Employee recognition is one of the most controversial topics in an organization. Employees feel that they are overworked and undervalued. On the other hand, employers feel that employees are just doing their job and theres no need for employee recognition. This creates an environment that is fraught with dipping motivation levels, frustration, high expectation and low performance.
However, companies that recognize the importance of employee recognition understand that excellent performance is a great personal achievement and recognizing it openly creates all round motivation. It is more about motivating the entire task force than rewarding a single individual. When you recognize desirable behavior, you reinforce the importance of repeating this kind of behavior. But, you also earn a lot of good will. Employees understand that if they repeat the same actions and produce the same results, their efforts too will be recognized and rewarded.
But, for employee recognition to be effective, it must follow certain guidelines. Otherwise, it is in danger of becoming partisan, random or plain useless.
* Every employee who fits the norm must be eligible for the recognition.
* Employee recognition is useless if employees do not know what behavior is being rewarded. Therefore, it is important to communicate the purpose and the reason behind the award.
* Employee recognition should be timely. It should occur at a fixed time (annual appraisal) or as close to a particular event as possible. There is significance in all these.
* Ground rules must be spelt out in advance and there must be complete transparency in the process of choosing the employees who deserve recognition.
Employee recognition is expressed in a number of ways. Some companies believe in handing out bonuses. But, what with the economic recession and the amount of money involved, many companies shy away from bonuses. Besides, bonuses cannot be paid in public and are therefore not a public display of appreciation.
Many companies use awards to express their appreciation for deserving employees. Awards are not very costly but they are very effective in communicating employee recognition. These awards, medals or plaques must be in keeping with the stature of the company and the achievement of the recipient. Most companies etch their logo, message and name on the award. The name of the receiver is also mentioned. High quality awards and plaques are valued by receivers.
Employee recognition boosts morale and improves the work environment. A rewarding environment is the best way for employees to thrive and do their best. Providing it is as much a duty as a priority of employers who want the best from their subordinates. If you do not give appreciation where it is due, you will see one of two things: drain of employees or drain of motivation!