Knock out turnover with recognition programs that make employees feel like champs.
Rewards and recognition come in many forms; but most employees agree that these can make a big difference in how they feel about their organization and how long they stay. According to a recent survey, while most organizations have informal recognition programs, only 36% say they are widely applied. These programs are important, but it’s what goes in them that can make the difference between workers who feel appreciated and valued by their employers and those who don’t.
The survey from WorldatWork shows that the average organization has eight separate recognition programs. The most popular ones focus on length of service (72%) and above-and-beyond performance (62%). Other common programs recognize specific behaviors or outputs such as customer service (34%), productivity (27%), and quality (27%). Only 18% of companies say they still have an Employee of the Month/Year award or honor.
HR personnel administer recognition programs in half of the organizations surveyed, followed by the compensation department in about one-fourth. However, most organizations don’t train managers and employees about recognition programs; and only 52% of senior managers see these efforts as an investment.
What rewards or prizes do these programs offer? According to the survey, the most popular items are gift cards (given by 62% of respondents). Surprisingly, some companies still use traditional rewards such as clocks or watches. Increasingly, however, companies see rewards as an opportunity to improve wellness, offering items such as gym memberships and wearable activity trackers.
More companies are looking at creative approaches customized for their employees. For instance:
- Tapping into employees’ passion for organization by planning small celebrations such as talent or fashion shows, fundraisers, and theme parties.
- Offering art shows, talent nights, or other events for employees’ family members with prizes for various categories.
- Team-building activities such as trips to escape rooms.
- Offering vouchers for products and services employees want and need. For instance, one organization offers uniform vouchers as prizes; and workers can collect these and use them toward the purchase of scrubs and other uniforms.
- Forming community partnerships that enable prizes outside of the organization. For instance, an area minor league baseball team or local theatre company could donate tickets. Residents’ and staff’s family members can be a good source for these.
Before implementing any new recognition program or revising old ones, it is important to find out what rewards your employees actually want. If you make assumptions, your programs could fall flat and just be a waste of your investment.