Using Awards for Employee Motivation – Employee Recognition Programs are Good Business
Awards are good for business. In every measurable way, companies that utilize recognition and award programs experience much lower employee turnover, fewer attendance issues, much higher customer loyalty, increased employee productivity and increased revenues.
Companies are finding it more and more difficult not only to make a profit these days, but just to stay open. Finding and, more importantly, keeping good employees is more challenging than ever. There are many different factors that motivate employees and individuals. These include salary, power, flexibility of schedule, opportunity for advancement, the ability to contribute, etc. Although individual priorities vary, the one motivational factor that is almost universally valued by employees is RECOGNITION.
Employees who feel good about their abilities and their contributions to a company or team are more likely to be happy, loyal and motivated. When recognized for their efforts and achievements, employees historically elevate their desire to excel. In other words, they become engaged in your company.
It all starts with a simple handshake.
Afterward, it’s up to each employer to find a way to keep employees engaged. Engaged employees are great ambassadors for your company. They work harder, learn faster and produce more results. There is a direct correlation between employee engagement and customer satisfaction and loyalty – happy employees equals happy customers!
One of the most effective ways to keep your crew interested and working at peak efficiency is to implement a comprehensive awards program that recognizes and rewards excellence, achievement, service and teamwork.
Among the many benefits to creating an awards program in your organization are:
- It’s Cost-Effective! The short-term cost of giving awards can be a fraction of the long-term cost of salary/benefit increases, especially in a down economy.
- It’s Contagious! When awards are presented, and later displayed on the recipient’s desk or office wall, others will take notice and “Award Envy” may result. Like a domino effect, they will be motivated to earn their own awards which leads to increased performance.
- It’s Fun! The spirit of teamwork and camaraderie amongst employees and management is dramatically improved when people are recognized and singled out for their contributions to your bottom line.
Additionally, when you give awards to individuals you are expressing your admiration and appreciation for the recipients and their accomplishments – accomplishments that take great effort and sacrifice. Awards are symbolic of that effort and sacrifice. In recent years it has become very popular, in lieu of awards, to give employees gift cards and cash in recognition of their accomplishments. Another recent development has been the implementation of “points” systems where employees log onto a website and shop for merchandise.
So what’s wrong with cash? Nothing, so long as it only represents a portion of your overall recognition program. However, cash provides poor lasting recognition. When a cash bonus is given, it normally shows up as a line item on an employee’s pay stub. The recognition for the actual accomplishment is gone as soon as the money is spent. Typically, people use their cash awards to pay bills, go out to dinner, shop for presents for someone else, take care of home repair, get their car registered, and so on. The value of recognition is not very high when it is spent on unexciting daily expenses. The cash will be gone by tomorrow, and the recipients often don’t remember why it was given to them in the first place.
Genuine, tangible awards have the opposite effect. Every time your employee sees that award, the recognition of their achievement lasts, and keeps lasting, week after week, year after year. It continually serves as a reminder of what can be accomplished through hard work, dedication and perseverance. A good quality award will last a lifetime and may even be passed on to family members. How many of you have, or know of someone who has their grandfather’s old military medals? Taking stock of successes builds confidence to move forward and achieve more. Awards are wonderful symbols of success.
When beautiful awards are handed out to employees in front of their peers, they have a long-lasting motivational effect not only on the recipient, but on everyone in your organization. They are a big deal. Awards celebrate and reinforce the ideals and values on which your company was founded. Awards build morale in your team and the power of that recognition delivers to your company an unmatched return on investment – something a gift card just can’t do.