Recognition programs tap into the higher needs of esteem and self actualization.

Recognition programs tap into the higher needs of esteem and self actualization.

Employee recognition done well should be frequent, specific and peer based to produce a successful corporate culture, according to a Berslin by Deloitte study. Developing creative employee recognition ideas can result in as much as a 30% lower voluntary attrition rates and inspire people to do more. When you support an employee’s higher level of needs; the need for self-esteem and self actualization you engage them in a path of career advancement.

Be Aware of Yesterday’s Recognition Paradigms

The employee recognition market is estimated at $46 billion, of which 87% of programs are focused on tenure. Berslin’s research found that tenure-based rewards programs have no impact on organizational performance. The length-of-service idea was instituted at the turn of the 20th Century and have been carried on as legacy programs. Breslin also found that 58% of employees don’t even know such programs exist within their company. Indications are that if you are continuing this tradition, perhaps it’s time to reconsider your strategy.

 The Company Barbecue Replaced By Daily Gourmet Lunches

Employee recognition programs for the 21st century should be part of a comprehensive mix of employee appreciation ideas. Today’s view of the ultimate employee appreciation is Goggle’s 11 gourmet cafeterias at its headquarters where all of employees can enjoy free gourmet meals every day. Compare this to the company I worked for in the ‘90’s. One day each year the employees were ‘treated’ to the Employee Appreciation Day barbecue, set-up in the parking lot. The day began with frustrated employees arriving late for work because half of the parking spaces were taken over by large tents. A free lunch of hot dogs and cake was provided, not gourmet but a nice gesture. We sort of felt grateful for the experience, although it did little for employee recognition of individual, departmental or cross-functional team achievements.

Employee Engagement Goes Tech

Today companies understand that a variety of events, reward frequency and unexpected positive experiences deliver a bigger impact. The top five employee appreciation strategies are: peer-to-peer recognition, points programs, contests, instant rewards and goal achievement awards.

Gen X and Millennial employees are a big factor in the social element of modern peer-to-peer recognition

Gen X and Millennial employees are a big factor in the social element of modern peer-to-peer recognition

The young generations in the workforce are a big factor in the instant gratification, social element of modern peer-to-peer recognition programs. Technology-based recognition programs involves the entire workforce and achieves the need for Gen X and Millennial employees to be part of the conversation.

Peer to peer recognition is more meaningful than management directed awards as peers know what each other are doing on a daily basis and a thank you for a co-workers effort or idea is more meaningful to them. Providing a platform where team members are encouraged to reward collaboration, cooperation and communication provides individuals with a sense of belonging and puts them on track for increased self-esteem and self-awareness.

Happy Team Members Are More Innovative

High performing work groups improve profit, process management, product improvement and customer satisfaction.  It is unlikely that an employee acting alone will be able to develop the innovation required to move your organization into the future. Complex thinking requires the input of many people. Modern peer-to-peer employee appreciation and cross-functional team recognition rewards are the perfect addition to a create an environment and culture for innovation and achievement to occur. When you build the right environment, high-performing workers will be attracted to your organization and they will be more inclined to stay.

Kevin Danaher

Kevin’s career spans over 30 years where he worked for New York Sales Promotion and Advertising agencies such as Ventura Associates, and BBDO developing promotional campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands including VISA, General Electric, Kraft/General Foods, Fidelity Investments, and Chrysler. Read More