employee-appreciation-day-263x400Good business practice involves appreciating and recognizing your employees. Although appreciation should be a natural activity for anyone, the truth is we all have different ways of giving and receiving gifts and appreciation. Some like verbal appreciation, while others like having an extra vacation day. Either way, employes want personal recognition, instead of a standard gift for all. So if you’re not careful, a thoughtless gift may actually backfire on you.

OC Tanner recently commissioned a study conducted by The Cicero Group entitled Optimizing Employee Recognition Programs. This study aimed to discover if awards are a viable form of employee recognition, and if so, whether cash works better than award items.

If your organization is looking to implement an effective employee reward system, I highly recommend reading this entire study as the six pages highlight some interesting findings. The statistics can come in handy when rationalizing employee reward programs to upper management.

The key takeaways for employee recognition programs are:

  • Award items are better than cash bonuses at contributing to the recognition experience.
  • Award items should be geared toward desire versus need. If cash is given, it will likely be spent on “need” items, such as bills. Therefore employees will likely forget about the recognition much faster than a more personalized award.
  • Though you may be rewarding employees with a tangible reward, verbal expressions of appreciation further augment and reinforce recognition and can “increase the degree of effectiveness by roughly 50 percent”.
  • Create a “tailored selection” of reward items that are unique and personal. This tells the employee that you took the time to offer something of value.

About the author:

Anne Loehr is the President of Anne Loehr and Associates, co-founder of Safaris for the Soul, and an Executive Leadership Coach for Mariposa Leadership, Inc. For more good reads, visit Anne Loehr’s personal blog at: www.anneloehr.com/blog/.