Recognition – An Analysis Part 3

In the second of the series, we covered the success factors of recognition programmes, here, in the final article we look at the types of programmes you can develop in your organisation.

Programme Content

Include a mix of recognition activities and award programmes that target different goals.

Recognition programmes should include spontaneous, informal and formal awards. This will enable the appropriate recognition to be given in a timely manner.

Spontaneous awards generally involve giving ‘pats on the back’, verbal thank you, letter of thanks, gifts with corporate logos.

Informal awards may be given for more significant contributions, which require more effort over a longer period of time. These may include non-monetary or monetary awards.

Formal Recogntion works very well.

Formal awards are given for more significant achievements where the nomination and selection process is more rigorous. These awards may be monetary or non-monetary and the presentations given at a more formal presentation ceremony.

Develop a variety of means to communicate the achievements of award recipients.

Just as there should be a range of recognition activities in an organisation so should there be a range of ways to communicate these successes. The means chosen should reflect the importance of the achievement. For example organisations may publish employee’s photographs in newsletters, or in public areas, or send electronic messages throughout the organisation.

Performance Indicators.

A variety of stakeholders within the organisation will need to know if the recognition programme is working. The challenge is to find measurement processes that provide the necessary information, but do not burden the organisation. Senior managers will want to know if the recognition activities are being used effectively and if they are achieving the intended results. Employees will also be interested in this information. They generally want to know if the organisation is honouring its commitment in recognising excellent performance. They will also want to know how their activities in this area compare with other branches and departments. The Financial Directors will want to know if the programme is cost effective, and whether or not it should continue. Managers will want some criteria against which they can judge their performance on an ongoing basis.

Is there any significant improvement in staff turnover or absenteeism? Are staff surveys showing an overall improvement in how employees regard the organisation? Have you benchmarked with other organisations?

In addition it is important that the organisation asks its employees regularly whether the programme is meeting their needs.  The results should be published and the necessary modifications made.  

Consider the Power of Praise or Recognition

‘It’s the little things in life that often mean the most’ Old-fashioned praise can be an inexpensive way to make someone’s day.

The single most basic behaviour is to perform in ways that we are rewarded for. The first lesson we learn is directly related to crying. A baby cries and it is fed or changed. Later in life we learn that if we cry we get picked up and held. We grow older and we are told to eat all our vegetables and we will get dessert, if we are good we will get a new toy. Cleaning our room will result in another reward. All through our early lives we are rewarded for our behaviours. It is also important that the rewards occur relatively close to the time that the desired behaviour occurs.

Objectives of a recognition and reward process

  • To provide recognition to employees who make additional contributions to the organisation and produce ideas for further improvement.
  • To show the organisations appreciation for excellent performance
  • To ensure maximum benefits from the reward process by an effective communication system that highlights the individuals who are recognised
  • To provide many ways to recognise employees for their efforts and stimulate management creativity in the reward process
  • To ensure that management understands that variation enhances the impact of the reward process
  • To improve morale through the proper use of rewards
  • To reinforce behavioural patterns that management would like to see continued
  • To ensure that the employees recognised are perceived as earning the recognition by their fellow employees.

Ideally the Reward and Recognition programme for any organisation should be all encompassing.

Consider what behaviours you wish to encourage recognise and reward.

Don’t assume that all people are motivated by the same reward

When building a recognition programme consider the culture and values of the organisation and the impact this will have on behaviours

Find out what will motivate employees; take their views into account.

IdeasUK can help you to set up a good quality recognition programme within your organisation and as members this may be part of your membership. Contact us now for more details.


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