Sunday, May 22, 2011

Trends in Employee Recognition

In May 2011 World at Work released a report on Trends in Employee Recognition. Much of the information in this report confirms what we know about this facet of employee rewards. There were a few head scratchers. Today, we will investigate the head scrathers...

Disbursement Strategy
70% of organizations offer 3 to 6 different recognition programs. This raises the question as to whether there is a synchronized strategy in delivering these various programs. Let's say the transportation supervisor rewards his/her crew for workplace safety while the sales team administers an incentive performance program. These programs are unique to their organizational sub-culture but they could benefit a larger organizational strategy. Why is safety limited to the operational workforce? Why are incentive programs limited to sales? If the right hand and the left hand are on different dials can the body actually work in harmony? The aforementioned programs run famously within their respective branches of the company but why can't the rest of the organization benefit from their success? If a tree falls in the warehouse, and nobody sees it, does it really count against your insurance premium?

Who's The Boss?
The majority of those surveyed for the World at Work report revealed that Senior Management was neutral to their Employee Recognition programs. We now discover an indifference from those in the boardroom in addition to the unsynchronized strategy. An employee works all weekend to complete a project, a rookie sales executive develops an up-selling initiative, an administrative assistant celebrates 30 years with the company....and the CEO is unaware. That is a shame!

Happy Anniversary
90% of organizations celebrate employees on their service anniversary. The most commonly distributed reward.......A certificate.

One Source - Total Recognition
The employee recognition trends of 2011 are not new. There continues to be a few areas of concern:
1. Inconsistent Strategy
2. Lack of Senior Management Attention
3. Poor Execution in Recognizing Employee Performance

Employee Recognition is the most important element of any organization. Employees leave companies because they feel their hard work is not validated. What makes your company unique? Are you celebrating your irreplaceable differentiators? Everyone in the company should be aware when an employee completes a special achievement. A certificate can mean the world to someone if it is presented in the right way by the right person.

The most meaningful professional reward I ever received is a watch. I'm sure it is valued at under $100 but to me it is worth a million dollars. It was presented to me by my peer's slightly after I was overlooked for a promotion. Their kindness revealed to me that I didn't need a title to be a leader, that my fellow team members mattered just as much as the area VP, and that my effort had changed people's lives for the better. My most treasured gift dispels a few preconceived notions:
* It's a logo-ed watch and I like it.
* The dollar value of any gift is insignificant.
* Praise from any angle feels good.

I've heard CEOs say they don't believe in rewarding people for doing their job...shameful! I've heard employees say they do not want to be embarrassed by being recognized for their achievements....that's a lie! Managers think employees would rather receive a Starbucks card than a watch...have you ever had a cup of coffee that you will never forget?

We humans need to know that our time and effort is worth something. We spend most of our waking hours at work so the least we can do is leave (or better yet arrive) every day with a smile....

Don't Forget to Remember!


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