Employees have cried themselves hoarse saying it – regular doses of appreciation and thank-yous can often motivate them more than a pay raise.
Power2Motivate, in a new whitepaper, lists out the seven components of a recognition culture, with a view to meet the human and emotional requirements of employees.
1. Make it tangible: Recognition, through praise or thanks in front of peers, is a powerful emotional motivator for staff, but that feeling can be made more memorable with a certificate.
Tyre company Goodyear expanded its length of service recognition programme to a virtual ‘store’ where points could be redeemed for thousands of different products, to an enthusiastic response of employees.
“By giving them control, letting them fulfill their dreams, we’re getting more meaningful engagement with the programme,” admitted Natalie Inglis, the company’s senior C&B manager for ASEAN, Taiwan and South Korea.
2. Make it timely: Waiting to recognise behaviour once a month or even once a year may lead to a missed chance to provide instant gratification.
When energy retailer Lumo Energy launched its recognition programme, it wanted to have awards and nominations available 24/7.
“You might recognise something as you’re walking out the door at 5pm,” explained Kerrie Erskine, Lumo’s remuneration and benefits manager.
3. Focus on values, not just performance: Values can be brought to life by being turned into recognisable and repeatable behaviours, and rewarding the good behaviours.
Brought out Goodyear’s Inglis, “We’d had posters on the walls for years, but I don’t think many people stopped to read them. Now we’ve based our recognition programme on our shared values, people are more
aware of what behaviours are expected.”
4. Be completely transparent: It’s only fair to ensure all staff, in all departments and locations, can access the same programme, not just to have everyone working towards the same values, but to keep costs and management time to a minimum.
“I think sometimes we miss the fact that reward and recognition have a significant human element, where people want to be recognised in front of their peers and in front of the organisation,” called out Padam Chirmuley, Stellar’s group GM of HR, which offers consistency across all centres, for over 1,500 staff.
5. Build advocacy at all levels: If senior executives fail to see the value in the programme, it will become very difficult to build a recognition culture.
Middle management, with direct responsibilities for the teams being rewarded, will also have a major impact on whether the programme is effective, especially if they lead by example.
Darlene Winston, SNP Security’s GM of people and partner strategy, said the company put together a steering committee, across its middle management, which actually built the change plan and became the instigators.
“They determined how it should be structured and used, communications and their role as sponsors of the programme.”
6. Make it fun: Gamification tools can tap into different types of human motivation – competition, sense of achievement, or instant gratification.
“We allocate part of our budget to serial cards as spot prizes for games and competitions. Staff type the barcode in and a random number of points are added to their balance,” detailed Stellar’s Chirmuley.
7. Measure and manage: Key performance data must be captured through monthly reports, which could be around the number of points redeemed, the number of peer-to-peer nominations, and the number of people logging in to the programme.
SNP Security has dashboards for every line of business and for every region.
“We’re seeing a correlation between increased engagement and a reduction in other issues such as sick days or turnover,” said Winston.
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