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The basic idea of employee rewards and recognition program is to make employees motivated to and can be monetary or non-monetary. By motivating its employees a business can benefit by behavioural and attitude changes to their work.  A recent survey shows that the employees in organisations who are regularly appreciated for their work far outperform than in those organisations where no such type of programs are present. These former types of companies have a huge voluntary turnover of more than 30% as compared to the latter ones. 

But another revelation by the same survey shows that most of the companies are using ineffective programs for rewards and recognitions. Basically most of these recognition programs (around more than 85% of the programs) are tenure-based and only awarded to employees who have completed a considerable association with the organisation. It is an established thing that tenure-based recognition is no effective means for improving organisational performance. It would be right to say that very few employees would like to stay another year just for the sake of getting a tenure-based award, if there is no appreciation for the work done by them.

It is important that every organisation has some kind of recognition and reward programs that will create a competitive environment and in the same time make the employees more productive. Sometimes, most organisations simply overlook this but it should be noted that even a simple act of appreciation reflects the values of an organisation and employees find themselves valued.

Here’s a list of six ways that can help HR to make their employee recognition and rewards program more effective:

1. Let the employees be a part of the development process

For any rewards and recognition program to be successful, its development should be transparent before application. Employees should be allowed to have their say and their inputs should be respected. This will make them eager about the program.  This practice will also put you on the safe side and there will be no scope for flaws to appear in the future. 

2. The recognitions and rewards should be specific and not vague

Giving recognitions or rewards randomly is not going to get anybody motivated. It should be based on specific results. You should remember that there are huge differences between recognition, rewards and appreciation. While it is a good think to appreciate anyone who has shown a tremendous level of effort while doing their job, it would be meaningless to reward them or recognise them with perks.

It should be made clear that so and so has received the reward or recognition for achieving a certain result. This will help other employees to get motivated to do the same in order to be recognised or rewarded.

3. Be careful to include all personality types

In a team all the members do not have the same personality traits and you should keep that in mind. Some may be a huge extrovert who is popular with the whole team and there maybe someone who is an introvert. But, the purpose of your program should be such that it includes all such personalities because in the end it depends on the type of results being delivered. So there should be ways to facilitate the program to be able to cater to all the members without any bias.

4. Allows recognition from all levels

Usually whenever someone is recognised it comes from the top i.e. the management level. There is a huge chance that it may be biased or someone more deserving may be on the blind spot of the manager. So the recognition and rewards program should be such that it allows the participation of peer members as well for getting an unbiased choice. This will also hope to create a positive feeling among the peers, which in turn will raise the camaraderie level of the team.

5. Rewards or recognition should be creative

When rewards become predictable it takes the value out of it. So if you are going to recognise your employees for their good work, be creative and surprise them. There are various ways you can do that apart when it comes to non-monetary recognition. You can gift them a free family pass to the local theme park or even movie tickets of their choice.

You can also create contests that everybody can participate; it might be either work related or anything in general. You can even make the rewards team-based and not just for individuals. This should generate great enthusiasm and force everyone to become good team players.

6. Make it a regular thing and share it on a common platform

If you just do the program once and leave it, it would have an effect opposite to what you intended. Employees to get more demotivated when this happens and it has a negative impact in their productivity. It puts a feeling of insecurity and begins to devalue their work.

Another important point is to come up with a common platform that will help everyone to know about the persons who have received such recognitions and rewards. This helps in two ways – a) makes the achiever feel proud to have received such recognition publicly and thus keeps him motivated to ensure that he remains competitive, and b) motivates others to work efficiently to reach that level.

7. Analyse its effectiveness

It is like any other project and needs some amount of resources for it to be realised. So if it does not provide any effective results, it is going to be waste of resources and time. So you need to figure out what has gone wrong and correct it.

It is advisable to follow a well-planned method to carve out an effective rewards and recognition program that benefits the employees and also helps to create an environment where they feel motivated.

Author Bio

Hasib is a professional writer working with one of the top job websites in India – Apart from listing various national and international jobs, the website also helps professionals with career guidance and resume-writing services. An avid reader and foodie, he has changed his career from engineering to writing to follow his passion. Follow him @ twitter, Google+, LinkedIn