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Employee recognition programmes and why should you have one

An employee recognition programme is defined as:

Communication between management and employees which rewards them for reaching specific goals or producing high quality results in the workplace.

Ironically, it is when times are toughest and high productivity is most important that employee recognition is most likely to be neglected. Christmas parties are cancelled and bonuses are cut as efforts to cut costs increase. But there are a number of low- to no-cost ways to show your appreciation for a job well done, such as:

  • a simple ‘thank you’ speech
  • thank you notes
  • gift cards
  • a weekly work lunch or after-work drinks

Effective reward schemes should:

  • Reward specific achievements – schemes such as employee of the month can seem too ‘woolly’ and can lead to accusations of favouritism. Reward specific achievements to let employees know exactly what you want from them, and what you consider to be ‘going the extra mile’.
  • Include peer-to-peer recognition – employees tend to feel more satisfied when rewarded by their peers, who are more likely to know the finer details of what they do.
  • Make recognition easy and frequent – don’t save recognition for an annual announcement, make it easy for employees to recognise each other’s work.