Employee reward and recognition encompasses all of the things that an organisation can do to show appreciation for the contributions of staff to the organisation’s success. Employee reward and recognition can help organisations encourage positive behaviour, build organisational culture, and drive high performance.
Employee recognition examples
Recognition can come in many forms, and different organisation will approach recognition in distinct ways. Types of recognition include:
Individual or team achievement – setting goals and then recognising when these are successfully reached is an excellent way to positively reinforce good performance. Recognising the achievement of business goals by individuals or teams is a great way to also add focus to your performance reviews.
Exemplifying positive behaviours – there are many kinds of positive behaviour that an organisation may want to recognise. Depending on the organisation’s current business goals these could be adopting new processes, helping colleagues adapt to change, actively participating in workshops, welcoming new hires organising social activities to bolster morale and many more.
Going above and beyond expectations – significantly exceeding expectations doesn’t happen every day, but when is does ensuring it is recognised will motivate others to try and emulate this success. From smashing a target to pushing through a new idea that makes a big contribution to future success – these events should be a significant part of a recognition programme.
Celebrating milestones – milestones are often a great way to celebrate long tenure employees or to highlight important elements of the organisational culture and the people who may be unsung contributors to them.
Benefits of employee recognition in the workplace
Recognition, if delivered through a well-structured programme aligned with organisational goals, should deliver several meaningful benefits to an organisation:
Top talent retention – recognising great performance, individual milestones and unique success should ensure that top talent is encouraged to stay with an organisation for longer.
Increase engagement – where employees can regularly see the importance of their contribution they will be more easily and actively engaged with the organisation’s success.
Promote performance – by highlighting and giving recognition to great performance you will encourage others to work to emulate and replicate the behaviour of high performing role models.
Creating an employee rewards and recognition program
It can be difficult to plan a recognition program, especially if starting from scratch. However, there are some key things to consider:
Relevance – it is essential that the behaviours, performance, and attitudes that you recognise and reward are relevant to the current needs of the organisation. Recognising and rewarding things that are not aligned to the organisational need will have little to no beneficial impact on the wider employee network. In fact, it may even become demotivating.
Timeliness – making sure you can highlight good things at appropriate times will mean that positive lessons can be absorbed more quickly. Some activities can be recognised instantly at a individual or small team level, others might want to be more formally recognised monthly, quarterly or annually.
Flexibility – recognition doesn’t always have to be a certificate or a round of applause. Look for ways to allow people to recognise good things in simple ways with a variety of audiences – many collaboration tools and HR management software will offer this functionality. If you try to create very formal processes for every type of recognition activity it may form a blocker to recognition for some and devalue the more prestigious reward initiatives you are trying to implement.
Remember, reward and recognition is an important item in the HR toolkit, and ensuring that organisational leadership is also championing these initiatives will be crucial to your success.