Employee recognition in most organizations is focused entirely on the performance, achievements or tenure of the employees. However, of late, organizations have woken up to the long-term benefits of value-based recognition in enhancing the engagement and productivity levels of their workforce.
Value-based recognition can simply be defined as the recognition strategy where employees are rewarded and recognized for any exemplary behavior that reflects the core values of the organization. These recognition programs are focused on reinforcing and driving business goals, empowering employees, and creating a positive employer brand.
Millennials today form a major percentage of the global workforce and the trend will continue in the future. This has changed the expectations of employees from their workplace, with most of them seeking a sense of greater meaning and purpose as opposed to just better perks and benefits sought by earlier generations. Value-based recognition offers this sense of meaning and purpose to the employees and this, in turn, strengthens their sense of belonging and engagement.
It has also been observed that value-based employee recognition focuses more on the process than the results. When employees focus on honoring the core values of the organization, it naturally results in the achievement of the desired results. This type of recognition also tends to have a positive impact on the relationship between managers and employees. It makes the employees feel happier and more satisfied with their contribution to the overall mission of their organization.
The primary objective of value-based recognition programs is to create a culture of respect, recognition and appreciation for employees across all levels. To ensure that value-based recognition works successfully, organizations can consider the following best practices while implementing such recognition programs for their workforce:
1. Communicate Core Values to Employees
Every organization operates with a certain set of values that it expects its employees to follow and adapt. For fulfilling this objective, organizations need to ensure that their employees are well aware of these core values that are key to their mission and culture. Recognizing employees for their contributions towards promoting these core values makes them feel empowered.
2. Define Desirable Behaviors linked to the Core Values
While communicating core organization values to the employees is the first step, the next step is to define the desirable behaviors linked to them. This helps in removing any ambiguity with respect to how the employees are expected to behave to uphold these values. Such clarity is important for creating a culture of mutual understanding, respect, and dedication.
3. Create Policies that Reward/ Recognize such Behaviors
Organizations need to devise the right policies to reward and recognize the desirable behaviors defined earlier. The important point to understand here is to reward behaviors associated with core values immediately rather than focusing on how the employees are rewarded.
4.. Set Process Flow
As important as it is to reward the employees for desirable behaviors, setting the right process flow is equally important. This essentially means determining who can nominate the recipients, who can offer the rewards, what type of recognition can be offered, and other such aspects besides promoting peer-to-peer as well as top-down recognition.
5. Choose the Right Platform
Investing in the right employee recognition platform is essential for executing the value-based recognition program successfully. Such platforms offer the right features and functionality to tie the core organization values with desirable behaviors and suggest best ways of recognizing such behaviors. Most importantly, such platforms help in maintaining the transparency and integrity of the rewards program.
6. Ensure Social Visibility within the Organization
Organizations need to make sure that every time an employee receives value-based recognition, the other members of the workforce are made aware of the same. Publishing such recognition on internal communication and collaboration platforms such as the Intranet, Microsoft Teams, Yammer and Slack is the great way to do so. It can help motivate and inspire other employees to emulate the actions of the recipients.
7. Link Value-Based and Performance-Based Recognition
While promoting value-based recognition is important, it should not be done at the cost of ignoring performance-based recognition. Organizations need to create a balance between both these types of recognition to create a healthy and balanced organizational culture where their employees can thrive.
8. Track Progress and make changes as necessary
Finally, it is important to track the progress of the value-based recognition program from time to time and make any necessary changes to it. This is essential to stay updated with the changing needs and expectations of the workforce as per the changing market trends.
Developing an effective value-based recognition program helps in clarifying, aligning and reinforcing the organization’s vision and its expectations from its employees; keeping them motivated and focussed.
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