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2009-06-11 Employee Recognition
Employee Recognition is a topic that excites different emotions for different reasons. Its simultaneously a cost (for the finance team), more work (for shared services team), a reward, an opportunity to appreciate - to show that the organization cares, a morale elevator (all for the employee) and if not implemented well, an attrition alert in the works (for the organization).
Given that its not easy, whats commendable is that organizations are not shy of recognition programs, recognize their importance. Plus, counter-intuitive that it may seem to add to expenses during tough economic times, they are likely to be most effective at such time.
The highly referenced Maslow's Theory of Motivation - Hierarchy of Needs gives specific areas to focus as part of this initiative. Even if you don't like the hierarchy as is, you would probably agree that the coverage of different areas of needs would be useful to address. I see that Social and Esteem needs are generally where a positive impact can be affected by the workplace, Safety needs are better addressed by government, while Physiological and Self-Actualization needs would be best left to the individual.
I found a good summary of the importance of employee recognition here, various good practices and DO's here and here and some DONT's here.
Having participated in such initiatives in different organization in both awarding as well as recieving capacity, here are some of my learnings on this front :
- Have employees recommend their co-workers, this lends maximum credibility to the process
- Make the initiative inclusive, recognize many people for different reasons.
- Have different components to the rewards like cash, memento and felicitation and of course the most important 'human touch', instead of just one like cash or a memento.
- The overall tone of the initiative should be celebration of talent in the organization rather than that of a competetion. This will give on-going positive vibes to the organization.
- Frequent small events (say quarterly) are preferred over one big one (yearly), although if both can be done every year, would be really great.
Do you have such an initiative at your workplace ? Talk to your HR folks to find out.
Tags: employee recognition awards motivation Maslow organization
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Thanks for raising awareness about this issue!
Organizations do not have to spend a lot of money to make their employee's feel valued and appreciated.
Not only does acknowledging employee efforts increase employee satisfaction, morale, and self-esteem but it can help the organization by creating greater employee engagement and productivity, lower turnover and the ability to attract and retain top quality employees. We've compiled some more information on the importance of employee recognition in creating a psychologically healthy workplace, as well as some resources and tips on how to go about recognizing employees, on our site. Feel free to take a look and let us know what you think. http://www.phwa.org/resources/creatingahealthyworkplace/employeerecognition/
It was a good read.
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