Dos and Don’ts of Building an Employee Recognition Program


Employee engagement is one of the most effective ways of running a business. Under employee engagement, there are several programs you can implement to boost employee satisfaction, one of which is the employee recognition program. Another thing that you must implement is an Employee Wellness Program that takes care of the well being of your employees. Employee recognition programs are designed to reinforce desired traits while rewarding positive results. However, some companies find it difficult to recognize employees successfully.

 Following these dos and don’ts can help you come up with an effective employee recognition program.

The Dos

Make Recognition Goals Achievable

 It doesn’t make sense to introduce a recognition program that is backed by unattainable goals. Employees need to feel they can easily get rewards and recognition. The ideal way to go about this is by creating criteria based on the company’s structure and culture. When choosing a criterion for rewards and recognition, be sure to be inclusive. Provide equal opportunities for everyone to receive recognition.

Set Clear Criteria

 For the program to be successful, you need to avail all necessary information related to achieving recognition. As stated before, you should base your criteria on company structure and culture. This way, the recognition becomes unique to your firm. However, before launching the program, you should highlight the actions and behaviors you are looking to reward through the program. You need to clearly define and explain what every employee needs to do to achieve recognition.

Give Timely Recognition

 In some businesses, employees have to wait till the AGM or Christmas party before receiving their rewards or recognitions. However, for the program to be effective, you need to praise or reward the employees as soon as they meet the set criteria. Giving timely recognition is an effective way of reinforcing positive results and behavior in employees.

 The program should focus on giving recognition and rewards more frequently to cultivate positive behavior around the workplace. The program should be designed to recognize employees for daily achievements, monthly goals, annual recognitions, and any other criteria you set.

Give Thoughtful Recognition

 There is no one-size-fits-all as far as achievements and recognition are concerned. As part of your employee engagement, take time to learn what you can on your employees, including what they value. This information can help you come up with meaningful and thoughtful rewards based on their personality and achievements.

The Don’ts

 As stated before, the program should be open and inclusive. Everyone should be able to receive recognition at one point or another. Focusing your rewards and praises on the same set of employees can sow discord between the employees. For the program to be effective, here are a few don’ts to consider.

Don’t let it Lose Relevance

 The criteria for receiving recognition should be objective rather than subjective. Avoid setting criteria based on reasons such as calculated rotations for when one should receive recognition. Employee engagement levels may decline if they feel the recognition is just something they receive because it’s their turn. The employees need to feel they have earned it based on their contributions and hard work.

Don’t Criticize Under-Performers

 Praises and recognition are best delivered in public; however, a critic is best discussed in private. You should address an employee’s shortcomings during a one-on-one meeting instead of airing them out in front of their colleagues.

Doing this can greatly affect an employee’s morale, especially when you point out reasons why they can’t make it on to the leaders’ board or receive recognitions. A recognition program should be designed to motivate the employees to do their best.

Don’t Give Meaningless Gifts

 As stated before, it is best to give thoughtful gifts to employees who meet the set criteria. However, awarding employees with last-minute gifts takes out the entire meaning of recognition. Some inappropriate gifts include expired gift cars, personal clothing items, mislabeled or misspelled awards or plaques, and flashy and expensive gifts. Take time and choose gifts for employees.

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

 Once a recognition program kicks in, every employee is bound to show some level of interest. As part of the program, employee achievement awards can be the best motivational tool. Through this, you can inspire loyalty, hard work, and productivity. The program should not only be focused on awarding gifts. This should also be a way of showing appreciation for the efforts invested by employees.

Recognizing your employees’ efforts and contributions to the business can help improve employee engagement. This is also an effective way of promoting job satisfaction and promoting loyalty among your employees.

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