervising or evaluating them. This improves performance and leads to a more efficient and knowledgeable staff. Coaching can lead to employees receiving promotions and pay increases, resulting in awards and recognition because of the motivation that is sparked within the employee.
Just having some one-on-one time with an employee can boost engagement and performance. Gallup research has shown that most employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged. The difference between an employee that is not engaged and one that is actively disengaged is important. A non-engaged employee does not feel connected to their work and just goes through the motions of their job, doing just enough to keep their job. An actively disengaged employee is simply not happy at work; therefore, they can never offer solutions, and they find it impossible to connect with their employer. There is a large proportion of employees that are seeking other employment at any given time. Having engaged employees can increase a business’s success; whereas disengaged employees can actually cost the business money.
Goal trees provide employees with things to strive for and accomplish. Goals should be set at both a company level and a departmental level. This helps the company recognize employees or teams that achieve either kind of goal. It makes it easier to reward and recognize employees and teams on a job well done. If the employees do not have goals to strive for, it can sometimes be confusing for them to understand what the employer needs from them. For instance, having goals relating to quality, people, customers, productivity, and growth allows the employees to understand their roles.
Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Goals with unrealistic completion dates or that are too ambitious can be discouraging to employees. In these cases, employees are less likely to be concerned with whatever reward or recognition might come along with completing the goal. They may feel overwhelmed and become disengaged. The point of goals is to engage the employee and then be able to recognize them for their work. If the goals do not stretch the employee’s responsibilities and give them something to work towards, they will not be effective.
4. Awards, Bonuses, and Recognition
Rewarding employees with crystal awards can be very beneficial. A physical representation of the hard work an employee has displayed is a constant reminder that the employer values their efforts. Additionally, bonuses in the form of pay increases, gift cards, and other monetary acknowledgements go a long way in making an employee feel appreciated. Employees can also be rewarded for the length of time they have been with a company. For instance, they can receive a bonus when they have been with the company for 5, 10, 15 years. This gives the employee something to work toward and lets the rest of the company know that longevity can be achieved, giving them something to strive for.
Furthermore, letting managers, and not just senior management, dole out recognition in the form of gift cards or gift certificates is important. Including managers, who are on the front line, in recognizing employee efforts that may not be seen by senior management are critical. Employees might think that their labors might go unrecognized by the higher levels of management because these managers do not have daily contact with them. Therefore, it is vital that the managers that oversee the front-line employees be given the opportunity to use their discretion and give out recognition and awards.
Another way to allow employees to be part of the process of awards and recognition is to allow every employee to vote on each other. This would mean giving out awards based on the nomination of co-workers. This makes everyone work harder because you never know who might be voting for you. Then, on a quarterly basis (or however often executive management decides) the employees with the most votes could get a monetary reward, and the announcement would be made company-wide.
The process of awarding and recognizing employees for quality work is multi-faceted. There should be a process on every level that provides for employees to feel like their work is valued and encourage them to do even more for the business. Without any kind of system, a business will suffer and there will be more disengaged than engaged employees. As employee satisfaction rises, so will the success of the business.