The world of HR has most certainly evolved in the past few years. Whereas employee empowerment programs used to be rare, if not unheard of, at even the largest of firms, they are now a commonplace implementation for businesses big and small.
With continuous effort to promote work/life balance and build a job environment that promotes success and productivity, employee incentive programs and the like are gaining more and more traction as time goes by. Figuring out the right approach to employee recognition programs, however, can be a challenge.
Follow the Best Practices
From studies to first-hand experience, most HR professionals are keeping up with the latest best practices to ensure that they recognize their employees in an effective manner. Here's a look at some of the methods you should be implementing.
Remember the Two Key Words
Saying "Good job!" or "Great work!" to an employee can go much farther than you think. When you see something you like, be sure to let an employee know that you recognize their behavior. Whether it's within their job description or something beyond it, reminding employees that you are watching and taking note of their efforts is important.
This won't be a constant, everyday thing. Rather, you'll want to use this form of direct recognition on occasion when you see an employee doing something that's deserving of recognition. Maybe they're staying late and still 100% focused after a long week or perhaps they have gone above and beyond to make sure work gets done, even if it surpasses their typical duties.
Look for this good behavior, appreciate it, and work to encourage it by recognizing the employees who are truly embodying the attitudes you want to see within the company's internal environment.
Don't Be the Grinch
Most work environments hold annual parties for a variety of different holidays. Whether these happen during work at the lunch hour or after work as a standalone occasion, it's worth celebrating national holidays on the clock to get everyone in a better mood.
Even if you cannot offer monetary bonuses, offering small personalized gifts or even just some free food can go a long way in helping keep employee morale high and getting everyone into good spirits. A few decorations never hurt either, and they can also make the office more welcoming for customers who come in during this time.
Any size company can show their appreciation for employees during the holiday season with just a small token of gratitude. Think a signed card, a gift certificate, free branded merchandise, or something personal that might help your staff smile.
Avoid Employee Burnout
It's been a long day, a long week...even a long year. One of the best things a manager can do is recognize when their employees are at their wit's end, or about to be. Every office goes through a high season where workers can begin to feel like they're being pulled in all directions with little time to rest.
If you just ended an exhausting leg of work or finally closed a project that felt like it was taking forever, it doesn't hurt to offer employees a short break and perhaps even an appreciation celebration of sorts before moving on to the next big thing. Depending on the circumstances, this can be as simple as breaking after a busy week for a catered lunch or something bigger.
Remember to vocalize the reason for the break, though. Recognize the hard work they have been putting in and remind them that they are appreciated. This could also be a great time to get feedback, input, and reflection.
Gone are the days when employees clock in and clock out for no other reason than earning a paycheck. Today, workers are after something much bigger than that: growth. Most employees have carefully chosen their line of work so that they can grow as a person and accomplish certain goals.
With that said, your company may not be the totality of a person's career path. That means you should be expecting employees to grow, and encourage that process. While you may not want to lose your best, most ambitious workers, you should never try to hold a worker back.
Instead, figure out which employees are making efforts to move up and try to accommodate their career goals with on-the-job training and development initiatives. You should also give them opportunities to be promoted or even consider a move across departments, depending on where they want to take their career.
While you can't always "make room" for an employee whose growth is outpacing the internal environment, you can definitely offer encouragement for their success. They may remain at their current job for weeks, months, or even years to come -- and the way you treat them and their goals will certainly influence that.
Staying on good terms with an employee who is continuously moving forward in their career will give ample opportunity for them to give you notice when they do choose to move to a new position and likely open the door to company benefits, like them being willing (and fully able) to train their replacement or even give a few references of workers to consider for their position.
Implement a Structured System
The above best practices are worth looking into because they will help HR build a culture of employee empowerment within the workplace. That is a motivating and exciting place to be for everyone, but the real secret to successful employee incentives is going beyond the occasional praise.
In addition to using the above best practices to form a culture of appreciation, you should also look to implement a structured system that recognize employees in a bigger and more consistent way, even if a manager doesn't immediately take notice of their positive actions.
The employees who most deserve appreciation are the ones who are actively working, day in and day out, to embody the best attitude possible. This will be shown through their performance. However, the world of performance reports is changing.
A modern performance-based program will make the review process relevant to both managers and employees. It will be fast and easy to track, not slow and cumbersome like performance reviews of the past. CoreCentive can help you implement such a system.
Another popular form of employee recognition is the point-based recognition system. This system works to motivate employees while driving the behaviors you want to see more of in the workplace.
Employees earn points for doing things that they should be doing anyway, and earn even more points when they go the extra mile. You can customize this program, awarding extra points for things like early project submission and meeting deadlines.
Sales Incentive and Channel Incentive
These programs work to promote better engagement with your partners while strengthening your channel relationships. Standard incentive configurations will usually leave the "average" performers feeling ignored, even though they make up 80% of the sales team.
While the top performers are repeatedly praised and empowered, others can begin to feel unappreciated and become completely discouraged. Basically, it turns it into a fierce competition that turns one employee against another when they should be working to help each other, and the organization, succeed.
That's why the CoreCentive program motivates each individual worker regardless of their ability or role. In turn, this helps encourage everyone to improve their own performance so it aligns with the broader organizational goals -- rather than envying and competing with a "top" employee who's putting a ceiling on success.
Create a Custom Program
Sometimes, out-of-the-box solutions aren't what you're looking for. Here at CoreCentive, we recognize that every company is different. Regardless of the system you choose, we are always here to help customize the details to make it work best for your environment and help with your employee empowerment.
Of course, you may very well have your own ideas in mind. If that's the case, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We can build a completely custom employee recognition program from the ground up, allowing you to show appreciation for your employees in a way that aligns with your brand and company culture.
To learn more, call us at 267-797-5332 and speak to a representative.