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Employee Quarterly Awards are Valuable

When you run a business, your employees are your most valuable resource. No matter how well-conceived your plans are, they will not be successful if they are not executed properly. Thus, it is critical to pay careful attention to the well-being of the individuals tasked with carrying out those goals.

WHY IS EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION VALUABLE?

One of the ways that you can do this is by consistently showing recognition for the good work that employees do. Appreciation is a fundamental human desire, and a signal to the people who work for you that you see and understand all of the effort that they put in. When employees feel valued, they work harder and are more engaged, creating an atmosphere that is not only better to work in but also more productive.

These programs have more than just soft benefits. When properly constructed, employee recognition can be a consistent driver of ROI. In its biannual survey, Globoforce found that intelligently-designed appreciation programs caused increases in a number of key metrics. Most respondents reported that productivity, retention, employee engagement, return on profit margin and return on equity all increased as a direct result of making a focused effort in this area. Of these metrics, productivity rose the most – nearly two thirds of employers noted that employee recognition programs had a direct result on output. Simply put, when people know that there is a stated benefit to their doing more work, they are more likely to do so.

WHAT SHOULD GO INTO AN EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION PROGRAM?

For an employee recognition program to work properly, it should reflect the culture that you have created. Every workplace has a different set of values, and while many of these will overlap – respect, hard work and integrity, for example – the program you design should reflect the office in which it is installed. Companies that do a lot of writing might find that books or journals make particularly good gifts for high-performing workers. If note-taking is a big part of your meetings, giving a celebratory pen provides a constant reminder of a job well-done. Urgency creeping up around a big deadline? Stress relievers help calm employees down while at the same time letting them know that the tension they are feeling is shared and appreciated.

Any program should be tied in with larger organizational goals. Ask "what is it that I want to occur as a result of this program?" Then, develop metrics that can accurately measure progress in those areas. For instance, If the objective is better ability to promote from within, track how many recent managerial spots have gone to internal candidates. If it is greater sales, break down the year-over-year figures. If it is lower turnover, look over exit interview data and see how many people continue to cite "lack of recognition" as a factor. These goals are not mutually exclusive. Employee recognition can be valuable in a number of areas, but it is vital to accurately gauge the success of programs, and make adjustments when needed. It doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, be solely a top-down effort. Give employees agency in nominating their peers for awards, and for sharing the ones that they have received.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD RECOGNITION BE GIVEN OUT?

One important note about recognition programs is that they sometimes require a shift in mindset for a company. It is not enough to simply go through the motions of giving out prizes every so often. Rather, managers should proactively look for opportunities to let their employees know that they are doing good work, in a variety of ways. This could as simple as a congratulations email for a project well done or a travel mug for consistently coming in early to help out. When it comes to scheduled, company-wide recognition, it is best to give out awards at least quarterly. While annual awards are valuable, having a more regular touchpoint with the staff has a number of lasting advantages.

WHY QUARTERLY AWARDS?

There are multiple benefits to having an awards ceremony every quarter. For one, it gives new hires an opportunity to see that their work will be appreciated, early on in their tenure. If your awards are only handed out on annual basis, and a person is hired shortly after the last ceremony, they will wind up going nearly a full year without seeing any sort of formalized recognition. At that point, habits have become ingrained. As well, having quarterly awards gives you the chance to acknowledge specific achievements.

Recognition is always best when it can be tied directly to actions – that way, the recipients know exactly what it was that earned them an award. The longer you go between ceremonies, the more difficult it becomes to pinpoint actual successes. What’s more, the people responsible are more likely to have left the organization, leaving you in a situation where you have praise in search of a recipient. In the case of years of service awards, having four opportunities for recognition a year is a clear advantage. People will start at the company at different times, and should therefore be recognized at different times as well. Quarterly awards give you a chance to highlight the contributions of long-time employees, without diluting them by sharing them with too many people. Quarterly awards also allow employees to adjust what they are doing in pursuit of specific goals. After a year, it may be too late to make a change – the project is already in, and the numbers are already finalized. If progress is monitored and applauded every three months, however, those who are doing well know they are on the right track, and those who need extra motivation get it on a regular basis.

WHAT SORTS OF AWARDS SHOULD BE GIVEN OUT?

Tie in the awards given with the achievements being lauded. This reinforces the principles you are hoping to perpetuate. For example, you can give out:

YEARS OF SERVICE LAPEL PINS:

For anybody who reached an annual milestone. These serve as a wearable reminder that the recipient has committed to the company for an extended period of time.

RECOGNITION PLAQUES

For the top salesperson in the department, having a plaque with his or her name engraved hanging up in the office gives a permanent reminder of a successful quarter. Considering that sales is competitive by nature, this creates strong motivation.

CRYSTAL AWARDS

Trophies made of crystal are a beautiful and elegant way to recognize various achievements from anniversaries, project completions, and annual successes. Award ceremonies underscore unity, and the fact that ultimately, the whole company is in it together.

When designing an employee rewards program, don’t overlook the importance of the rewards themselves. The more closely the staff can identify with and enjoy the prizes, the more they will enjoy them, and more pronounced their effect will be.

How to do Employee Rewards Whitepaper 69% of employees say they would work harder if they were better recognized.

Customer Favorite Employee Gifts

Updated Wednesday 11-20-2019
Can-Do Mental Block
starstarstarstarstar from Pat of South Florida

Can-Do Mental Block

Inspiring!
Staff loved these gifts that were given in appreciation for an end of year project. Each has their own message that they display or focus on.

Teamwork Mental Block
starstarstarstarno star from Sweet and Low of Plano, TX

Teamwork Mental Block

As expected
Used as prize for winner of contest

Be the Bridge 15oz Ceramic Mug
starstarstarstarstar from Rob of Alexander, ND

Be the Bridge 15oz Ceramic Mug

Very nice for the price
I gave this to my boss for boss's day and she loved it. Very nice size mug.

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