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Practical Application: Creating Employee Recognition Programs

Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Employee recognition programs can increase employee loyalty as well as increase employee productivity. Use this activity to practice creating employee recognition programs that work as intended.

Employee Recognition Programs

Well-designed employee recognition programs encourage all employees to work toward a goal. They also do not leave any employees out or encourage cheating in any way. When designed and run properly, these programs can increase employee accuracy, productivity, and loyalty. A side benefit is that they can also increase employee morale and satisfaction.

Problems can arise, though, when these programs are not designed or run properly. For example, if the same employee always gets rewarded month after month, year after year, it can be demotivating to all the other employees. Also, if favoritism is involved in which certain employees are rewarded even if they didn't perform as well as others, then that can lead to employee issues as well.

Now, read the following scenario and create a well-designed employee recognition program that works to increase not only employee loyalty, accuracy, and productivity but also employee satisfaction and morale.

The Scenario

Debbie is the manager at an accounting firm and she wants to create an employee recognition program that will encourage her employees to be more excited about their work at the firm. She has noticed that over the years, employees tend to slow down and not work with as much zeal as they had before. She wants to give them renewed purpose for their work. What types of programs can Debbie put into place to accomplish this?

Analysis Questions

These questions may help Debbie decide what types of employee recognition programs to develop.

  • What motivates her employees? Is it bonuses, privileges or public praise?
  • What common goals can all employees strive for?
  • How can other employees get involved?
  • What amount of resources can be dedicated to this program?
  • Does the program specify rewards for accuracy and productivity?
  • Are there rules in place so that all employees have a fair chance at receiving a reward?

Possible Solutions

A successful employee recognition program takes into account the employees who make up the organization. Not all employees will be motivated by the same reward. For example, while some employees may appreciate a monetary bonus, the same reward might mean nothing to another employee. Understanding the employees at a business is important to creating a program that works for that particular group of employees.

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