En­gag­ing chal­lenge

En­sur­ing em­ploy­ees have pos­i­tive ap­proach a key job

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE -

Make the pro­gram fair and in­clu­sive — a re­ward and recog­ni­tion pro­gram must be able to im­pact and mo­ti­vate all of your em­ploy­ees, not just a set of top per­form­ers. This now in­cludes con­sid­er­a­tion for the in­ter­ests and needs of the var­i­ous gen­er­a­tions of work­ers in your or­ga­ni­za­tion. Es­tab­lish your se­lec­tion cri­te­ria so that “jus­tice for all” is per­ceived by your em­ploy­ees which in turn will help to de­velop trust in your pro­gram.

De­sign for mean­ing — con­sider con­duct­ing an em­ployee sur­vey to iden­tify per­sonal in­ter­ests and sug­ges­tions for what would be ap­pre­ci­ated in a re­ward or recog­ni­tion pro­gram. Em­ploy­ees value mean­ing­ful re­wards that they can get ex­cited about and that mo­ti­vates them to excel. Work with your em­ploy­ees to help cre­ate a per­sonal mis­sion that links with the cor­po­rate mis­sion. Form an em­ployee com­mit­tee to as­sist man­age­ment in de­sign­ing the pro­gram. Value all sug­ges­tions.

De­sign for choice — with so many dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests and needs in to­day’s work­force, the best strat­egy is to al­low for choice in the se­lec­tion of a re­ward gift. Re­wards typ­i­cally range from an item with the com­pany logo to mak­ing a char­i­ta­ble do­na­tion in the name of your em­ploy­ees. This will en­able you to meet the needs of an in­ter­gen­er­a­tional work­force and one with sig­nif­i­cant cul­tural di­ver­sity.

Sim­plify the nom­i­na­tion process — en­sure the nom­i­na­tion process is not too com­pli­cated or time in­ten­sive so that peo­ple will be en­cour­aged rather than dis­cour­aged from par­tic­i­pat­ing. Keep your forms sim­ple, and be sure to be con­sis­tent and make the over­all se­lec­tion process trans­par­ent.

Link re­ward with ac­tion — it’s well known that when recog­ni­tion quickly fol­lows ac­tion, you’ll get a lot more “bang for the buck” in terms of em­ployee mo­ti­va­tion. Time­li­ness helps the em­ployee to know why he or she is be­ing ac­knowl­edged and why their con­tri­bu­tion or be­hav­iour was valu­able. As well, your timely recog­ni­tion will be bet­ter re­mem­bered and the em­ployee be­hav­iour re­in­forced.

Train your man­agers — man­agers are typ­i­cally the peo­ple han­dling the re­ward and recog­ni­tion pro­gram as well as lead­ing em­ploy­ees to­ward greater en­gage­ment. Train your man­agers to un­der­stand the goals and ob­jec­tives of your pro­gram as well as how to ef­fec­tively im­ple­ment the pro­gram on an on­go­ing ba­sis.

Pro­mote your pro­gram — help em­ploy­ees un­der­stand the “what, where, why and how” of your re­wards and recog­ni­tion pro­gram. Use mul­ti­ple com­mu­ni­ca­tion strate­gies and me­dia. Be sure that em­ploy­ees un­der­stand the “what’s in it for me.” Plan to pro­mote em­ployee success and recog­ni­tion through your com­pany news­let­ter or email/twit­ter mes­sages. Make them a star.

Make it a cel­e­bra­tion — in ad­di­tion to mak­ing daily ac­knowl­edge­ments, an­nual per­for­mance re­views or spo­radic spe­cial events, cel­e­brate em­ployee achieve­ments by hold­ing an an­nual event. In­cor­po­rate all kinds of re­wards and recog­ni­tion rang­ing from re­tire­ment to spe­cial achieve­ments. Make it a cel­e­bra­tion.

Mea­sure your re­sults — mea­sur­ing success through track­ing em­ployee sat­is­fac­tion and em­ployee en­gage­ment against your pro­gram ob­jec­tives will give you an in­di­ca­tion of success. When man­age­ment is aware of this an­nual mea­sure­ment, you’ll see an in­crease in accountability and lead­er­ship be­hav­iours as well as in­crease in the ap­pli­ca­tion of other hu­man re­source func­tions.

Mean­ing­ful em­ployee re­ward and recog­ni­tion pro­grams are a pow­er­ful tool for en­gag­ing your em­ploy­ees and in­creas­ing re­ten­tion. How­ever, a pro­gram must be well thought out, fair, trans­par­ent and based on cor­po­rate goals and ob­jec­tives that are linked to the recog­ni­tion and re­wards that an em­ployee val­ues.

Source: Em­ployee Recog­ni­tion Sur­vey, Win­ter 2012 Report, SHRM/Globo­force; Cre­at­ing an Ef­fec­tive Re­ward and Recog­ni­tion Pro­gram, Lead­er­ship coun­cil, March


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