Strategies for Successful Employee Recognition Programs

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  • 0:03 Employee Recognition
  • 0:50 Successful Recognition…
  • 1:30 When to Recognize an Employee
  • 2:21 Types of Recognition
  • 4:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Steven Monroe

Steve holds a Ph.D. in Education and works as the Regional Training Director for Airgas, LLC and Adjunct Professor at Western Washington University.

The purpose of this lesson is to discuss strategies to create a successful employee recognition program. We'll look at how, why and when to recognize employees who demonstrate exceptional work.

Employee Recognition

The company president asked his employees to attend a ceremony for one of his truck drivers, Bill. At the ceremony, the company president praised Bill for his 15 years of safe driving with the company, shaking his hand and giving Bill a beautiful wood plaque and a safe driver pin to put on his hat or jacket. Bill smiled from ear to ear as the room erupted into applause, thinking how great it is to be recognized for his hard work. Bill's recognition ceremony is an example of a successful employee recognition program and an actual story played out in many organizations. The purpose of this lesson is to provide you with information on how, when and why a company decides to recognize employees for their good work through the creation of a recognition program.


Successful Recognition Programs

A successful employee recognition program requires proper planning on the part of management seeking to achieve a particular result. Employees feeling recognized for their good work is one reason for a recognition program; another reason is an increase in the bottom line. A happy employee is often a productive and safe employee, which increases the company's value. Therefore, a recognition program is a win-win for both the employee and the company.

Once management decides to build a recognition program, they must decide two things: when an employee deserves to be recognized for their work, and what methods best demonstrate the company's recognition of the employee's good work.

When to Recognize an Employee

Employees understand their responsibility to their work and will either meet or exceed those responsibilities. True, there are those employees who don't meet their responsibilities, but that is a discussion for another lesson. Managers want to recognize those employees who exceed their responsibilities and do exceptional work. You might ask what exceptional work looks like when performed by an employee. Some examples of exceptional work include finishing one's job and then lending a hand to help others finish their work; carrying out groceries for a customer although it isn't a requirement; or keeping the doors open and helping the customer who arrived after closing time. Employees who demonstrate such excellent work by going above and beyond what they are required to do deserve to be recognized. Once the manager identifies an employee to be recognized for his/her extra efforts, the manager must decide how to best recognize the employee.

Types of Recognition

There are three primary ways to recognize an employee for their exceptional work, either through direct praise, earning employee of the month, or offering a monetary reward.

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