Archive for the 'employee awards' Category
A recent article in Incentive Magazine brings together interesting viewpoints from the social sciences and behavioral economics. While there are many principles from the sciences that effect motivation and rewards, these ten are good ones to remember when you are planning your employee recognition systems.
Simply, it’s the law of give and take. Employees may perform well when recognition is provided to them.
When your employees see your best people being recognized, they want to emulate them and be rewarded themselves. Doing this publically always has an impact on the non-recipients.
Positive feedback takes on a special meaning in your communications to all employees.
Recognition validates the employee’s performance and places a value on their contributions.
Employees will work harder for non-cash awards, and can easily justify having them vs. getting money to buy essentials.
Employees can always exchange or transfer awards to others, but the recognition is non-transferable and becomes part of their emotional and psychological bank account.
7. Social Utility
Non-cash rewards will be experiences that people will want to talk about. Nobody talks about their income.
Cash awards are lumped in with compensation and considered as such. Non-monetary awards contain emotional value and memorability.
Recognition is usually unexpected and is always a surprise expression of acknowledgment. Understand the differences between recognition and rewards.
Your employees are motivated by fairness. Be sure to establish the rules of your program so it is equitable to all concerned.
Click here to read the complete article on the Top Ten Scientific Principles to Apply to Rewards and Recognition.
Ever had a job that you thought was really meaningless? One that if you went away tomorrow you think no one would notice? We wonder how many employees go through their daily work lives and wonder just that. It’s certainly not the stuff that fully engaged employees are made of, is it? But unfortunately too many employees go through days like that, and that’s a shame because it’s not their fault. The fault lies with all levels of management that don’t take the time to let their employees know that they matter, really matter to the success of the company.
Simply because when employees understand why their job matters, they will do that job better.
If you don’t know or can’t explain why a job matters, why do you have that job in the first place? Is this one of those positions that is first to be eliminated when times start to get bad? Do you find it difficult to draw any kind of direct relationship between that job function and the internal or external customer that benefits from that work?
Connect the dots for each employee; let them know the importance of that job all the way to the top of the organization and more importantly to the external customer. When the employees know how their performance contributes the overall business and why they matter, they will be more likely to be more involved, get engaged, solve more problems and add more value.
When all levels of management take the time to do this, they will also be in a much better position to recognize and reward that employee for superior performance. That of course sets everything in motion to be able to be repeated up, down and across the lines.
Is it time once again to rehash the discussion of which is better to use for employee recognition and incentive awards… cash or non-cash (like merchandise, travel, gift cards etc)?
Having been in the award industry for many years we’ve been through this debate for what seems like forever. In the beginning, it was always a point of argument with a client, as there were always some executives in any company that felt cash was the only award to use.
With all the research being done these days on the importance of recognition to employee engagement, we do hear less and less of about cash, but there are still many that feel cash is the only way to go. Our position is fairly straightforward. There are places for each in the employee benefit balance. Still, if you ask persons in the HR community you will get a strong response supporting cash as a good motivator. Frankly, as has been proven by incentive industry research this is just not the case.
Certainly cash is the common denominator as compensation for all of us, but for many different objectives it isn’t necessarily the best motivator.
This post from Paul Hebert, one of our favorite award industry gurus, and very knowledgeable on this subject, gives a great overview of this entire discussion. It is well worth the read.
When confronted with a company objective that requires motivating your employees to change behavior and produce different results, don’t just assume that throwing money at will work. If often doesn’t. You may also be pleasantly surprised to find out that you can achieve these objectives with about 1/3 of the cost of the cash program. You see, studies have concluded that it takes about $3 in cash awards to produce the same result as $1 of non-cash.
Remember those hopefully long forgotten days when we had bosses who thought that your pay check was “all the thanks you need?” We’d like to think that they are long forgotten, but unfortunately we hear every day that attitude is still very much present in today’s managers. Maybe it’s the times, maybe it’s just we hear the exceptions (there are a lot of great managers out there) but maybe not.
We are in the “Thanks” business, it’s what we do, and we believe it because we know it works. But it seems that for every one of us, there is a boss out there who defends the philosophy of not thanking employees. As social beings most of us intuitively know that thanks, praise and recognition is good for us. We can’t recall a time when an employee every told us that they hated it when someone thanked or praised them for their effort. They may have been embarrassed about how it was done, but a different issue. The American Psychological Association in a paper entitled Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed simply that a little gratitude does go a long way and motivates increased pro-social behavior.
To not foster a culture of thanks we feel is foolish, it lacks judgment and we think it’s unwise. It’s surely at least counterproductive for everyone involved. Paychecks are great; it’s why they come to work, but it’s only half the contract. It’s just paying what you owe, it’s not showing appreciation.
We’ve heard most of the reasons why managers say they withhold thanks:
- No one thanks me
- Thank people and they’ll only expect more
- If you thank one you have to thank them all
- I thanked an employee one time and he said ‘put it in my paycheck’, who needs that kind of guff
- Thank people and they’ll get false confidence
- I can’t thank people who need to improve
To these managerial types we say get over it. It isn’t about you. If your people expect more appreciation give it to them, they will deliver more to others and your workplace will warm up. You don’t have to thank them all, but once you start you will naturally just thank more and more and it will become a habit. And forget about the snarky ones, those are often malcontents who are looking around the corner at the next job move.
By simply choosing your words carefully it doesn’t mean you have to rise to the level of praising them, and then formally recognizing them. But it is does start that cycle, that will result in a more engaged and productive workforce.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
There is some interesting data that has come out of the 2012 gift card survey of subscribers to Incentive magazine. Highlights are…
- The number of respondents that said gift cards was more effective than cash rose from 27.8% to 36.7%
- As in past years, gift cards are consistently seen as more effective or equally effective as incentive merchandise. Over 56% said more effective and 34% said equally effective.
- Companies have increased the frequency with which they use gift cards throughout the year, as well as the amount they are spending on them.
- Per-recipient spending rose slightly, with spending moving from low-value gift cards to high-value ones this year.
- While spending in the sub-$100 category decreased in 2012, respondents say that budgets in each of the five categories above $100 per-recipient annually were cumulatively up 6.8 percent over 2011
- While December is still the heaviest purchase month, numbers for each of the other months were consistently up over 2011 suggesting that gift cards are being more frequently used throughout the year.
As noted in the report…
“There are signs that the incentive industry’s main message — that cash is an expensive and ineffective way to recognize and reward employees — is reaching more companies”
Gift cards have proven over and over again that they are the #1 award in the incentive and recognition award industry.