Employee recognition is a topic that has ricocheted across boardrooms and staffrooms for decades, but it’s often an uphill battle to start implementing a successful strategy.
Where do you start? How do you ensure that it’s fair and reasonable?
How do you empower your workforce to really maximise its potential?
Employee of the Month schemes are widely recognised as the bedrock of staff recognition and it’s easy to see why. However, when it comes to starting your own, it’s important to avoid falling into easy habits, ensure that it applies to your whole organisation and, most importantly, build a scheme that people want to participate in.
- All employees need to be eligible for recognition, from the CEO to the IT assistant. By removing eligibility from different teams, you create an uneven playing field, which will disgruntle staff and create a disengaged workforce. Departments can have their own schemes – sales teams, for example, will often have these in place to motivate the executives – but for a company-wide scheme, everyone needs to be involved.
- It’s important to recognise that both behaviours and actions should be rewarded. You may have an excellent member of the customer service team who hits all their targets, but if they’re not approaching their work with an excellent attitude then you have to question what behaviours you’re encouraging if you were to award them Employee of the Month regularly.
- That being said, a successful scheme doesn’t encourage motivation if you’re recognising the most work-shy and difficult individuals. Make sure that this is referenced in your criteria, otherwise you risk undermining the scheme.
- Make it clear that anyone can receive the award as long as they’re performing at the standard that you’d expect from a potential Employee of the Month. For example, there’s nothing wrong with having both the financial director who is celebrating a fantastic revenue achievement and the catering manager, who has reduced costs but increased value, both being nominated.
When you set out this strategy, have staff give you feedback. After all, they’re the ones who will be motivated by this, so you need to ensure it strikes a chord with them.
Recognition goes beyond a monthly shout-out from the senior management team, too. Give everyone who was nominated a thank you note for their efforts, for example. You could even give them a small financial prize, like a box of choccies or time off in lieu. The greater variety of benefits on offer, the more likely you are to find a scheme that’s enticing for your workforce, delivers a great return on your investment but also truly reflects your organisation’s culture and driving forces.
A scheme like this is about rewarding those that do good in your company. You’ll find that it’s worth its weight in gold if you’ve found incentives to accompany the scheme that offer flexibility and also work for your company’s culture. The difficulty here can be in finding that golden egg that offers all of this.
We’ve removed the hassle when it comes to offering flexible incentives with the level of choice that employees desire. The Inspire Travel Card is a gift card that allows users to purchase holidays, trips and transport from over 250 of our travel partners, including Sandals, Kuoni and Thomas Cook, meaning that one thing you can tick off your list is finding something that works for all. With so much choice available, it’s easy to see how an incentive like the Travel Card can really help motivate, engage and retain your employees with an Employee of the Month scheme.