Managers and supervisors know employees look for recognition. Yet they sometimes struggle with just how to praise appreciated employees. A Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Globoforce survey on employee recognition programs found that a successful employee recognition program helps an entire organization achieve its goals. Moreover, by developing an effective rewards program, managers can better reach employees and facilitate individual growth, development and engagement.  

Four Guidelines for Rewarding and Recognizing Employees

Managers and supervisors know employees look for recognition. Yet they sometimes struggle with just how to praise appreciated employees. A Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Globoforce survey on employee recognition programs found that a successful employee recognition program helps an entire organization achieve its goals. Moreover, by developing an effective rewards program, managers can better reach employees and facilitate individual growth, development and engagement.

Deb LaMere“Organizations with strong recognition programs are also those that tend to have higher engagement and retention levels. Praise helps employees feel valued, which in turn encourages them to continue striving for outstanding performance.” -- Deb LaMere, vice president of human resource strategy and engagement at Ceridian

Developing a rewards and recognition program might seem daunting and time-consuming, but with the right approach and the right tools, decision-makers can create an effective rewards system for their employees that will help the company reach its goals and improve engagement and productivity.

Four tips for designing a rewards and recognition program        

  1. Advance company values

When thinking about your recognition program, consider how it will advance your company’s values. For example, if you, as a company, strive to provide excellent customer service, create an award that recognizes such performance in your own employees.

A recognition program formed around core values brings awareness to company values, helps advance those values and engages employees around your values.

  1. Use social technologies

Social technologies are creating new ways to recognize and reward employees. “New online recognition websites are allowing managers and peers to give feedback and coaching in real-time,” explains LaMere. “This is important because with real-time feedback, managers can be timely in recognizing employee actions.”

When designed well, managers can easily send a note to employees with encouragement, gratitude or direction. In addition, social recognition platforms facilitate peer-to-peer interactions and different types of recognition.

  1. Tailor recognition to each employee

“The best way to make sure every employee feels appreciated for hard work is to recognize employees in the way they want to be recognized. Otherwise, the recognition effort falls short,” says LaMere.

This may take some time, but talking with and observing employees will help you understand how they prefer to be recognized. Some employees prefer recognition in front of their peers, while others prefer one-on-one expressions of appreciation.

  1. Give rewards employees want

Similar to number three above, it’s important to think about your specific company and culture to come up with creative reward ideas that your employees will actually appreciate. Keep in mind that rewards are not always about money. For example, some companies have implemented pet-friendly policies or offered massage services as a way to reward employees.

Armed with these tips, companies can be better prepared to recognize and reward employees for their performance.

LaMere concludes, “From engagement comes productivity, so a rewards and recognition program is not something to overlook.”

For more information:

  • View our infographic on employee engagement
  • View 2013 Pulse of Talent infographic
  • Learn more about Ceridian LifeWorks