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Employee recognition and rewards are essential to creating a work environment where employees feel the organization values their contributions. Recognition and rewards programs are instrumental in employee retention. The reasons employees give for seeking employment elsewhere are often not related to compensation and benefits, but to factors such as recognition and motivation. An employee reward system can fulfill employees’ intrinsic need to receive recognition for their work.
Research Employee Recognition Points Systems
Obtain information about existing employee recognition and rewards programs. Evaluate existing recognition strategy for efficacy and note points that are particularly useful in creating a new system for employee recognition. Conduct research on employee recognition trends, theories concerning employee motivation and employer practices for rewarding employees.
Study Differences Between Recognition and Rewards.
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Study the difference between recognition and rewards. Employee recognition programs are usually based on nonmonetary ways to acknowledge employee performance. Recognition has more to do with utilizing employee skills and qualifications to improve organizational performance and productivity. Employee recognition is akin to employee motivation – it encourages job satisfaction, engagement and productivity.
Rewards programs, on the other hand, use monetary and financial-based incentives to compensate employees for performance. An accumulated point reward system for employees can be a hybrid program that combines both employee motivation tools, as well as monetary incentives.
Create a Draft Scenario for Employee Point Accumulation
Construct a draft scenario for employees to accumulate points for certain work-related activities. List workplace activities that employees currently receive recognition for, such as perfect attendance, meeting sales and performance goals, and maintaining injury-free workdays and workplace safety. Expand the list of criteria for earning points. This potentially increases the number of employees who can participate and those who are eligible for points and rewards.
Review Job Descriptions for Additional Rewards Criteria
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Review individual job descriptions for additional criteria based on employee duties and responsibilities. Be careful not to design a program that rewards employees for meeting the minimal job expectations, however. The point is to reward employees for outstanding performance and behavior – not simply doing the job they were hired to do.
Consider Peer Evaluation for Earning Points
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Look at performance management system documents to determine if your organization has a peer assessment component in its employee recognition points system. Use peer evaluations as a means for earning employee recognition points. In this scenario, employees who receive commendations from their peers earn points based on their co-workers’ peer evaluation.
Devise an Employee Nomination Process
Devise an employee nomination process if your company doesn’t currently have a peer evaluation process as part of its overall performance management system. Employees submit brief statements about their co-workers’ performance. Human resources staff review the nominations and award a certain number of points for each nomination. To be fair, employees who complete nomination forms should also receive points for supporting a collegial work environment.
Construct a List of Rewards for Corresponding Points
Construct a list of rewards for corresponding employee recognition points. For example, employees who earn a specific number of points may be eligible for one day of personal leave or a $25 gift card or even a designated parking spot for a specific period. If your workplace has a gift shop – like in a hotel or hospital – consider the ability to redeem points for a gift shop spending spree or for a paid lunch if you have an on-site cafeteria.
Communicate the Points System to Employees
Draft an employee communication about the point system for employees' performance and how the rewards work. Prepare a cheat sheet that contains a list of employee activities and the value of points for each reward, as well as some employee reward system examples. Announce the date on which you intend to launch the employee recognition points system and create fanfare to celebrate the new system of recognizing employees and to inspire enthusiasm throughout the workplace.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In addition, she is a certified facilitator for the Center for Creative Leadership Benchmarks 360 Assessment Suite, and is a Logical Operations Modern Classroom Certified Trainer . Ruth resides in North Carolina and works from her office in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.