Employee Recognition Programs That Work

Recognizing employees for their contributions to your company is an important way to cultivate team loyalty and thank your staff for their contributions. Creative, memorable awards let your employees know that their work is valued. Awards can be fun and playful, functional and useful or elegant and formal, depending on the nature of your business and the type of recognition program that you're planning.

When you're designing an employee recognition program, think of a way to include employees from each tier of your business. Along with recognizing your established top producers, consider a way to reward newcomers for their progress, such as with company t-shirts. Think about creating a rewards program that all of your employees can participate in. For every milestone that a staff member reaches, he or she could receive a personalized award, a gift certificate to a local restaurant or an invitation to a company celebration for top achievers.

Personalizing Employee Awards

While it's not always possible to recognize high performing employees with raises or monetary bonuses, personalized awards can make a difference in the way staff members feel about your company. Staff members like to feel that their accomplishments are being noticed, and that they are appreciated not as members of a team, but as individuals. As you plan an awards ceremony, design unique plaques or certificates that reflect the unique contributions of your team members.

Instead of simply giving awards that recognize a specific achievement, like acquiring 100 new clients in one quarter, take the time to design a personalized award with a title that reflects the winner's personality. Compose a message that conveys your appreciation of an employee's personal contributions to the team as well as his or her statistical achievements. At an awards ceremony, give fun awards to members of the team who contribute a sense of humor, an encouraging attitude or outstanding problem resolution skills.

Regardless of an employee's status in a company, just about everyone likes to know that they've been noticed. Taking some time to recognize employees builds a bond that can increase employee retention. If you have a smaller group, it's easier to design customized awards for each winner. At larger companies, personal thank you notes or gift baskets for teams convey appreciation. With contemporary trophies, traditional plaques, desktop clocks and other gifts to choose from, you can easily design affordable and special awards.

Special Events and Gifts

Recognition programs don't necessarily have to be formal, and gifts don't have to be conventional. If your group prefers fun, lighthearted activities or sports to formal events, consider taking everyone to a ball game, an amusement park or a skating rink when your team reaches a specific goal. After finishing a project, let your employees get together to select a gift that they'd like to include in their staff break room, like a soda machine or a flat screen TV.

You can recognize and motivate your employees at the same time with company Tshirts that display your logo and an inspirational message. Design shirts for specific teams that acknowledge their unique contributions to the group. Invite your team to a weekend barbecue and hand out Tshirts before a company volleyball tournament or softball game.

At more established, traditional companies, formal events and conventional gifts may be the best way to recognize your employees. In these groups, seniority is often very important, and long standing team members are recognized publicly for their accomplishments with plaques, trophies or engraved pens or watches. Most importantly, employee recognition programs that work take each individual on your team into account. A sincere, personalized "thank you" is the most effective way to show appreciation.

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