How To's

7 Tips To Reward & Recognize Outstanding Performance Without Breaking The Bank

Business DirectionWhen creating an employee recognition program, the most important aspect is making the recipient feel valued and appreciated—and it doesn’t take a lot of money to accomplish this. Rather, it takes being thoughtful and sincere.

Cash and gift cards, while easy to give, don’t make great employee recognition gifts because they are most often used to pay bills and/or buy living essentials that are quickly forgotten. A better strategy is to create a recognition program based upon branded merchandise—with your company logo tastefully imprinted, engraved or embroidered on the product—to create company pride and support the company brand.

When building your next employee recognition program, implement these tips to make it a success:

1. Understand Your Audience

When giving gifts of any kind, you must be audience-centric. The recognition item should be something the recipient will like, find useful and appreciate.

2. Think About Demographics

Age and gender matter, so select items that are appropriate for the intended recipients. If you’re giving corporate apparel, for example, a unisex shirt won’t be as well received by women as garments that are specifically tailored for ladies. Additionally, the style of garment a 20-something would wear is different than a garment worn by a 50-something.

3. Know Company Roles

Think about the role the recipient plays at the company. If the recipient is an admin that regularly brings lunch to the office, a high-end lunch tote could be considered. Conversely, the lunch tote would be meaningless to an executive that regularly eats lunch outside the office while entertaining clients.

4. Be Personal

Make gifts personal, not generic. Even if you’re giving the same gift company wide, find a way to make the presentation and/or message personal to the recipient. Customize gifts with the recipient’s name or include a hand-written note, for example.

5. Create Tiers

Recognition can come at all company levels—from executives, immediate supervisors and peer-to-peer. Have a tiered program to meet various recognition needs.

6. Use Packaging

Packaging is extremely important, as it can instantly add value and make a budget-friendly gift seem much more expensive. Additionally, proper packaging shows extra effort was taken to make the item feel like a gift and not just something that was taken out of a box and distributed while wrapped in a plastic bag.

7. Incorporate Multiple Ways To Recognize

Look for ways to incorporate recognition throughout the year. Employee Recognition Day is the first Friday in March. Administrative Professionals Week is the last full week in April, with the Wednesday of the week being designated as Administrative Professionals Day. Celebrate employee birthdays. If you have monthly or quarterly staff meetings, recognize outstanding performance for that time period. Host an annual awards ceremony to recognize employment milestones and outstanding accomplishments for the year.

However you decide to honor and recognize employee contributions, it doesn’t have to be elaborate—or expensive. Sincerely saying thank you goes a long way to boosting employee morale.


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