Archive for the 'employee recognition programs' Category

def incentives

The assumption by many is that these two types of activities will change behavior and produce results equally.  The reality is that they are not interchangeable with regard to producing results.  Don’t expect a high degree of behavior change for the majority of your participants when they know that only a handful of them will be recognized or rewarded.

One of the most common misconceptions in the employee award industry is that an incentive or performance improvement program is the same as a recognition program.  And a company that provides one can provide the other.  But that’s just not the case.

This if often overlooked by recognition planners as they try to design their award programs.  The easiest way to differentiate the two is with the budget.  For long term programs do you have enough budget set aside to issue awards to upwards of 60% of your employee base with @ 5% of their income?  If it’s not even close to this number you should be planning a recognition program that requires far less per person cost.


09 30th, 2014

unhappy emp 5

Has your recognition program gone a little stale?  Does it need a kick start?  Is it achieving the results you want?

Like everything else in the HR world, recognition programs need to be looked at and updated from time to time. If you think it’s about time that you take a look at yours, here are some tips that might make that job a little easier.

  • Recheck to see that you still have senior leadership commitment to the program’s success.
  • Find out how many recognition programs are in place in your organization, and toward what goal are the directed.  You might be surprised that some may even be at odds with the others.
  • Ask yourself what you want the program to accomplish, what results you want
  • See if you have put the measurement systems in place to measure those results
  • Have you set forth a clear written strategy for your program?
  • Determine which programs produce tangible results and compare the ROI of these programs
  • If your program is outdated or unproductive, get rid of it and replace it with one more suited your present situation.
  • Make sure that the program is aligned with business goals, especially in a fast moving company where business goals can change rapidly.
  • If you are using training within the program for managers, determine if it is effective, and if not makes steps to change it.
  • If you haven’t already done so, set up a recognition team to help manage the program and if you already have one consider changing the players to get fresh ideas.
  • Make sure you have the processes in place to hold management accountable for results.
  • If you don’t already have one, implement a peer to peer effort to add a new dimension.

If you’re interested in learning about a high value, low cost gift card recognition system that is easy to implement please contact us above.

09 16th, 2014

thank you

A “Thank You Habit” lets everyone in the organization know you want to acknowledge good work. Executives want to be informed when good work happens, so they can personally say thank you.  This in itself builds good will, and a helps build a culture of trust.

Set aside time every week to acknowledge people’s good work.

  • Handwrite thank-you notes whenever you can. The personal touch matters in the digital age.
  • Punish in private; praise in public. Make the public praise timely and specific.
  • Remember to cc people’s supervisors. “Don’t tell me. Tell my boss.”
  • Foster a culture of gratitude. It’s a game changer for sustainably better performance.

Create a process for recognition

All you need to do is create a simple process for any individual in any location to feed a suggestion for recognition of a peer up the management chain

Make it personal

Commit that when a thank you request comes in, an executive will personally say thank you to the individual, whether that is by a drop-in, a phone call, or a handwritten note, not and email. 

It costs nothing 

Many organizations over-engineer their recognition programs.  Make a genuine connection with someone who has done something you appreciate and let them know.

If you’re interested in learning about a high value, low cost gift card recognition system that is easy to implement please contact us above.

08 5th, 2014

achieve success

Are you on the lookout for those truly remarkable employees?  Following are 8 employee traits that you should look for in employees and when you find them, find a way to keep them.

You might argue that about some of these traits, but many would say that these are the qualities that make a good employee great and great employees truly remarkable.  This list is not ours, it came from a blog post by Jeff Haden a year or so ago; you can see other useful employee information from Jeff Hayden here.

The 8 qualities that make up such a difference between your good and truly outstanding employees are:

1. They ignore job descriptions…they think on their feet and adapt and change quickly to shifting priorities

2. They’re eccentric… people who aren’t afraid to be different naturally stretch boundaries and challenge the status quo, and they often come up with the best ideas.

3. But they know when to dial it back…the best employees know when to play and when to be serious; when to be irreverent and when to conform; and when to challenge and when to back off

4. They publicly praise… Remarkable employees recognize the contributions of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words is even greater.

5. And they privately complain…remarkable employees come to you before or after a meeting to discuss a sensitive issue, knowing that bringing it up in a group setting could set off a firestorm.

6. They speak when others won’t…remarkable employees have an innate feel for the issues and concerns of those around them, and step up to ask questions or raise important issues when others hesitate.

7. They like to prove others wrong… education, intelligence, talent, and skill are important, but drive is critical. Remarkable employees are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job.

8. They’re always fiddling…great employees follow processes. Remarkable employees find ways to make those processes even better.

As we say in the title, when you find employees like this recognize them – often!

If you’re interested in learning about a high value, low cost gift card recognition system that is easy to implement please contact us above.

tug of war

Over the years we have seen companies ascribe many different objectives to employee recognition or incentive programs.  Programs that don’t work well or produce results have at least one thing in common… when the participants don’t perceive the objectives are attainable, they were doomed to fail from the beginning.

When you are in your planning phase here are some things to keep in mind that incentive or recognition programs can’t address.  Avoid them if at all possible:

  • Don’t be lulled into the comfort level that every participant can achieve results.  The 80/20 rule is alive and well in any incentive program.  You’ll have the top 10% of winners just like you’ve always had, and you’ll have the bottom 10% that fail like you’ve always had.  But the middle 80% can be moved to improve performance. 
  • Periodic incentives are not a substitute for good feedback to your participants.  Regular feedback should be ongoing.  The more you measure and report performance, the better performance you will have.  Believe in the adage that “What gets measured gets done and what gets rewarded gets repeated.  
  • You can’t use incentives as a replacement for enforcing policy, although you can make the enforcement a qualifier for participation. 
  • Incentives or recognition won’t resolve the design of a bad job description or staffing decisions.  When you have issues in staffing or work responsibilities that stand in the way of good performance, an award for better performance can’t be achieved. 
  • You can’t fix broken organizational structures or processes.  Even if you dangled a new car for everyone in the program for achieving results, you’re better off investing the money on the real problem.  If not, your participants are likely to develop their own “workarounds” that can cause further damage. 

Incentive and recognition programs can and will backfire when you aren’t honest about your current situation, business climate or culture.  When you implement your program, objectives that make upper management warm and fuzzy won’t produce results unless your participants know that they are realistic and achievable.  Without that, you won’t have a program, so save the money, and the headache.

If you’re interested in learning about a high value, low cost gift card recognition system that is easy to implement please contact us above.