The Power of Recognition

A company that creates an environment that both motivates people and where positive behavior is rewarded, will attract the best talent, maintain strong morale, retain key employees and ultimately stay ahead of the competition. This same environment, rich in motivation and recognition, will also achieve positive results on the ball field, in the classroom and even around the dinner table. The key to this basic premise is RECOGNITIONMaking Someone Proud.  If you reward good behavior, it will be repeated.  

This principle has been demonstrated over and over again, in both laboratory and research settings and in the real world.  Studies have shown that if you recognize and appreciate your co-workers, good things will happen. Stress, absenteeism and turnover will decrease, while morale, productivity and competitiveness will increase. Likewise, in the classroom, positively reinforcing behavior through recognition, will lead to increased attentiveness, improved test scores and most importantly, a genuine interest in learning. Despite popular belief, money isn’t the best way to recognize superior performance. In fact, research shows us that the number one reason people leave jobs is “limited recognition and praise”. Issues such as compensation were all deemed less important than recognition. Clearly, people value respect, appreciation and recognition just as much as — and often more than — monetary rewards. 

The monetary gifts given will be spent and long forgotten, while an award will live on with the receiver as a reminder of their achievement for years to come.  An added benefit of recognition is that it affects more than just the recipient. When a coach recognizes a player for improving their play, not only does the player feel proud about the recognition but the coach also celebrates in the joy of accomplishment and feeling of pride. When a manager recognizes a co-worker, the co-worker is proud, but so is the manager to have that person on their team.  Recognition as it is given or received has shown to be an act of empowerment. Others on the team or in the room are also inspired, and they strive to be recognized and to recognize others.  

How do you recognize your team members, your co-workers, your students or family members? Start small. Recognize individual achievement whenever you can. Or, you may choose to implement a more formal recognition program. The program may be tailored to suit any goal, from increasing points scored to improving corporate sales to bringing up the class grade point average. It’s a fairly simple process, and it doesn’t have to involve spending a lot of money — remember, it’s the recognition itself that’s so important. That’s the foundation for successful motivation. By Making Someone Proud, you can show that you appreciate the work people perform, respect them for it and recognize their accomplishments. Appreciation and recognition are powerful motivators leading to an increase in performance, productivity, morale, employee retention and overall satisfaction. Appreciation and Recognition are two of the top principles people value in their jobs. Rewarding employees with only cash is not as effective as less costly non-cash rewards. Learn the fast facts on rewarding with cash vs. non-cash! 

How Employees Value Awards… Cash is ineffective and so are gift cards. Gift cards may be convenient, flexible and provide broad appeal with employees.  However, gift cards have several limits. Below are the Top 5 Reasons to replace gift cards with symbolic awards. 

1. Gift Cards Are Not Personal. Gift cards do not recognize employees for their personal achievements or express to employees their manager’s appreciation. This leaves employees feeling unappreciated for their efforts. Recognition programs should motivate and reinforce desired behaviors. This occurs when employees receive an award that represents their personal achievement.

2. Gift Cards Lack Emotion. Employees do not make the same emotional connection with gift cards as they do with symbolic awards. Gift cards lack sincerity. Recipients do not consider a gift card special; as a result, employee performance may suffer.

3. Gift Cards Provide No Memory. Gift Cards are not memorable symbols of accomplishment.  Employees cannot remember what they had used them for. Their reward is easily forgotten, leaving the recipient without a lasting memory.  

4. Gift Cards Are Not Used. 10% of gift cards are not redeemed and 25% are re-gifted for someone else. Employees can sell gift cards for a discount on a secondary market.

5. Gift Cards Provide Low ROI. Noticing and recognizing an employee for their good work will increase employee performance and customer satisfaction, making the company more profitable. Gift Cards are not personal, lack emotion, are forgotten or are not redeemed, making them a poor reward option. Replacing gift cards with the symbolic recognition of an award is personal, emotional, memorable, and lasting, making awards the ideal choice to increase profitability with a high return on investment (ROI). Increase your ROI by replacing gift cards with a personalized award.font

Creating Your Own Recognition Program

A recognition program is the best way for any company to provide employees with good feelings of pride and accomplishment. How you design and implement the program will determine its success. It must be carefully planned, consistent, and meaningful to both employees and managers. Remember, your program's ultimate goal is to motivate those involved to reach higher levels of achievement, as well as provide for lots of recognition among peers.

Step 1: Goals 
First, determine the goals of your program. Ask yourself what it is you wish to accomplish. It may be sales, cost reduction, customer satisfaction, or promoting a new product. Ask for input from those around you. Make your goal simple and specific.

Step 2: Target 
As you discuss your objectives, it should become clear exactly whom the program should target (warehouse personnel, salespeople, etc.); you may need overlapping programs for the different groups. Make sure your objectives are realistic and attainable. Colleagues must feel they can reach the targets you put before them, and their results will be evaluated fairly.

Step 3: Recognition & Awards 
Now that you have carefully selected your goals for the recognition program, and you understand who will be participating, determine how and what kind of awards you will hand out. Will you give an award to just the top person, or will there be second and third place? You may want to consider "interim awards" to maintain inspiration for programs that run for long periods. For example, every 100 days without an accident all the way up to 1 year.
When selecting an award, keep in mind the power of personalization. Whether it's a crystal bowl, a marble obelisk, a plaque, certificate or a small medal, it is important to have the person's name inscribed. It makes the award "feel official" and the emotion attached will last longer; it's a permanent recognition. Personalization gives the recipient an opportunity to show it off, whether it's displayed on a desk, mantel, shelf or hung on the wall. Furthermore, every time the individual sees the award, showing the company logo, their name and the recognition of THEIR achievement etched into the award, it will reinforce the relationship, confidence and commitment to the organization, themselves and their peers.

Step 4: Communicate 
Once the parameters of the recognition program are mapped out, you should conduct a meeting with all involved to make sure they understand the program completely. Answer their questions, and don't be afraid to make modifications to your plan upon hearing from those involved. This will further the feeling that everybody is in on the plan together. When the program has been formalized, post it in a conspicuous place.

Step 5: Promotion 
Once the plan in place, promote it. Send reminders to participants, being sure to rally them to the cause. Be sure not threaten them with extinction if the goals are not met. At the end of the program, but before the awards are distributed, send congratulatory notes to all participants, celebrating their successes. Make sure the letters are personal, with messages from top management recognizing their effort and contributions to the company.

Step 6: Distribution of Awards 
When the awards are finally distributed, do it as lavishly as possible. Treat your ceremony like a night at the “Oscars”. Whether you host a banquet in a rented hall, treat your team to a nice catered lunch, or dole out the classic coffee and doughnuts, the fanfare involved will make the ceremony and awards all the more meaningful. This positive feeling will extend from the actual award recipients to their peers and even to upper management.

Step 7: Evaluate 
Evaluate the program's results. Conduct a survey or hold meetings with all involved, focusing on the program itself, the goals, even the awards and ceremony. Inquire if there were any snags along the way, and how they can be ironed out. Ask if the program reached the ultimate goals, met all expectations, and if there may have been any unexpected benefits. Be sure to take the time to sit down and analyze the feedback. Don’t forget to always have the next recognition program ready to begin. You can never have too many happy co-workers!

Some statistics show that Companies with effective recognition programs experience:

51% Lower Turnover
-      Replacing a key employee costs 150% of their salary.
-      New employees take 6-9 months to be productive.

63% More Productivity
 
-       Engaged employees perform more efficiently.
-       Engaged employees are more loyal.
-       Engaged employees feel appreciated.
-       Engaged employees are easy to manage.

56% Higher Customer Satisfaction

-     Less customer “churn”.
-       The customer always wins.
-       More referrals from existing customers.
-       Decreased marketing and sales expenses for new customers.

58% Return on Profit Margin
-       Companies are financially stable.
-       More capital for the future.
-       Companies return more to their stakeholders

Sources: 
Overview: http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=60577 

Survey Results: http://go.globoforce.com/SHRM-winter-2012-report_announcement.html

 

Contact Us Today to Discuss the Benefits of a Recognition Program!