01 Sep Establishing Meaningful Awards in Your Organization
Employers know that rewarding success is crucial to employee satisfaction and retention. In addition to giving private praise, pay increases, and bonuses, it’s important to recognize employees publicly, among their peers, for their contributions to the organization. Establishing awards and other recognitions for employees helps to boost morale and incentivize your team. Creating awards that are actually meaningful is an important part of this process, otherwise, when you’re presenting the awards, you may end up looking like Michael Scott hosting the Dundies.
To establish awards that will actually motivate employees, here are a few suggestions:
1. Create awards that require employees to work hard in order to achieve them. An award that is too easily won or earned is meaningless to the recipient.
2. Make the awards achievable. Even though it’s important for employees to work hard to earn the awards, setting the requirements so high that it’s unlikely anyone will ever achieve them may have the undesired effect of de-motivating people.
3. Recognize contributions that may go unnoticed or are difficult to measure. For example, it’s easy to see which team member had the most new clients in a month and to recognize that. It may be easy to overlook the sales person who has the fewest new accounts but who works with and retains the same customers month after month, year after year. Recognizing her contribution is just as, if not more, important than that of her co-worker who brings in lots of new clients but can’t keep them.
4. For awards that are given monthly, or even quarterly, consider having a large plaque made that can have names added to it for each period, and give something smaller to the recipient that they can keep.
5. For larger awards that are given less frequently, give an award that is worth receiving and keeping. A paper certificate that you printed off yourself isn’t something the employees will hold on to for any length of time. Conversely, a well-made plaque that looks professional enough to hang on the wall is something that employees will keep in their office or cubicle to display for themselves, their coworkers, and clients. A classy-looking paperweight or a sophisticated vase will be placed on the recipients’ desks for a long time to come.
6. Make giving out the awards an event. Doing this at a company holiday party or employee appreciation event is appropriate. When that’s not an option, consider scheduling an awards luncheon during the workweek. You can have lunch brought in and take a few minutes to recognize the achievements of your employees.