Done right, an employee recognition program can promote loyalty, boost motivation, and increase productivity. But a lot of employee recognition programs get it wrong. We know this because the programs aren’t successful, and while money is being put into programs year after year, the end goal isn’t met. So how do you avoid investing in a program that fails? FastCompany identifies 3 of the most common screw-ups:
- Know that employees (mostly) do it for the rewards. Employees get involved with employee recognition programs because of the rewards. Don’t forget that. So many employers start to “drink their own Kool-Aid” and get so focused on loyalty and productivity that they forget that employees are in it for the extra cash or time off. Remember that rewards are the heart of your program.
- Assuming you know how to motivate everyone. Employers spend a lot of time and effort trying to figure out how to motivate employees. What to do and how to do it seems to elude a lot of employees. The biggest mistake employers’ make is assuming the same thing motivates all employees. Different people value different things by way of employee recognition. Some may want money, some time-off, some tickets to a game or a donation to their favorite charity. Ask your people what they want; it’s the easiest way to deliver something of value.
- Recognition doesn’t have to come from the top. Gone are the days of executives in their ivory towers. We work in a time of collaboration and open floor plans. Make sure you treat your employee recognition program the same way. Recognition should be able to come from anyone in the organization, including peers and subordinates. Being innovative and catching employees off guard will guarantee that you not only “don’t screw it up” but also that your program grows roots in your organization and thrives.