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How can an employer give recognition to employees?
  • The delivery of employee recognition is as important as the content.
  • Unless a company is small and has similar positions, multiple reward programs may be needed.
  • A targeted reward program should provide individual recognition.

The way in which recognition is given is important. A good idea can be ruined by a poor presentation, such as tossing a certificate on someone’s desk as recognition for years of service. Be sure the way in which recognition is given is appropriate.

Unless a company is small and all positions are similar, an employer will likely need more than one type of reward program. For example, a reward system that is applicable for a sales team probably isn’t applicable for a manufacturing team. While some reward programs can apply across all levels of the organization, such as profit-sharing plans, these programs tend to lack the individual recognition that a targeted reward program can provide and the individual appreciation that the company hoped to show.

A reward program may therefore have to be based on the goals of an individual or team, rather than the overall goals of the company. The connection to the company goals should still be maintained, but a targeted reward will have a bigger impact on employee morale and motivation. Also, the reward need not involve cash or equivalent compensation.

Studies have shown that rewards which provide something more tangible may go further in motivating employees. Consider that the traditional gold watch given at retirement is intended, in part, to remind employees of their service to the company whenever they check the time. A reward need not be as elaborate as a gold watch, but the concept of providing a constant reminder remains the same.