Employee reward programs are used to recognize, reward, and encourage the best-performing employees in the workplace. Such programs celebrate the surplus efforts an employee may have put into their work during a certain period. Workers might get redeemable points, travel coupons, company-wide shoutouts, or other gifts. Any employee reward program must be designed to improve employee satisfaction, boost collaboration, and lessen absenteeism. Read on to learn about implementing these programs and their benefits.
Key details about employee reward programs
Organizations can follow these steps to successfully set up their employee recognition system:
Step 1 – Choosing reward type
To reward their employees’ efforts, companies need to select the type of recognition they will provide. For instance, companies can provide public recognition (through in-office shoutouts, social media appreciation posts, newsletter features, or other ways) or private recognition (through personalized notes from the company CEO or manager). Apart from these, companies can opt for promotions or monetary gifts for their star employees.
Step 2 – Determining rewarding criteria
Organizations need to set the bar of excellence in a manner that is achievable and will fetch rewards for employees. Criteria should ideally include the skills, behaviors, performance numbers, and outcomes that would warrant recognition for outstanding work by employees. The rewards must be timely, for all kinds of work, publicly visible, inclusive, and values-based (so that everybody works towards the common goal, which is organizational growth).
Step 3 – Deciding the assessment period for the rewards
After deciding on the type of reward and winning criteria, employers need to choose the assessment period for which recognition and rewards will be given. So, will the star employees’ names be announced on a monthly basis? Or a yearly one? Based on these questions, a successful employee reward program can be set up.
Step 4 – Educating employees about the program
Through various communication avenues, such as automated emails, announcements, or during team briefings, employees need to be educated on every aspect of the reward program, including the assessment period, reward type, and, most importantly, the reward criteria.
Step 5 – Evaluating the program
The effectiveness of an employee reward program can be determined only by constant evaluation and improvements. After the system has been implemented, a separate team needs to assess whether the program is pushing employees to maximize their performance (while keeping things ethical). They also need to check whether the rewards are fair, if the company is showing growth due to the program, and, most importantly, whether the employees are happy. Based on such evaluations, one can make subtle changes in the program.
Benefits of employee reward programs
Rewards and recognition programs are a must for every organization for the following reasons:
It creates a collaborative workspace
Reward programs not only foster a hardworking culture, but also an atmosphere of positivity in any organization. Such a workplace is filled with fulfilled and enthusiastic workers. Over a longer period, this results in an organization having a welcoming, happy, and positive work culture.
It encourages friendly competition
Naturally, every employee would want to be on the receiving end of the prizes during the rewards and recognition ceremony. This creates a sense of competition between employees and teams to outdo each other. At the same time, the competition does not turn toxic or unhealthy due to the positivity and happiness ingrained into the organization’s work culture.
It improves employee productivity
Naturally, the prospect of being rewarded pushes employees to perform to the best of their abilities, day in and day out. This automatically raises the productivity levels of a workplace and helps any organization reach its growth and diversification goals.