Business Ideas

Provide for "Recognition" and "Rewards" to keep employees motivated

Recognizing employee achievements is an important ingredient of worker satisfaction. Employees generally do not react adversely to extra effort to help an organization meet production goals. However, without receiving recognition or attention for their achievements workers will feel that there is no incentive to perform above minimum expectations.

A simple acknowledgment of the employee's efforts is a cost efficient way to motivate and boost self-esteem. The three keys to establishing a recognition and reward program are: (1) understanding what type of behavior to recognize; (2) what to give as a reward; and (3) how to present the reward or recognition.


Employee behavior to recognize

While there are no rules about what types of employee behavior merit recognition, the most common examples include:

  • Length of service awards
  • Retirement
  • Achieving a certain number of days without an accident
  • Six months or a year without an absence
  • Productivity; customer service
  • Superior performance awards
  • Employee-of-the-month programs 

Employers should be wary of frequently handing out awards as they tend to lose their value and importance. Furthermore, giving awards to every employee rather than on merit tends to demoralize rather than motivate employees.

Potential rewards

Smaller businesses with limited budgets can express appreciation through the use of thoughtful gestures. Inexpensive ways to say thank you include: writing thank you notes to employees on personal stationary; providing courtesy time off; surprising staff on Friday with "something nice;" or create a traveling trophy that goes each month to the employee exhibiting the greatest overall performance level. Greater achievement may merit taking the employee to lunch or providing a group of employees with an informal "thank you" party.

If your budget is large enough, you can also give:

  • Certificates
  • Plaques
  • Trophies or ribbons
  • Jewelry
  • Pens or desk accessories
  • Watches and clocks
  • Cash bonuses
  • Savings bonds
  • Tickets to sporting and cultural events
  • Vacations


Copyright   1987 - 2010 A. Harold Davis, CPA





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