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Ten tips for your reward & recognition programme

Research shows that simply thanking employees for their work increases productivity. And according to the Employee Recognition Report from the Society for Human Resource Management and Globoforce, taking a step further than a ‘thank you’ and implementing a reward and recognition programme, contributes significantly to an organisation's bottom line, whilst strengthening corporate culture.

So, can you afford not to have a reward and recognition scheme in place? Here are our top tips for making yours a success.

Get others involved

Seek input from as many people in the business as possible. Get input from leadership about goals, values and budget and ask employees what reward and recognition means to them, as well as what motivates them. Once you have gained a holistic view, put all of the ideas collated forward for consideration. That way your programme is authentic and is more likely to be well received by staff.

Get excited about it

Create some excitement around the launch (if it’s new) and the ongoing promotion of your programme. This will get employees and leaders excited about the scheme and will encourage an atmosphere of inclusion and participation.

Communicate clearly

Be transparent, and schedule and implement a communications plan for your programme. Ensure everyone knows how it works and what they need to do for the scheme to benefit them.

Make sure it’s easy to read and informal. People will be uninterested if it’s hard to follow. Ensure that it’s written clearly and the requirements and description are simple to understand.

Collect feedback

Set up a feedback mechanism to understand how the reward and recognition programme is being received. Asking for, as well as giving, regular updates means that you will know what elements of the programme are working, and which may need to be reviewed. Chances are that rewards that motivate employees initially are unlikely to have the same appeal a number of months later. Keep the programme refreshed and evolve it as your business does.

Make sure it’s fair

Consider the negatives of a programme which provides different employees with different rewards. Although you may need to tailor your rewards to different business areas and employees, make sure it’s still fair, consistent and that the recognition/rewards criteria is actually achievable.

Explain why people have been rewarded

Be specific when someone has been recognised and rewarded. Ensure that employees understand exactly what that individual has done. For instance, awarding someone with 'employee of the month' is generic – explain exactly why that person is worthy of their recognition.

Make it regular

Make your recognitions a regular thing. Studies have shown that every quarter, or even once a month is not seen as frequent enough. The average employee actually wants to be recognised once a week to continue to feel motivated by a reward programme!

Share, share, share

Communicate about and celebrate those who have been recognised/rewarded across your organisation so that other employees can see what behaviours prompted the recognition.

Be creative

Rewards for employees, especially if you are doing them regularly, do not have to be costly to your business. Getting creative with ways to recognise your staff’s hard work will encourage engagement and productivity. An early Friday finish or a free lunch can motivate just as much as expensive champagne or holidays.