How to Create a Good Employee Rewards and Recognition System

By August 29, 2017 No Comments

A Rewards and Recognition System is a great way to positively motivate your employees.

Some employees will respond best to the rewards, while others will appreciate the recognition. Creating a system with both will give your company a well-rounded approach.

Motivation from a Rewards and Recognition System will keep employees performing over time, and incentivises them to increase their level of performance.

Here are 6 Key Tips to Get Started:

  1. “Thank you” might be enough for now.
  2. How a Rewards and Recognition System Nurtures Self-Esteem
  3. Don’t Assume You Know the Best Ways to Reward Your People – Ask Them. (Make sure employees are involved in creating the program.)
  4. Plan for Individual and Team Rewards. (Reward the whole team/Individualize Rewards)
  5. Tell Them How They Can Win.
  6. Track Results to Ensure Everyone who Meets the Criteria is Rewarded.

1) “Thank you” might be enough for now.

If you’re a newer company, especially a startup that is bootstrapping, you may not have the funds required to implement a rewards based system.

Start with the recognition and say “thank you” to the employees who are performing. Make it specific so the employee knows that you are seeing their hard work and acknowledging that. An example could be, “Thank you for coming in early this week to get our website ready to launch. Without your help, this project may have fallen behind and delayed all of our future projects.”

If you have a small team, take them out for lunch or dinner as an appreciation event. Or pay for a team-building event like laser tag, followed by food or drinks to build morale and show appreciation.

2) How a Rewards and Recognition System Nurtures Self-Esteem

Employees are unique. However, all employees from newbies to veterans benefit from developing confidence in their work.

A Rewards and Recognition System is a structured way to provide equal opportunity for positive and specific feedback based on performance. When an employee knows how to hit important KPIs, they will work harder to reach them.

If you don’t have a structured system in place, employees may not know how to focus their time to hit key marks, and they may develop resentment towards the company if they feel they are hitting key KPIs without seeing any recognition.

Over time, your Rewards and Recognition System will help you develop employees with confidence to set and meet challenges, overcome setbacks, and the ability to self-manage their work.

3) Don’t Assume You Know the Best Ways to Reward Your People – Ask Them.

While a certificate and cash prize might sound like a time-tested way to reward and recognize key players on your team, your employees may be more motivated to work towards a gift certificate for a massage or a vacation.

The point is, ask your team to participate in the development of the Rewards and Recognition System so that they feel heard and important. Their involvement will also help with buy-in and understanding of the benchmarks required to hit to attain recognition or rewards.

4) Plan for Individual and Team Rewards

When work is collaborative and requires a team effort to accomplish a goal, you need to reward the entire team.

Rewarding one or two individuals from the team can foster competition instead of cooperation.

In collaborative work, it could be a good idea to create a two-tier Rewards and Recognition System that rewards high performers more than those who assisted on team projects.

Individual awards are also an important element in a Rewards and Recognition System. Employees who go above and beyond can require motivation from a reward or at least recognition of their hard work to avoid burnout.

5) Tell Them How They Can Win

Your Rewards and Recognition System needs to be specific and consistent.

Clearly layout all of the checkpoints or KPIs that are required for employees to reach certain rewards and/or recognition.

Without a specific system that is clearly laid out, employees may miss the mark and feel that all of their hard work was for nothing. This could result in complacency or negativity in the workplace.

It is also very important to keep your rewards and recognition consistent. If you reward or recognize one employee for achieving something and forget to reward another employee who reaches the same targets, it will show favouritism and breed contempt.

6) Track Results to Ensure Everyone Who Meets the Criteria is Rewarded

As mentioned above, consistency is key to avoid the idea that your company is playing favourites.

Having a specific and consistent Rewards and Recognition System makes tracking the results easier, but transparency is important.

Someone in your management team should be responsible for tracking employees as they meet criteria for rewards and/or recognition.

At Peoplesource, we hold two annual events, one at the end of Q2 and one at the end of Q4. These events allow us to track employee progress in Q1-2 and Q3-4 respectively so that we reward our people accordingly.

We recommend at least two events per year so that employees are rewarded and recognized after six months of hard work. This system motivates our people to continue working hard or step up their game to see better personal results in the following two quarters.

All of our rewards and recognition are backed up by hard numbers; no favouritism here!

Start building your Rewards and Recognition System as soon as possible.

Your employees are the heart and soul of your business.

A Rewards and Recognition System is a great way to highlight high performers in your workplace and positively motivate employees to continue working hard.

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