10 Make sure everyone feels included.
It’s understood, that your best performing employees will be recognized for above average behaviors most frequently. And that’s how it should be, this is what inspires others to try harder and improve themselves. But what’s less obvious, is the fact that everyone needs to win at least once. A taste of success is one of life’s most powerful motivators; we earn something once, which proves that we’re capable, and we want to do it again! The opposite is also true… those who never win get discouraged and stop trying. So even your lowest performing employee should be recognized for giving his best and most above average effort, at least once or twice a year. We find that those who don’t often hear that they’re doing a good job, appreciate it the most and make some of the biggest positive improvements as a result.
11 Capture the moment!
When you see someone exhibit that above average behavior you’re trying to encourage, and you recognize him for it, and reward him… that’s a BIG DEAL. It’s an important moment, which your employee will remember, so make the most of it. Remind him of the positive behavior that’s causing this reward, and express your appreciation. When people are having a positive experience together they tend to open up and be more genuine, so this is also a good time to have a short conversation about work, family or life in general. Your manager is feeling positive because she has this rewards program to help her motivate and recognize her employees, and your employee is feeling positive because he is being recognized for doing good things, so be sure to use this moment to create a connection. But also realize that some people like public recognition, and some people are easily embarrassed and prefer to have you recognize them in private. Also, this is a good time to point out that giving someone positive recognition is most effective when it’s done in person, but if you’re not physically in the same area together it’s OK to do this by email, and try to spark a short positive connection back and forth that way instead. However you do it, just be sure to make the most of this positive interaction, and you’ll strengthen your connectedness and improve your corporate culture!
12 Just do it!
If you want to set up a rewards and recognition program, but you’re afraid it’s too much work, or you don’t know how to set it all up – go ahead and get it started anyway. It doesn’t have to be perfect right out of the gate, your program can grow and evolve as time goes on. But the important thing is to get it started, and make sure everyone in your company knows that you are sincerely pushing this forward for the good of everyone who works there! You can start with manager driven rewards, and add in peer-to-peer recognition later. You can start with a limited selection of “rewards choices” for winners to choose from, and expand the selection as you go on. You also want to add new rewards choices in the second year, to keep your selection fresh and interesting, but that can be done at the start of Year 2. Don’t put this off, the improvements in your corporate culture and the connectedness between your managers and employees – is too important to wait. Your best bet may be to find an outside partner who specializes in Employee Rewards Programs, who can get your program jumpstarted quickly. There are companies like this out there, and some of them can get you up and running in about 30 days.