Taking a Quick Look at Career Milestone Awards

How are your career milestone or service award programs doing these days?

It seems the majority of organizations have tenure or long service award programs. According to WorldatWork’s 2017 Trends in Employee Recognition, length of service recognition remains the top ranked recognition program with 85 percent of organizations. 

Historically, and especially within the public sector, career milestone years were only acknowledged when an employee reached 25 years or longer. Today, most progressive organizations commence with at least 5 years and then celebrate every 5-year increment thereafter.

But when you look at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the average tenure for salaried employees is 4.2 years. That average drops to 2.8 years for the mobile 25 to 34 year old employees.

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Interesting Insights on The Cash versus Tangible Rewards Debate

 

In reading Khim Kelly’s, Associate Professor of Accounting, from the University of Florida, and her team’s research on The Effects of Tangible Rewards versus Cash Rewards in Consecutive Sales Tournaments: A Field Experiment, I learned some fascinating insights.

It piqued my interest because it was a field study and not one of those in the university lab experiments. The setting was selling rugs in retail stores and incentivizing sales people with either cash or tangible rewards (gift cards from a choice of vendors) for achieving high-performance results over two consecutive sales campaigns, each of three months in length. The study was conducted in a Canadian retail store chain. The Incentive Research Federation has shown that companies are relying more heavily on tangible rewards these days over cash, as a reward vehicle with their various incentive and reward campaigns.

Does one work better than another? That is the question I was curious about. (more…)

You Shouldn’t Have To Convince A Leader About Recognition

I love this quote from Marcus Buckingham,

“Great managers don’t need to be reminded of the power of praise.”

I think he’s right.

In those organizations where recognition flourishes as a way of doing things, you will always find leaders who get it. They know the importance of recognition. They personally strive to practice giving effective and meaningful recognition. And they encourage everyone to be exemplary recognition givers. (more…)

Top 10 Ways to Develop an Effective Recognition Program

Over 90 percent of organizations have at least one and often two or three recognition and reward programs in place. Like buying a new appliance for the home and reading all the instructions to start it up, the most important thing is making sure your recognition programs are effective and not just turned on. Check out these Top 10 Ways to Develop an Effective Recognition Program and see how you stack up. (more…)

2 Ways To Use Your Recognition Programs More Effectively

Everyone wants to improve recognition program usage.

Recognition program owners often want their recognition programs to increase from a quantitative perspective. Why? Because to them these numbers validate their programs’ and their job’s existence.

Areas they want improved are number of people using the program, number of recognition recipients, e-cards sent, social comments made, number of nominations or points given.

Rarely do recognition managers look at the effectiveness of their programs

And that’s what I want to address and where I am going to give you some ideas to think about. (more…)

Top 10 Powerful Ways to Save Your Recognition Budget

 

When talking about recognition and rewards programs the word “budget” is sure to come up. There are few owners of corporate recognition programs who have not dealt with one cut or another over their lifetime. This month I asked 10 seasoned practitioners responsible for recognition programs for their budgeting advice. Their wisdom gives you the Top 10 Powerful Ways to Save Your Recognition Budget.

  1. Get strategic with your recognition budgets. Look at the different types of recognition programs and initiatives available to you and budget where you will gain the greatest business impact and positive response from people. Align recognition to achieve strategic initiatives and let the culture drive recognition.
  2. Measure recognition program effectiveness. Consistently measure both program usage metrics as well as employee perception of recognition effectiveness to learn which employees and where are being impacted the most. Move beyond just reports to actually analyzing the data and correlating with your KPI’s.
  3. Create a sustainable program budget. It is critical to create the business case for your recognition program budget that is sustainable year over year by your senior leaders. With a sustainable budget you can more likely add to it to than becoming the recurring target for being cut whenever financial problems arise.
  4. Build in internal and external accountability. Assign recognition and rewards budgets to each departmental leader and use the program data to hold them accountable. Hold external providers accountable by checking regularly on program usage and spend to reduce costs where programs are not having an impact.
  5. Do a reality check on program equality and accessibility. Correct expectations and educate leaders when not all employees are getting the same benefit of recognition as others do. Programs need to be accessible to all parties even if the criterion needs to be established differently for the various business units.
  6. Research everything and do your homework. Keep up with the latest research findings from professional associations, conference boards, academic institutions and consultants. Mesh their data with results you are getting from your programs. Do interviews and focus groups to collect internal data and compare findings.
  7. Prioritize and shake things up. Money has an amazing way of adjusting your priorities. Nice to have must take second place to need to have when budgets are tight. If stuck too much to the tried and true, a revised recognition strategy may dictate a shake up to achieve more meaningful business and people goals. 
  8. Demonstrate program impact and ROI. Leaders always want to know the results they get from the money they have invested. All recognition programs must demonstrate some form of business impact and where feasible a calculated Return on Investment. Sometimes the benefit is relational and keeping good people happy.
  9. Be transparent with everyone across the company. When recognition budgets are targeted for cuts it is every leader’s problem not just HR. Tell leaders the needs and brainstorm ideas. Gain everyone’s support for keeping recognition and doing it differently. Don’t work in isolation and be open to employee input as well.
  10. Collaborate inside and outside the organization. Ask your fellow leaders across the organizations for ways to save money and use internal resources for typically outsourced work. Shorten length of conferences or award events. Use less expensive award items. Be candid with your vendors and get their input too.

 

Previously published in Incentive Magazine, January 2016

How To Create A Recognition Communications Calendar

Too often all the hype, communications and marketing goes into the launching of a new recognition program.

Then there is nothing. All is quiet. You can hear the hum of the photocopier machine.

If you want to keep recognition alive and well and top of mind you need to communicate and market recognition all year long.

That’s why you need to create a corporate recognition communications calendar. (more…)

Understanding How To Use Your Social Recognition Program

Whenever you see something great happening on the job, besides thanking them directly face-to-face, you can also use a social recognition program to instantly acknowledge your staff online.

Social recognition programs are another tool in your toolbox to better practice giving recognition to your peers and employees. And they help spread the good news of all worthwhile actions happening to others in the workplace because everyone can use it.

Our social recognition program is a great way to acknowledge your staff whenever you see something great happening or when someone reports outstanding performance of a colleague or direct report.

Over 40 percent of companies now have social recognition programs in place. If you don’t currently have a social recognition program you need to get excited about them and become a leading company.

Here are some key points to effectively using our social recognition program: (more…)

How To Make Your People Matter In Meetings

Having exceptional meetings starts with valuing your people and determining what you want them to come away with.

There is a classic cliché definition that meetings are where minutes are kept and hours are lost. However, someone I know recently challenged that perspective by suggesting the idea that every meeting should be a revelatory experience.

If anything, the majority of meetings tend to reveal the harsh reality that little thought went into trying to make them even a meaningful experience. They are often just obligatory time fillers – the cyclical meetings scheduled in our calendars for the standard 1-hour block, with someone dictating the agenda, of little value and even less accomplished.

But what if we could make our meetings more engaging? Imagine showing your employees you value them and their time through changing the way you conduct your meetings. Try these six ways on how to enliven your meetings and show your people they matter. (more…)

4 Principles for Giving Recognition At The Right Time

How important is timeliness when giving recognition to employees?

I am going to show you that there is great value in giving timely recognition to your employees.

We asked managers their thoughts on the importance of timeliness of when they gave recognition to their employees. Here is how they responded: (more…)