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The 3 Recognition Program Failures

3 types of employee recognition programs that are prone to failure

If your organization is ready to boost staff efforts and improve the workplace culture, you might consider starting up an employee recognition program. It's important to keep in mind that there are three common types of reward programs that are doomed to fail at the start. With the time, energy and resources put forth to secure this recognition system, businesses need to ensure they get a return on investment. Here are some strategies to avoid in developing an employee recognition program:

Reward-Only Programs

Many companies welcome the opportunity to reward their staff with tangible goods, such as plaques and trophies they can display around the office. This can become an issue when the organization places a greater emphasis on the gift rather than the reasoning behind the reward. When an employee receives an award but isn't sure what accomplishments led to it, they won't know what to do to stay on the trajectory toward success.

Rather than implementing a problematic reward-only system, it's crucial that businesses provide employees with the "why" behind the gift. When managers are presenting employees with prizes in a public format, be sure they make a small speech about what this staff member did to achieve this award. Not only does this show the employee what they did to earn it — thereby encouraging them to keep up the good work — it provides guidance to other employees on what they can do to receive workplace rewards.

One-Time Awards

Even worse than reward-only programs are those that explain why employees have earned awards, but only allow staff to win this prestige one time in their careers. In this type of recognition program, if an employee gets recognized during their second year on the job, they will never be eligible for this reward again, whether they're with the company for one more year or 20 more years. Essentially, one-time awards promote the notion that staff members have peaked in their roles; with nowhere else to move up from where they are at present, there are no goals to strive for that will be rewarded in the same way again.

It's not exactly productive when the same employees keep receiving the same rewards all the time. Instead, it's best practice to spread the wealth, trying to award a variety of workers for their achievements, though not automatically disqualifying staff for the recognition if they've already won it before.

Annual Reward Programs

Although annual reward systems seem to be a popular choice among today's employers, it's not always the right route. Instead of presenting your staff with only one opportunity for recognition every year, it's beneficial to distribute awards on a regular basis. Maybe at the quarterly company meeting, you can put some time aside for managers to recognize their top performing staff members, explaining their accomplishments to the entire company and presenting them with a coveted gift. By showing staff members' skills off to everyone — including the CEO and other executives — you're creating a corporate culture that celebrates wins not just on a team level, but at an organizational scale.

When you want to recognize your employees the right way, browse Hamilton's selection of employee rewards, ranging from eye-catching watches to stylish business gift that will decorate their desks. Shop our selection of gift to find the right piece to celebrate employees for their hard work, business successes and tenure.