People need to feel valued in the workplace. So what are the ingredients for an effective employee recognition strategy?

Rewarding staff for going the extra mile is a great way to raise performance and motivation levels. From a simple thank you to gift experiences, there are many ways to acknowledge a job well done.

But with 63% of employees worldwide believing they don’t get enough praise, should employers be doing more to make people feel appreciated?

Putting a rewards scheme in place shows a commitment to employee engagement. But if you don’t design and implement it properly enthusiasm can wane. Here are some things to bear in mind when trying to create an employee recognition strategy.

How can people access rewards?

Organizations often carry out acts of employee recognition with little or no consistency. Technology can help fix that. Workplace by Facebook integrates with many of the SaaS tools that organizations use every day. Tools like Recognize – an employee recognition and staff rewards platform integrated with Workplace.

An app like Recognize can help you retain your top talent and communicate your company values. And having everything in one place helps to control costs, gauge results and create consistency across the company.

Employees can use the platform to share their achievements with friends and colleagues, redeem gift vouchers, celebrate birthdays and access their reward opportunities at their convenience.

What exactly are you rewarding?

Many organizations do the odd ‘nice thing’ for staff but there’s often no real cohesion to their employee engagement ideas. Without careful planning, a rewards scheme won’t be effective.

Decide how and why you’ll reward people. For instance, will rewards focus on sales targets? Or customer service feedback? Or outstanding team performance?

Make sure you give employees in all areas of your business incentives. The key is to have measurable targets that staff can strive for.

When will you reward?

An end-of-year bonus or awards ceremony may not be the best way to keep up the motivation. Delaying rewards for too long can have a negative effect – employee recognition is most valuable when it’s given in a timely fashion.

Say a member of your team works intensively for a month to oversee a product launch, stays late and does extra work at home. If there’s little or no recognition for their efforts there’s a risk they think their contribution wasn’t valued and morale can suffer as a result.

What type of employee recognition and rewards will you offer?

There are many ways you can recognize staff contributions but try to give your team something they will actually want.

Providing rewards that are in line with their hobbies and interests should be well-received. Your rewards could also relate to the type of organization you run. A tech company, for example, could reward its staff with new gadgets or a team trip to an industry event.

Here are just a few employee engagement ideas and rewards you might like to consider:

  • Public notices: Post an update in your company-wide Workplace Group. It’s a quick and easy way to celebrate the win or individual contributions. You can even use a #thanks bot that automatically posts your thanks and pings a person’s manager at the same time

  • Long-service award: Recognize staff who have put in the hours over the years. You might like to think of something more original than a gold-plated carriage clock…
  • Experiences: Tickets to a gig or a meal in an upscale restaurant are always popular
  • Shopping vouchers: Perhaps someone has their eye on a new smartphone or designer jacket
  • Little surprises: A free lunch or gourmet food hamper now and again will go down well
  • Verbal praise: Remember that a simple ‘thank you’ for doing a good job goes a long way toward making staff feel appreciated. It’s not always about material things

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