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How to Develop Award Winning Employee Recognition Programs

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By: John

Developing an employee recognition program is one of the best ways of ensuring employees excel. Such a program does not only provide results for award winners, but it does also increase productivity and encourage employees to do their best.

Many organizations are coming up with new and innovative ways to recognize their employees; this is especially so with the current generation of highly ambitious and easily unsettled group of young employees joining the workforce. To develop effective employee recognition systems, there are certain key steps that need to be applied, they include but not limited to;


Photo Credit: SystemUniversal.Com

It is important to develop two lists of goals, one for the employees and the other for the company. Ensure you are crystal clear on what employees are expected to perform within the stated program and the objectives of the program. Note the reasons as clearly as possible; improving customer care, rewarding hard work, increasing sales volumes etc should be stated. Employees usually accept goals that are clear and well defined.


It is important to then decide on the type of prize that will be awarded; is it monetary, certificates, or medals? Be clear on what is to be won; don't offer options. It is important to clearly identify what one is winning, if it is monetary, state the amounts to be won. If it is a holiday clarify on the place and be specific on whether it is a family holiday, couples, single, full board or not etc. Provide specifics to potential winners.


The timing of the employee recognition program should be made known to all employees. If the program will be running on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis let it be known to all employees. Once the program is on course it is important to provide periodic updates and let employees know how far the program has gone.

Organizational projects like employee retention plans, employee recognition programs, and any other related programs need to have a designated leader to keep track of the entire operation. Let it be known who is in charge and come up with systems that are easy to track and follow up.

It is also important to ensure proper arrangements are put in place for the award giving ceremony; although this is usually dependent on the program period. Annual award ceremonies usually have a lot of pomp, whereas monthly awards will tend to be lower key. It is important to work around the required logistics and site issues early enough.

The more glamorous the occasion the better it is usually for employees, though some caution should be displayed to ensure that the recognition program remains focused on rewarding hardworking employees and not some extravagant affair that beats logic financially.

It is also very important to be consistent once the prize or award has been decided upon; ensure the organization doesn't change the prize midway after workers have given their all towards achieving a certain goal. This applies both ways, whether it is increasing or reducing the value of the employee recognition programs, it is important to stick with the initially agreed prize.

About the Author:
David Kelley is a Human Resource Consultant with over 30 years experience. He has led numerous teams in developing
several employee recognition programs, service awards and employee retention schemes for blue chip companies in several countries.
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