Most Frequently Asked Questions about Employee Rewards and Recognition Programs


What are the main objectives of employee rewards and recognition programs?

Most organizations today understand the success of their business is strongly linked to employee satisfaction and happiness. Employee rewards and recognition programs help organizations to express their gratitude and appreciation for the efforts and contribution of the members of their workforce and drive employee motivation. The main objectives of   employee rewards and recognition programs are as follows:

• Enhance employee engagement by appreciating their good work and valuing their contribution to the organization
• Make the employees feel like an integral part of the organization and provide with a sense of ownership and empowerment.
• Help reduce employee turnover rate by strengthening the sense of loyalty and commitment of the employees towards the organization
• Build a strong employer brand value to help attract top talent from the market


Read about the 4 Key Benefits of Employee Rewards and Recognition Programs


What are the drawbacks of not having employee rewards and recognition in an organization?

Most organizations today have come to acknowledge the fact that employees are their biggest asset. That is why they focus on developing employee-centric policies that help in enhancing the happiness and satisfaction of the workforce. However, the absence of employee rewards and recognition program can send out wrong signals to the workforce, making them feel that their contribution is not valued by the organization. This can lead to lower motivation, commitment and ownership, which can eventually cause a drop in employee productivity and an increase in turnover rates.

Read the article – Can Lack of Employee Recognition Program hurt an Organization?


How to start an employee rewards and recognition program?


To start employee rewards and recognition program in an organization can seem complicated and onerous for most. The following simple steps can help them start such a program easily and quickly:

• Assess the recognition needs of the organization based on the industry segment and the workforce profile
• Create different categories of rewards and recognition with well-defined criteria targeting different aspects of employee performance and behaviour
• Define the frequency and budgets for these rewards and recognition
• Use a technology platform to streamline the process of recognition and reduce administrative overheads
• Modify/ update the program over time based on employee feedback and the business impact


Read about A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Set up an Employee Recognition Program


How to set up an employee rewards and recognition program on a low budget?

It is a popular myth that employee rewards and recognition programs require considerable budgets. However, it is possible to set up such programs with minimal budgets that can be quite effective in motivating employees and driving their performance. What matters is that even the smallest contribution made by the members of the workforce is acknowledged and appreciated. Employee rewards and programs should be based on the following simple principles:

• Create a rewards and recognition program based on well-defined criteria
• Promote a culture of appreciation among supervisors and peers through constant communication
• Have a prudent mix of monetary and non-monetary recognition based on the available budgets
• Make all recognition very visible within (and even outside) the organization
• Involve senior management in the rewards and recognition as much as possible


Read about 5 Low Budget Ideas for Employee Rewards and Recognition


What are the key behaviors of employees that organizations must recognize?

Organizations launch rewards and recognition programs to motivate and engage their employees. While the business context and values of organizations differ greatly, there are a few common behaviours that all organizations would want to promote among their employees, especially through rewards and recognition. The following a few key behaviours that most organizations would like to promote as they have a direct bearing on the success of the business:

• Accountability, commitment and ownership
• Problem-solving
• Innovation and creativity
• Teamwork and collaboration


Read the Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Employee Awards


What are the key points to be considered while designing employee rewards and recognition program?

Employee rewards and recognition have come to play a critical role in an organization’s people management strategy. Organizations that invest in and implement an effective reward and recognition policy in their workplaces tend to gain significant competitive advantages. Such organizations enjoy the benefits of having a highly motivated and dedicated workforce that helps them drive business growth and profitability. However, developing an effective reward and recognition program requires careful planning and execution. Organizations should take care of a few key points to ensure the success of their programs:

• Establish the key objectives of the program
• Create appropriate framework and policies in line with the program objectives
• Allocate appropriate resources and budgetary support for the program as required
• Ensure complete fairness and transparency in the system
• Monitor employee experience and act on feedback
• Use technology to streamline processes and improve the employee experience


Read about the 9 Key Points for a Successful Employee Rewards Program


What are the best practices of launching employee rewards and recognition program in a startup?

It is a common misconception that employees rewards and recognition are only meant for large and well-established organizations and not for startups and smaller organizations. However, nothing can be farther from the truth as startups, more than larger organizations, need to keep their employees engaged and motivated. Since rewards and recognition can go a long way in ensuring the same, startups too need to invest in such programs. Even startups with limited budgets can have a well-crafted employee recognition program that can deliver the desired benefits in a cost-effective manner. Here are a few pointers for startups looking to implement such programs:

• Given the dynamic work environment of a startup, recognition too needs to be dynamic. Spot awards should be in focus. They can also think of fun awards and ice-breakers.
• Startups need to use a judicious mix of monetary and non-monetary awards
• Awards should be creative and meaningful to employees; they should be fun and exciting at the same time
• Startups should maximize the use of digital channels such as emails, messengers, social media platforms, etc. to communicate the awards
• They need to create high visibility around employee recognition by using formal and informal forums such as team meetings, floor huddles, all-hands-on-deck meetings, etc.


Read the Guide to Employee Recognition in a Start-up Environment


What are the different types of employee rewards and recognition?

Organizations need to come up with different types of rewards and recognition with different objectives, criteria, target group and impact – Who is being recognized and for what? What is the desired outcome of the recognition? By creating different types of rewards and recognition, organizations can maximize the impact of the entire program. The most common types of rewards and recognition are as follows:

• Individual recognition
• Team recognition
• Peer-to-peer recognition
• Value or behaviour-based recognition
• Performance-based recognition
• Tenure or milestone-based recognition


Read the Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Employee Awards


Are monetary awards more effective than non-monetary awards?


There is a constant debate about the effectiveness of monetary awards versus that of non-monetary. Whereas traditionally it has been believed that monetary awards work better, there has been a significant rise in the popularity of non-monetary organizations. Though it depends on the industry segment and the workforce profile to a large extent, the increasing use of non-monetary awards has been fueled by the entry of the Gen Z and millennials in the workforce who come with a different set of needs and expectations beyond just financial rewards. Increasing social media usage and higher salary levels of the workforce have made them look towards beyond the traditional monetary awards.

An organization implementing an employee rewards program needs to consider the changing needs, expectations and preferences of its workforce on deciding on the most optimal combination of both monetary and non-monetary awards to get the best results in driving employee motivation.

Read about Non-monetary Awards for Employees can Work Great


Why is Peer-to-Peer Recognition important for an organization?

Peer-to-peer recognition has gained tremendous popularity across organizations. In fact, it has become an integral part of most employee recognition programs. There are several reasons for the growing popularity for peer-to-peer recognition; a few of them are highlighted below:

• Smaller achievements that might be overlooked by busy managers, can get highlighted by peers
• Perceived to be more genuine and unbiased
• Non-recipients might not develop negative sentiments
• Creates a positive culture at the workplace and builds camaraderie


Read about Peer-to-Peer Recognition – Understanding the Nuts and Bolts


What are the best non-monetary awards?

Most organizations today understand that non-monetary awards tend to have an intrinsic impact on employee motivation and engagement. Non-monetary awards can help in enhancing their sense of self-worth and confidence besides assuring them that they are truly valued by their organizations. The following are a few of the best non-monetary awards organizations can consider:

• Flexible work schedule for better work-life balance
• Opportunities for learning and development
• Choice of projects, assignments or roles
• Opportunities for fast-track career advancement
• Direct interaction with senior management
• ‘Shout out’ on social media


Read about the 10 Best Non-Monetary Awards for Employee Recognition


Are work anniversaries and long service awards relevant in today’s workplace?

The process of rewarding and recognizing employees has evolved significantly over the past several years. This has led most organizations to believe some of the more traditional types of employee recognition such as work anniversaries and long service awards have become ineffective. However, there are several reasons why they milestones still hold relevance in modern organizations. Here is a couple of them:

• These milestones are excellent opportunities for organizations to strengthen their connection with their long-serving employees and increase their sense of belongingness and commitment towards the organization
• Appreciating employees with long tenures (especially if they have risen to senior levels) motivates he younger members of the workforce to stay with the organization for the long term and reap similar benefits


Read about Guide to Celebrating Work Anniversaries for Employee Engagement


How do we measure the success of employee rewards and recognition program?

To understand the success of any initiative, organizations need to measure the key metrics impacted by it. This holds true for employee rewards and recognition programs as well. Implemented by the organization to drive employee motivation, productivity and commitment, organizations need to measure the success of these programs continuously. Based on the results, they should take the necessary actions. A few methods of measurement are described below:

• Regular feedback survey of employees to understand their experience
• Focus group discussions with line managers/ supervisors to understand the impact of the program on the ground
• Tracking changes in key metrics such as employee retention rate, absenteeism, project delivery, etc. since the implementation of the program


Read about Measuring Success of Employee Recognition Programs


What are the key reasons for the failure of employee rewards and recognition program?

Most organizations today understand the significance of a well-developed and effective employee rewards and recognition program for business growth. However, many times, despite their best efforts, these programs fail to deliver the desired results. There are many reasons why employee rewards and recognition program might fail; a few critical ones are listed below:

• Program objectives not defined correctly
• Profile of the workforce and their needs/ expectations not assessed properly
• Framework and policies not defined properly
• Lack of fairness and transparency in the system
• Not enough coverage of the workforce
• Lack of visibility within the organization
• Lack of interest and involvement of the line managers/ supervisors
• Lack of involvement of the top management
• Poor employee experience due to process and technology issues
• Not enough changes in the program to keep it relevant to the changing needs of the employees and the business environment
• No feedback is taken or no action is taken based on the feedback


Read about Why do Employee Rewards and Recognition Programs fail?



How can we improve existing employee rewards and recognition program?

Employee rewards and recognition programs are integral to the people management strategy in most organization due to their potential impact on employee motivation, and productivity. However, in many organizations, these programs do not quite live up to their expectations in terms of the impact delivered. In such cases, the organization needs to do a thorough analysis of what is ailing the program and take corrective action. Mentioned below are a couple of key steps that organizations can take to improve existing employee rewards and recognition programs that are underperforming:

• Relook at the business objectives and the framework/ policies to understand if there is any divergence
• Identify and fix implementation issues such as the process flow
• Identify best practices of rewards and recognition from the industry that can be adopted to rejuvenate the program
• Consider adopting or upgrading the technology platform that can improve the employee experience
• Incorporate social practices such as peer-to-peer and social recognition
• Conduct regular online and offline events and communicate to keep the level of interest among the employees
• Seek regular feedback from the employees and their supervisors
• Involve senior management in the program to create more visibility
• Relook at the budgetary support required for the program


Read about Sustaining Effectiveness of Employee Recognition Programs


Can employee rewards and recognition help in driving productivity and quality in an organization?


An effective employee recognition program can play a significant role in boosting employee motivation and engagement levels. A more motivated and engaged employee is likely to be more committed towards work, pay more attention to details, make fewer errors, show more ownership, and utilize their time better. Hence, well-implemented employee recognition programs are likely to deliver higher employee productivity and quality of work.


Read about the Significance of Effective Employee Recognition Programs


Can employee rewards and recognition help in improving customer experience?

Well-developed employee rewards and recognition program can help in motivating employees. A motivated employee is more likely to show higher commitment, ownership and patience in dealing with customers – be it handling difficult customers, answering complex queries or offering unique solutions to their problems. Hence, employee rewards and recognition can help in improving employee experience which in turn can lead to an improvement in customer experience.


Can employee rewards and recognition help in retaining top talent?

Talent retention is one of the biggest challenges faced by modern organizations. There are several reasons why employees leave including unfair compensation and benefits, lack of recognition, the lack of growth opportunities, poor work culture, etc.
Timely and proper employee recognition can go a long way in making them feel valued and assure them that their hard work and contribution is appreciated by the organization. This increase their commitment and loyalty towards the organization. Moreover, a good recognition policy helps in creating a positive work environment, ensuring pleasant and cordial relationship among coworkers. Such a work environment makes the employees comfortable. For the above reasons, a good employee rewards and recognition program can help organizations improve their employee retention.

Read about 6 Effective Strategies to Improve Employee Retention


Can employee rewards and recognition help in driving organizational culture?

Organizations today strive to create a positive workplace culture focused on employee growth and development. Such a culture plays a critical role in enhancing workforce engagement and productivity. A good reward and recognition policy can contribute significantly to building a positive organizational culture. Recognition can make employees feel valued and motivated. Employees are likely to feel happy and satisfied in the organization and thus tend to interact more positively with their coworkers. This creates a pleasing work environment, where coworkers are willing to help and support each other voluntarily. It also helps improves the general camaraderie among the members of the workforce and strengthens the concept of teamwork within the organization. All these factors help to drive a positive culture in the organization.

Read about how the Employee Recognition Program can drive Cultural Change


How can rewards and recognition drive employee engagement?

It is a well-acknowledged fact that having a highly engaged workforce is key to business growth and profitability for organizations. While there are a number of factors that might impact the employee, rewarding and recognizing them in a timely and appropriate manner, is definitely one of the most important. The following is the impact of rewards and recognition on employee engagement:

• Enhances the sense of self-worth of employees and makes them feel valued by the organization
• Boosts their confidence levels and motivates them to strive harder and perform better
• Creates a positive work environment, that enhances employee happiness and builds camaraderie within the workforce
• Increases their commitment and dedication towards their work and the organization


Read about How Important is Recognition for Employee Engagement?


What are the best ways to reward and recognize blue collared employees?

Blue-collar employees are often the unsung heroes within an organization, despite the fact that they are the ones responsible for the smooth and hassle-free operations of the business. They are the ones responsible for performing tasks that need to be done manually in factories, shop floors, warehouses, etc. Thankfully, many organizations today have woken up to the need for rewarding and recognizing this segment of their workforce.

However, to ensure the happiness and satisfaction of their blue-collared employees, it is important for organizations to develop a rewards and recognition system that matches their needs. Here are a few key points for them to remember:

• Reward/ recognize them for their performance based on metrics like productivity/ output and quality of work
• Also reward them for adhering to environment, health and safety guidelines
• Offer tangible gifts/ rewards of monetary value such as electronics, appliances, gift vouchers, etc.
• Provide certificates and trophies
• Organize formal award ceremonies and invite their families
• Involve the senior management in handing over the awards
• Create a physical wall of fame at the workplace with pictures of the award winners


Read about Best Rewards and Recognition for Blue-Collared Employees


What are the best ways to reward and recognize customer service representatives?

Customer satisfaction is the key to ensuring the consistent growth and success of any business. Hence, it is not surprising that most businesses today pay much attention to providing the best customer service through their employees. However, the extent to which the employees themselves are committed to ensuring the happiness of the business clients depends on their own level of satisfaction with the organization.

Employee rewards and recognition can play an extremely important role in boosting the morale and dedication of the employees significantly. Hence, organizations should design rewards and recognition policies are designed tailored to the needs and expectations of the customer service executives. Here are a few best practices in this context:

• Link customer service rewards and recognition directly to customer feedback/ ratings
• Empower line managers/ supervisors to reward and recognize positive behavior instantly
• Ensure high visibility of recognition by announcing the awards on the floor and by creating a digital wall of fame using LED displays
• Offer monetary awards that are aspirational in nature such as shopping vouchers, spa/ salon vouchers, holiday vouchers, etc.
• Give
badges or stars along with the awards that the customer service executives can wear at the workplace



Can technology play an important role in employee rewards and recognition?

Employee rewards and recognition programs have become critical for organizations to drive employee engagement and enhance business growth. To make their recognition programs more effective, organizations should adopt technology platforms; and maximize the expected outcomes of these programs in a hassle-free and cost-effective manner. The benefits of using technology in employee rewards and recognition program are as follows:

• Allows the program to be easily integrated into the work environment by technical integration with various work tools
• Makes the entire process seamless and reduces manual intervention
• Improves the end-user experience of employees and managers
• Offers flexibility to modify the program without too much effort
• Incorporates industry best practices that can add value to the program
• Allows the program to be tracked closely and to collect data that be analyzed for corrective action


Read about Technology drives Successful Employee Recognition Programs


How can we implement a rewards and recognition system for Work from Home employees?

Work from Home has become the new norm for many organizations in the post-COVID era. It is helping them to ensure the safety and well-being of the members of their workforce. At the same time, it has thrown new challenges for organizations when it comes to rewarding and recognizing their Work from Home employees. Here are a few best practices:

• Go digital completely, use a technology platform for running and managing the entire rewards and recognition program
• Make use of high frequency and simple rewards such as spot awards
• Also, consider awards linked to learning and development, knowledge sharing and innovation
• Use e-certificates and e-cards for all awards
• Use digital gift vouchers as reward options
• Use internal communication platforms such as email and messengers to announce the awards and congratulate the winners
• Also, utilize forums such as team meetings etc. for this


Also, read about Post-COVID: ‘Digital Workplace’ is a must for all organizations

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