I am going to be upfront with you about your traditional online recognition programs. They won’t work for everyone.
For example, social recognition programs, sending ecards, and using typical performance reward programs, will not hit the mark with your high performers, senior leaders, your top salespeople, or other high-ranking professionals.
But there is something very interesting that I discovered about these elite people. They still like to be recognized. Just not the same way as everyone else.
I will share with you what I learned from talking with some of these professionals and high performers.
It became very clear to me that giving a professional point rewards, sending them an award nomination, or giving a $25.00 or $100.00 gift card, was not meaningful to them. They didn’t relate to this kind of recognition
That’s when I learned something very important. Your traditional recognition and reward programs are appreciated by the 80% majority of your employees. But they will not appeal to a private banker, the top pharmaceutical salesperson, or the executive vice president of finance.
However, there are still some tremendous ways to recognize them. And I am going to share two simple methods with you on how to recognize these high performing professionals.
And if you have a negative perception of something, it can lead to the concept known as the self-fulfilling prophecy. Which is one reason you must view your recognition programs as being very important.
The online Britannica encyclopedia website defines a self-fulfilling prophecy as the process through which an originally false expectation leads to its own confirmation.
In a self-fulfilling prophecy, an individual’s expectations about another person or entity eventually result in the other person or entity acting in ways that confirm the expectations.
So, if you believe that your recognition programs are important, others will act in ways that confirm the beliefs of the importance of your recognition programs.
It is totally amazing the different job roles that exist in our world.
As I interview leaders and employees to learn more about their work, I reflect on positions I never knew existed before. Learning about these skills, trades, and professions makes me realize how sheltered our worldview can be.
Recognition practices and programs should look very different according to where people work.
Organizational leaders often want to know the impact recognition has on people centered metrics. To find out how their recognition practices or their recognition programs have on measures like employee engagement or employee retention can cost a great deal if running a full scientific and analytical evaluation.
One way to ease the cost burden and still collect a powerful indicator is to conduct estimation analysis. Estimation analysis is a simple method to analyze data, employee perceptions, and interpret results.
It is important to remember that in conducting estimation analyses, that you are using an imprecise science to calculate the level of impact, or perhaps the amount of improvement gained.
Consider how you could use estimation analysis in your review of employee recognition practices and programs in your organization.
Online recognition programs are websites acting as a central platform for a variety of recognition and reward programs. They allow everyone in an organization to express their appreciation, say thanks to folks, and give recognition for the great things people do at work every day.
Those with permission can also give people rewards, whether tangible, monetary, or experiential. You give rewards to people for going above and beyond normal work expectations and when excellent performance occurs.
What can your recognition programs tell you that you’re not tapping into?
Setting up business rules in the design and program strategy stage for a new recognition program can very interesting. I often get asked what ratio to set up for the usage of their recognition to rewards in their programs.
My answer is always the same. It all depends.
The thing is the answer really depends on the industry you are in and the need for using rewards or not, and many other factors. For example, a major Silicon Valley technology company will have a significantly higher ratio of rewards to recognition expectation than would a healthcare organization in Texas.
Here are a few guidelines to follow that might help you.
If you are considering setting up a points-based reward program, consider following this list of basic principles before meeting with a vendor or with your own IT team. Points-based incentives are a great tool to use for achieving amazing performance results and for motivating your employees.
Clarify the need for an incentive or reward program. Incentive and reward programs reinforce specific behaviors or actions achieved within a specific time period. Does this fit your purpose for why you want a points-based program?
List the perceived benefits of a point-based reward system. Points are an easily understood reward currency and an alternative to cash. They can be problematic if unredeemed or you paid on issuance. Ensure a great merchandise selection.
Create a business case for using a points-based rewards program. Discuss with all stakeholders the purpose, benefits, and costs, of a points-based program. Outline your action plans for monitoring and any course corrections as needed.
Identify the specific behaviors and positive actions you want people to do. Articulate the specific, actionable, objectives to be achieved that merit earning points. Tell employees things must be done in an ethical and non-gaming way.
Determine how you will track the occurrence of specific results. Figure out the right things to measure using the right measuring stick to do so. How will you know when an employee has performed the desired results in order to reward them?
Find the right way to measure the desired activity. Measure employee productivity and desired behaviors appropriately. Set up systems, recording methods, reports, and online processes needed to measure your target activities.
Figure out the appropriate reward levels for different actions. Different behaviors merit different point values. You can either reward incremental progress towards an end goal or wait for full task completion or target output reached.
Select meaningful and motivational items for point redemption. Make your reward values match the level or degree of performance done. Also give a wide range of merchandise items to choose from when employees redeem their points.
Ensure activities are done the right way for the right reasons. Points-based reward programs can instill gaming or manipulative behaviors. Tell employees to always do the right things that are aligned with both organizational and social values.
Set up analytic opportunities to mine the point-based reward data. Use advanced analytics to look at your points-based incentive data. Find out why certain activities are happening and prescribe what can be done to make great things happen.