Employee recognition and incentives form what is perhaps the most important factor in making employees stay in an organization. Also sometimes referred to as rewards and recognition; employee recognition and incentives strike at the very heart of employee morale. It is at the very core of human nature to crave for recognition and to get rewarded for good work. When an organization does that, the feeling of gratification it arouses in the employee is simply inestimable.
The two are different from each other
Employee recognition and incentives are sometimes treated differently from each other, although there is a strong relationship between the two. Incentives are in the form of gifts or other short term benefits. They are more like a prize that an employee gets for doing well at a point of time. An example of an incentive is “Employee of the Month”, which is a small reward that the employer gives an employee who worked best during a particular month. A symbolic gift or vouchers are usually given as incentives.
A recognition award is a different ball game. It is awarded in recognition of the fact that the employee is a valuable contributor to the organization. Employee recognition and incentives have a stronger meaning when the employee feels that the management is constantly observing and appreciating her performance. The fact that such employee recognition and incentives are given out at specific occasions and is made known to the entire organization is a great booster.
Employee recognition and incentives need to be very inventive
An employee recognition and incentives program can carry extra punch if it is timed and executed to a nicety. Here is where the employer’s finesse comes to the fore. Instead of the usual gifts – these can be good motivators too – a more powerful gesture such as announcing to the whole organization the work that an employee did carries far greater impact.
A simple but effective method of recognizing the employee through an effective employee recognition and incentives program could be to send out a Thank You mail in which every employee, or every employee who was part of the project for which the recognition is being made, is marked.
The purpose of an employee recognition and incentives initiative should not be lost
The point to be noted about employee recognition and incentives is that it is not the enormity of the gift, but rather the timing, meaning and the way in which it is done that matters to make the employee recognition and incentives a successful one. The aim should be to give the employee her due for her diligence or hard work or inventiveness and make her feel special about it and cherish it for a long time to come.