Archive for the 'employee incentive programs' Category
Every day executives walk through the workplace and never really notice or acknowledge those individual employees who just seem to blend into the work environment. Those employees come to work, they do their job as well as they can, they aren’t very demonstrative in their daily pursuits and rarely volunteer for anything. They are just one of the team, and surely don’t stand out in the crowds of other more highly engaged employees.
Our business world is loaded with these types of employees. They are called average, and as average they make up at least 50% of the workforce. They rarely get noticed for anything unless enlisted to participate in the project that gets all the press. They might be shy, quiet or reserved. They just want to come to work, do their job and go home. No muss no fuss, no bother as advertising in the 60’s used to proclaim about cleaning materials.
But are they really average? Can they be encouraged to become more engaged? As we’ve all noticed throughout our work lives, the steady silent types can be a dynamic force when motivated to get involved. Not everyone responds to the rally’s, the hype and noise surrounding events that are designed to get you pumped up, the banners, the videos, the posters, pocket cards, reminder wristbands and all types of desk mementos of the moment. In fact some recoil at these kinds of things and find them just silly or a waste of time. So how do you get their attention, how do you start them on their journey to become more engaged?
There is one thing they everyone wants and that is to be recognized for their effort. Mark Twain said it best, “I can live for two months on one good complement.” How your people want it done and when and by who is up to you to decide as we are all different. But everyone will respond to a kind and heartfelt thanks and a meaningful award for their effort. The trouble with most recognition programs is that they are designed to reward extra effort, to reward those who go the extra mile. Problem is when you’ve got an “average” person who truly performs higher than their ability, management is rarely there to notice it.
As we hold employees to be accountable for their work, leaders need to hold themselves as accountable for the development effort and recognition of their people. If you have challenges that never go away, ask yourself what you’re doing to change things. Ask yourself when was the last time you noticed an employee for the loyal work performed for years and years or if the case of a new employee for even months?
From all of us at AwardEmployees.com
May the Christmas angel bring you a wonderful holiday and
happy and healthy New Year.
It’s hard to find an organization of any size that doesn’t have some form of employee recognition program, even if it’s just a years of service program. So why don’t many of these programs work?
While there are a myriad of reasons, almost all of them written about over the last few years, this article from CBS Money Watch offers a little different perspective. It was written by Jeff Haden an author of several books on business and investing that reached #1 on Amazon’s best seller list. He offers some advice that is pretty simple to follow yet very powerful in terms of producing results. If you follow it you will take your employee recognition program to a new and more effective level. Buy heeding his advice you will do more than just pay lip service to praising employees for their efforts.
A recap of his recommendations is:
- See every employee as an individual.
- Assume too soon is never soon enough.
- Provide details that show you know what they have done.
- Be genuine in your praise
- Skip constructive criticism when recognizing good performance
- Actively look for employees to praise.
- Leverage the surprise factor.
- Spot opportunities to share the “praise wealth.”
As mentioned, when you follow these simple steps recognizing employees will get easier over time. You will be building a habit that feeds on itself. When you recognize performance they will naturally perform better which will give you more achievements to recognize.
According to a survey conducted by American Psychological Association…
“Half of all employees who say that they don’t feel valued at work report that they intend to look for a new job in the next year. Conversely the report stated that those employees who feel valued are more likely to report better physical and mental health as well as higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and motivation .“
There are a variety of factors that were linked to employees feeling undervalued at work. Listed were:
- Having fewer opportunities for involvement in decision making
- Less potential for growth and advancement
- Having fewer opportunities for flexible work arrangements
- Don’t feel they receive adequate monetary compensation
- Don’t feel they receive adequate non-monetary awards
- Chronic work stress with too heavy of a work load
- Unclear job expectations
Some employers have taken these issues as opportunities to create a culture where their employees can thrive. While it is obvious that the economy, lack of growth and reduced budgets have caused many of the factors mentioned above, some of these issues can be reduced by paying closer attention to the areas that don’t need higher budgets to make changes. When you do find a way to make your employees feel more valued, there are considerable benefits to your organization. Some listed in the study include:
- A turnover rate that is three times less than the average
- Cutting chronic work stress by as much as 50%
- 10% higher employee satisfaction overall
According to David Ballard, PsyD, MBA head of APA’s Workplace Program,
“Successful organizations have learned that high performance and sustainable results require attention to the relationships among employee, organization, customer and community.”
Obviously the recession and downturn has effected many budgets and caused a great deal of the stress we’re all dealing with. But valuing employees is much more than providing higher compensation. If you face this problem, you might want to examine your recognition practices and programs and revamp them to start to recognize and reward more employees. Saying thank you more often is good beginning
From humble beginnings within the incentive industry over a couple decades ago, gift cards are now the leading award in certain types of reward and recognition programs.
This research from the Incentive Research Federation is quite enlightening. The main conclusion drawn from the survey is that respondents preferred gift cards over cash, 83% to 17%. That’s really astonishing as for years and years the predominant award in incentives and recognition programs has been cash.
Some might say that the survey was skewed a little because the value of the award they used was only $50. We’re sure that detractors of the research (those who sell awards that compete with gift cards) will use this distinction with the assumption that the higher the amount, the more the survey will lean to cash or other merchandise awards. That may be true to a point, but this is not the first research in the last few years that points to gift cards as the number one award of any other non-cash awards in the industry. Actually, as the vast majority of awards used in programs today tend to be $50 to $100 items, this research is very straightforward and accurate.
In many respects cash as an award has outlived its usefulness. Gift cards as noted in the article are easier to administer than cash, are more thoughtful than cash and with gift cards the administrators cited their ability to match recipient’s interests. Using cash in difficult economic times would seem to be the best possible award to use in programs, but the opposite seems to be true. The article states:
“The popularity of gift cards can also be linked to the economic challenges faced by many employees. Recipients account mentally for that (the gift card value) money differently than what they do with their household budget, especially in a recession when the money is tighter, the concept of guilt-free spending – a reason not to spend on household bills – becomes more prevalent and more powerful.”
The usage of open loop (bank cards) and closed loop (retailer gift card) in award programs is about evenly split. Many like the convenience of using a bank card because of the unlimited options for redemptions, while others like to use gift cards because they don’t have the limitations inherent in using bank cards.
With Award of Choice, you have the best of both worlds, tremendous choice with over 500 of the most popular gift cards to choose from and no limitations when they are redeemed.