10 tips to improve your employee recognition scheme

WellDoneEmployee recognition positively impacts on both employee productivity and employee loyalty, which is why many organisations have implemented formally structured recognition programmes.

However, without care and attention recognition schemes can fade and fizzle out and as a result they don’t achieve the results HR professionals and senior leaders were expecting. So here are 10 tips to make sure you’re getting the most from your employee recognition scheme:


1. Have a plan

To get the maximum impact out of your recognition programme you need to align the programme with your business values and goals. By doing so your employees will be able to see how their behaviour and effort contributes to the organisational objectives as a whole.


2. Communicate consistently and clearly

Communicate schemesMany businesses make the mistake of launching their new recognition scheme with a big fanfare but then not following it up. It’s important to constantly remind your employees about the programme, the rewards and how it fits into your business’ mission and objectives.


3. Select rewards carefully

You’ll have heard it several times over but: no single reward fits every employee. Choose your rewards carefully and make sure that they’re appropriate and relevant to your employee demographics. Gift vouchers, gift cards and cashback cards make great rewards because employees can choose something that they want.


4. Use instant rewards

For maximum impact recognition and giving of a reward should happen as close as possible in time to the actual event. Don’t wait until the end of the quarter or year, instead give your managers a supply of Voucher Cheques so they can issue on-the-spot rewards.


5. Reward effort as well as results

When planning your programme take into account effort as well as results. Some of the best recognition programmes have rewards for ‘Unsung Hero’ or ‘Magnificent Failure’ to recognise those employees who quietly go the extra mile to support others in getting results or those who put a lot of effort into a project or idea that didn’t quite come off.


6. Be clear on the criteria and rules

Ensure that you have a set of clear criteria and rules that all employees understand and can achieve. Every employee should be treated equally irrespective of their role within the organisation, which means that everyone should have an equal chance of being recognised and receiving a reward.


7. Get management buy-in

It’s essential that senior leaders and line managers are bought-in to the scheme. They set the tone for success so they need to understand the business benefits and be passionate and enthusiastic about the programme. They can then remind your employees about the programme in meetings and in one-to-one conversations.


8. Ask employees for feedback on the scheme

To be successful you need to review not only the results of your recognition programme but also how your employees feel about it. You can learn things, for example the types of rewards people want, from this feedback and use the information to improve your programme.


9. Celebrate rewards

attentive staffPublicly recognise your employees so that the whole organisation can share, learn from, and be inspired by their accomplishments. You can do this through a public presentation or a ‘Wall of Achievement’, but however you do it be specific about what it was that they did to earn the recognition and the effect it had on others and/or the business.


10. Keep connected

Encourage the use of technology in your programme in order to boost employee engagement. Social recognition enables co-workers and peers to reward people instantly and allows those who have been recognised to share their success.


Letting employees know that you appreciate them through an employee recognition scheme should be key part of your business toolkit. But to achieve the maximum impact from any programme then you need to continue to lavish care and attention on it.


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
Connect with John on  | Twitter


Speak Your Mind


18 − 6 =