Employee recognition is not just a nice thing to do for people.

Employee recognition is a communication tool that reinforces and rewards the most important outcomes people create for your business. When you recognize people effectively, you reinforce, with your chosen means of recognition, the actions and behaviors you most want to see people repeat. An effective employee recognition system is simple, immediate, and powerfully reinforcing. When you consider employee recognition processes, you need to develo p recognition that is equally powerful for both the organization and the employee. You must address five important issues if you want the recognition you offer to be viewed as motivating and rewarding by your employees and important for the success of your organization. The Five Most Important Tips for Effective Recognition You need to establish criteria for what performance or contribution constitutes rewardable behavior or actions.
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All employees must be eligible for the recognition.

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The recognition mus t supply the employer and employee with specific information about what behaviors or actions are being rewarded and recognized.

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Anyone who then performs at the level or standard stated in the criteria receives the reward.

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The recognition should occur as close to the performance of the actions as possible, so the recognition reinforces behavior the employer wants to encourage.

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You don't want to design a process in which managers "select" the people to receive recognition. This type of process will b e viewed forever as "favoritism" or talked about as "it's your turn to get recognized this month." This is why processes that single out an individual, such as "Employee of the Month," are rarely effective. A Working Example of Successful Recognition A client company established criteria for rewarding employees. Criteria included such activities as contributing to company success serving a customer without being asked to help by a supervisor. Each employee, who meets the stated criteria, receives a thank yo u note, hand-written by the supervisor. The note spells out exactly why the employee is receiving the recognition. The note includes the opportunity for the employee to "draw" a gift from a box. Gifts range from fast food restaurant gift certificates and candy to a gold dollar and substantial cash rewards. The employee draws the reward, so no supervisory interference i s perceived. A

he had employees coming to him asking to be reimbursed for lunch if they ate lunch outside of the company on a Friday. the "boss" cooks day. The Pall Corporation. If you thank a manufacturing group every time they make customer deliveries on time with a lunch. has had a "smile team" that meets to schedule random. Soon. His goal of team building turned into a "given" or an entitlement and he was disappointed with the results. picnics. MI. and so on. Avoid the employee recognition traps that: y y y single out a few employees who are mysteriously selected for the recognition. The challenge of individually negotiated goals is to make certain their accomplishment is viewed as similarly difficult by the organization for the process to be a success. sap the morale of the many who failed to understand the criteria enough to compete and win. Rewards and recognition that help both the employer and the employee get what they need from work are a win-win situation. so some organizational oversight may be necessary. and sought votes or other personalized. y There is always room for employee reward and recognition activities that generally build positive morale in the work environment. They have decorated shop windows. They sponsor ice cream socials. y People also like recognition that is random and that provides an element of surpr ise. the CEO traditionally bought lunch for all employees every Friday. More Tips About Recognition and Performance Management y If you attach recognition to "real" accomplishments and goal achievement as negotiated in a performance development planning meeting. . Make this the year you plan a recognition process that will "wow" your staff and "wow" you with its positive outcomes. for a holiday. you need to make sure the recognition meets the above stated requirements. gradually the lunch becomes a "given" or an entitlement and is no longer rewarding. Another company holds an annual costume wearing and judging along with a lunch potluck every Halloween.duplicate of the thank you note goes into a periodic drawing for even more substantial reward and recognition opportunities. Supervisors must also apply the criteria consistently. to create a rewarding environment at work. subjective criteria to determine winners. fun employee recognition eve nts. in Ann Arbor. with a prize to the best. In another organization.

If a number of employees accomplish or exhibit the stated criteria. Provide the award for each employee who accomplishes what it takes to achieve Employee of the Month recognition.and unsuccessfully . reasonable pay and benefits. Lacking criteria. jokes about brown nosing and ³must be your tu rn´ are commonplace. Employee of the Month recognition is a joke. each of the employees deserves the award. Employee of the Month is a cherished form of recognition. stated criteria. In these organizations. They diminish the recognition power of the designation as Employee of the Month. company sponsored activities and events. y For an employee to become Employee of the Month. The Employee of the Month selection is not transparent. even if the implementation process is improved. y The second reason is even more powerful. In some organizations.both successfully .The designation. In any selection process. y Publicized criteria for selection as Employee of the Month is most f requently non-existent. Employee of the Month recognition is not a substitute for day -today positive recognition. Find more motivational forms of recognition than Employee of the Month. most often measurable. Employee of the Month is an organizational recognition that companies have used . My most important concern with Employee of the Month recognition is that employers will believe their job of creating a motivati ng. This defeats the purpose of the criteria. Selecting one employee turns the recognition into management¶s opinion. as a form of employee recognition . rewarding work environment for employees is complete with this award. a populari ty or taketurns contest for management -fawning employees. With so many opportunities available to provide employee recognition. But. Combat accusations about a lack of transparency and fairness. In others. so it fails in its goals for employee motivation and retention. why offer an Employee of the Month award with its inherent problems? Problems With Employee of the Month Recognition The problems with designating an Employee of the Month rest with the usual implementation. one of the top ten employee complaints about workplaces. The employee who is recognized as Employee of the Month rarely knows why he or she was selected. .for years. he or she should have accomplished or exhibited the stated criteria so all employees are clear about why this individual was selected. avoid claims of favoritism. once again. Employee of the Month . is key to employee understanding of the award. Ban Employee of the Month recognition. what employees want from work. Ban Employee of the Month awards becau se Employee of the Month. and anenvironment of appreciation . Most organizations fail to establish measurable and recognizable criteria. Anything else def eats your purpose. is not recommended for these reasons. is an organization¶s positive effort to recognize an employee¶s achievements and contributions. other employees find the selection process an unmotivating fog. the award is employee unfriendly and fails to accomplish the goals of employee recognition .