Top 5 Signs Your Employee Recognition Program Needs an Overhaul

by Sabrina Son on Mar 9, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Top 5 Signs Your Employee Recognition Program Needs an Overhaul by TINYpulseWhen is the last time you reassessed your recognition program? If it’s been quite some time — or you can’t remember the last time you took a look at it — now is as good a time as any to revisit your program to see what improvements can be made.

And even if you periodically review your program, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear either. Here are five telltale signs your recognition program needs an overhaul:


1. You’ve been giving out the same gifts for years — and your employees hate them

Have you been giving your employees gift cards to the same nearby restaurant that everyone hates? If you’ve been giving the same presents to your staff when you recognize their hard work, take a look around the office to make sure that there aren’t any stockpiles of unwanted gifts cluttering up workspaces.

At least half of the surprise of getting a gift is not knowing what it is until you open it. If your employees can not only guess what you’re going to give them but already start feeling disgusted when they see you walking toward them because they don’t want that item in the first place, it’s time to give your recognition program a face-lift.


2. Employees are recognized on an inconsistent basis

Top 5 Signs Your Employee Recognition Program Needs an Overhaul by TINYpulseSOURCE:

You can’t just award your favorite employees when they do a good job and let the ones you don’t know as well go unnoticed for their efforts when they perform similarly.

According to our research, less than 33% of employees feel valued at their jobs. If you give out awards to the more popular employees but ignore the hard work of everyone else, there’s a good chance at least some of your team will feel as though they don’t matter that much to the company.

Develop recognition criteria, and make sure you apply it consistently across your organization.


3. You give everyone an award when it is “their turn”

You can’t just go around giving staff members awards on a scheduled basis, either. If your team knows that recognition is applied broadly and systematically, they probably won’t be too keen on trying their hardest. What’s the point? They know that no one gets rewarded for going above and beyond. They only get rewarded when it’s their turn.

Definitely try to spread out recognition when you can. But only give it to employees who actually deserve it.


4. Only upper management is allowed to recognize employees

Top 5 Signs Your Employee Recognition Program Needs an Overhaul by TINYpulseSOURCE:

Does your organization only allow managers and executives to recognize employees for their hard work? If so, you’ll probably want to open up the recognition program to all employees.

After all, managers aren’t always in the trenches with their team every day. They might not see how an employee is busting their tail on a consistent basis — but that person’s coworkers most assuredly will. By opening up the recognition program to employees at all levels, you reduce the chances an extremely hard worker will get overlooked.


5. You’ve never asked your employees what they think of the program

What do your employees think about your recognition program? Have you ever asked them? The whole point of an employee recognition program is to make your staff feel great about working hard, to make them feel as though their sweat was not in vain. You want to encourage them to reach their full potential and reinforce and reward positive behavior.

The easiest way to ensure your recognition program is accomplishing those goals is by asking your employees directly. Ask them what they would like to see change in the recognition program. By soliciting their feedback directly, you can be certain your recognition program is working.



The Effects of Employee Recognition & Appreciation Report by TINYpulse

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This post was written by Sabrina Son

Sabrina is the managing editor for the TINYpulse blog. A Seattle native, she loves her morning (or anytime) coffee, spending her weekends on the mountains, and of course, the famous rain.

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