Reward and recognition – how to love your staff

Harnessing the power of employee recognition is a positive force in employee engagement. Do it right, and you’ll retain your best workers, create good memories, bring your team closer together, and give some life back into the work place. A positive buzz is hard to maintain when real life intervenes, the ‘nitty-gritty’ of the job, the fire fighting and crisis management. But like an oasis in a desert, an incentive reward scheme breaks the monotony of the day-to-day grind. If employers engage with an appropriate rewards scheme for their staff, then it follows the staff will show interest and the rewards become more than just a token distraction from the grind.

Some people
The old adage ‘you can only please people some of the people some of the time’, isn’t necessarily true of rewards. By selecting a reward that gives the recipient choice, be it leading retailers, experiences, holidays, meals out or family days you can find a reward that appeals to everyone. What’s important is to embrace the concept of recognition – to reward your most vital asset for their abilities and willingness to go above and beyond. Employers need to reward those that embrace the change, enjoy new things, tackle challenges, are competitive and are worth rewarding. The right gift, at the right time, with a bit of sincere thought and background research is an absolute must.

Don’t be ‘out of touch’
Time is tight in any business, but if you’re going to roll out an incentive scheme you’ve got to do your research. For instance, there’s no point in taking your staff on an away day of scuba diving if nobody can swim.  From working with people every day, find out who they are – their motivations, their hobbies. Open up a channel of dialogue with everybody and understand what your key players are doing right, why they are winners and are worth rewarding.  Nothing is worse than that sense of forced obligation, so you have it in your own interests to make it a fun experience for yourself as well as the person on the receiving end of the gift. You also have to consider how the reward is presented.  Some people are modest and would just love to arrive at their desk to receive and envelope and a ‘token’ present that they can quietly show-off, whilst others will appreciate the boat being pushed out and given public recognition. A bit of preparation and making each delivery a bespoke one will really benefit you.  And it’s the effort and time put into the presentation and the choice of reward that is the key to success.  Be sincere and make sure that you’re thanking the person for a particular job well done. So crucially, stay in touch with and learn a bit about who’s working for you.

Be genuine
Staff like to be thanked and commended for a job well done. Nothing drives us more than a bit of appreciation from our senior colleagues.  Work is a journey and it’s a long one, so giving and receiving thanks is important.  Staff recognise the value of being rewarded little, yet often. So whilst you may spoil your ‘high flyers’ once a year it’s worth having smaller on-going schemes too. According to OnePoll its survey, UK Workforce Mood Tracker 90 per cent of respondents feel that recognition motivates them to do a better job.