3 Budget-Friendly Ways to Recognize Employees

Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Business Management [ 0 Comments ]

recognize employeesRecognizing your employees in a meaningful way doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Giving personalized, specific, and public recognition of their contributions to their company can help identify positive behavior, motivate employees, and make them feel like they are part of a respectful relationship.

When the poor economy limits your ability to give financial rewards, you may consider this to be something you can ignore. However, regardless of your budget, there are always resources to recognize your employees.

Related: Employee Recognition for a Multi-Generational Workforce

1. Write a Heartfelt Note

Employees want to be recognized for the work that they put into your company. Rather than distribute generic, cookie-cutter awards to your best employees, write them a note instead. Tell them what they did to deserve recognition, including specifics and details. This shows employees that you’re paying attention to what they do and that you value their contribution.

  • A Wichita State University study by Gerald Graham asked 1,500 workers to rate 65 potential incentives in order of preference and importance. “Personalized, instant recognition from managers” was rated number one, followed by “a letter of praise for good performance.”

2. Give Public Recognition

When banking technology provider FIS launched a new recognition program for its 32,000 employees, it established a few simple rules for the program: open it to all employees, base it on a clearly communicated set of performance parameters that aligned with company goals, and present the recognition in a meaningful way.

Related: Recruit the right employees with one of our hand-picked recruiting agencies

After 18 months, the program resulted in “61% increase in employees feeling appreciated and recognized, a 31% increase in the sense that its managers cared about employee’s well-being, 29% increase in pride in the organization and a 16% increase in overall engagement.” (Effective Global Recognition, OC Tanner) Consider how you can implement a similar system in your business.

  • Hold a recognition ceremony or set up an employee recognition board listing the recent accomplishments of your employees. Show that management is paying attention to what employees are doing, and that their success is important to the business as a whole.
  • Be careful to spread recognition across numerous departments and individuals; in short – don’t let your recognition program seem like a popularity contest or “playing favorites.” Make sure that employees know that everyone is eligible for recognition.

3. Celebrate Group Achievements

Rewarding your employees as a group can improve overall morale at a much lower cost than providing individual recognition. You can treat your office to a pizza party at the end of a particularly harrowing work week, reward departments who meet or exceed goals, and motivate teams with rewards for a job well done.

  • For example: If you have a team of employees working night and day in the middle of a project, surprise them with gift cards to a local coffee shop. Giving your employees a boost during crunch time can cost just $25 for a team of five.

The most important thing to remember about a recognition and reward program is that you are trying to build a team environment, stimulate employee interest, and create positive behaviors,

Sears, Roebuck and Co. survey of 800 stores that showed when employee attitudes improved by 5 percent, customer satisfaction rose 1.3 percent and revenue grew 0.5 percent. Part of that morale boost can be attained by recognizing your employees in a valuable way. “Valuable” does not have to mean expensive. Show them that you pay attention to what they do, appreciate their hard work, and respect their contributions to your business.

Photo credit: 101fundraising.org


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