Archives





medal of honor

That’s what they do, that’s what they will always do, and that’s what they will continue to do.  And your superstars will always be the ones who get the recognition, who get the awards, who get the promotions.  And frankly that’s as it should be.

But we keep hearing from managers and employees alike, that’s there a whole group of just regular performers out there who rarely if ever get any of recognition or appreciation at work.  We see that all the time in employee surveys that say that lack of recognition and appreciation are top reasons why people leave their company and search for a new career.

It’s unfortunate, but while managers know this exists they are either reluctant of uncommitted to find a way to recognize performance at all levels.  It’s easy to reward someone who hit the cover off the ball, but what do you do with the consistent faithful workers who are there day after day just doing their job?  They probably represent the middle 70-80% of your workforce that is called just “regular” employees.  They are the hard working people you can’t do without.  They are the one who quietly slip out the back door for another company who will respect them more than you do.  They are the backbone of your company.

Unlike superstars, there might not be any standout performance or above and beyond behaviors in this group, but we all know that nothing would get done without them.  And it’s precisely because they don’t produce standout exceptional work that they are ignored, and if you are implementing a recognition program based on the above and beyond, these will never be winners.

Do you know what it’s like to go through you work life and not be recognized?

In any well planned recognition system you must be careful to not just recognize the superstars.  A great way to accomplish that is to apportion some of your recognition budget for a peer to peer program and let your employees recognize themselves.  You may be surprised who they find to reward, and as easily surprised at the reasons for the award.

The United States has a long and proud history of our men and women in the military.  Did you know that the vast majority of the recipients of the Medal of Honor were not the standouts, the superstars, the leading officers of their time?  They came from the “regular army, navy air force and marines.”  They were just the middle of the pack that did extraordinary things at extraordinary times.  We often term the majority of our employees as “regulars.”  Is it time to see them in a different light?

These are the people who are trained and focused on doing the right thing and they do it day in and day out.  These truly deserve your appreciation.  Don’t forget them when you plan your next recognition campaign.

If you would like a short paper on a recognition award that is cost effective and easy to use in programs that can recognize every level or for peer to peer applications, please let us know. 



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.



incentive ahead

Over the years we have seen companies ascribe many different objectives to employee recognition or incentive programs.  The programs that work well and produce results all have one thing in common….objectives that can be achieved by the participants in the program.  Here are some of things to consider when planning your next incentive or recognition effort:

  • They can concentrate attention on your top company priorities 
  • They are first and foremost great communication tools that guide employees to what they individually can do to achieve results 
  • They will allow you to share the company success with the employees. ..they earn a part of what they help create. 
  • They can help to break down barriers between departments and divisions encouraging teamwork and creating a synergy for higher performance 
  • They will foster employee development in new skills and qualities necessary for future growth.

These certainly aren’t the only things that a recognition or incentive program can achieve, but in your planning phase, it’s very important to consider these points.  They can be very powerful when you use them well, but even more powerful with negative consequences when you don’t.

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.



 

spot recog

When is the last time you meant to tell an employee, “thanks for the great effort, we really appreciate your good work”, but forgot.  You think to yourself that you can tell them later in the day or tomorrow, or by the end of the week.  If you’re like most of us, that can happen a lot.  And by the time you get around to it the enthusiasm is faded and the importance is gone.  When you do, you lose the golden opportunity to affect an employee’s attitude and performance at work.

That’s one reason why an on the spot employee recognition system is so important.  You can award someone instantly when it will do the most good.  Waiting for traditional recognition award systems to kick in doesn’t reinforce the pride an employee feels right after you acknowledge the great performance.  If anything it can show them that their work went unnoticed and wasn’t a top priority for you.

It is well known that good performance will be repeated when recognized.  The more that an employee sees that you appreciate their efforts, the more they will continue to produce quality work.

On the spot rewards can also boost morale.  They can spread like wild fire in the workplace, especially in an environment where today’s employees feel under appreciated.

 OTS_Recog Award_Card_left tilt

 The On The Spot gift card award system was developed for just these type of programs.  For a simple white paper that will give you a brief overview of On The Spot, please click here.



dust off

All the hard decisions that had to be made by management because of the recession still shape the employees definition of what normal really is.  Companies are still dealing with an attitude of getting by with less, spending only when necessary.  Management is wondering why or even if they should invest in employee recognition systems.  Coming out of the last major recession, these types of attitudes persisted for several years.

But employee recognition still matters.  It is still a key element in employee engagement and can help drive increased employee performance.  HR thought leaders understand this and are focusing this investment in recognition to increase the impact on the bottom line.  Suggestions systems designed to reduce overall costs, wellness efforts that have shown to reduce medical costs, safety award systems that can reduce incidents of injuries and accidents, and team based sales and marketing efforts that combine internal support groups and field personnel are all tactics to drive incremental profits.

Now is the time to use employee awards to promote collaboration within cross-functional departments.  Properly planned and implemented reward systems can put your employees back on the offense instead of staying on defense to protect their jobs.  Employee recognition systems can be designed and promoted around encouraging idea creation, innovation and sharing.  They can align corporate goals and objectives into the goals and objectives of your employees.

So start your year off right.  Dust off the recognition system that may have been put on the shelf or gathering dust because of lack of budgets.  If you have some money to spend, you might even want to give each employee a $25 Award of Choice card and thank them for all the time and effort they put in while you were going through tougher times.  You might be amazed at how that simple gesture  can strike a spark that ignites a fire of optimism.



« Older Entries Newer Entries »