How to Design an Effective Employee Recognition Program

Employee Recognition Ideas

employee recognition program

A little kudos goes a long way. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to roll out an effective employee recognition program at your company. Motivate your team to put in 100 percent each day by rewarding their achievements, big and small, throughout the year.

The human resources professionals at HR Technologist explain that recognition is simply showing appreciation in a structured manner. This outreach is known to elevate the overall level of happiness in the office, boost employee job satisfaction, improve team spirit, lower turnover rates, and help maintain a strong company brand. We could all use more of that, right?

Set up An Employee Recognition Program

Create a recognition team to outline, implement, and oversee the new program. The CEO, department supervisors, and human resources should all be invited to attend. For a broader reach, consider including a veteran employee, as well as a new hire or intern, to get a variety of insight and feedback as you plan and carry out the program.

When creating the guidelines for the program, closely marry them with your company’s goals, strategies, and organizational behaviors. When one of these ideals is met, recognition is given.

Next, choose how to implement the system. Is it perpetual and recognition is highlighted daily, or is weekly outreach more appropriate? Decide what is best for the size and structure of your team. For example, some offices do a multi-layered approach, where supervisors can bestow recognition onto their colleagues at any time, while appreciation from senior management is held until a monthly newsletter or annual all-staff meeting.

Finally, measure how effective the program is overall. Give the employees surveys, measure absentee days, gauge the overall flow of the office, check-in on productivity levels, and how well goals are being met. Is the program improving the work environment?

Make the Program Meaningful for Your Staff

Let’s talk about the rewards! A simple thank you from a co-worker can put a pep in your step. Sometimes a token of appreciation for a job well done is more appropriate. The key is devising a sliding scale of recognition methods based on the level and depth performance you’re rewarding. Adding great ideas to a department meeting could be rewarded with a personal note, while hitting a five-year project goal warrants a more substantial gift presented at a company party.

Here are a few ideas for sharing your gratitude:

  • An in-person thank you and handshake
  • A public shout-out on the company social media
  • A handwritten thank you note
  • A note in the company newsletter
  • A gourmet snack or beverage
  • A gift featuring the company logo (coffee mug, shirt, or hat)
  • An elegant ink pen
  • A monogrammed stationery and note card set
  • A lapel pin
  • A gift card to a favorite lunch spot
  • A framed award certificate
  • A small award trophy
  • A piece of jewelry (watch, necklace, or ring)
  • A weekend getaway
  • A financial bonus

Who administers the recognition is also important. Day-to-day recognition can easily be exchanged between lateral employees and direct supervisors. However, when a senior-level executive recognizes the extra effort put forth by a new staff member, it adds value to the interaction.

Above all, make sure the rewards system fits your business structure. Is your company team-focused? Reward teams. Is everyone completing individual tasks? Highlight individuals. And, recognize them in a way that suits them. Millennial workers love public recognition on social media while veteran employees may appreciate a more quiet one-on-one thank you from their supervisor of many years.

Are you ready to stock up on a few employee recognition items to have on hand at your office? PaperDirect offers everything from lapel pins and trophies, to paper certificates and coffee mugs. Browse our online store today!