Rewards and Recognition

Man at iPad

Part of effective staff development is remembering to recognize a job well done. Reward and recognition need not always be monetary (compensation is discussed in a separate section). Studies show that the benefits of recognition are numerous. A study by the National Association for Employee Recognition showed the benefits of developing and maintaining a rewards and recognition program can serve to:

  • create a positive work environment;
  • create a culture of recognition;
  • motivate high performance;
  • reinforce desired behaviors;
  • increase employee morale;
  • support organization’s mission;
  • increase retention;
  • encourage loyalty; and
  • support culture change.

Best practices in employee reward and recognition programs include:

  • Ensuring the recognition is tangible and related to the employee’s position.
  • Going beyond a general thank you and making sure the recognition includes why the performance made a difference to the organization, to a client, to the mission, etc.
  • Practicing consistent recognition among employees to ensure that multiple staff members are recognized.
  • Publicly recognizing strong performance, such as at a staff meeting or in an internal newsletter.
  • Thinking creatively to recognize employees. The State of Michigan has a fun list of 50 No-Low Cost Recognition Ideas.
  • Encouraging employees to recognize their colleagues
  • Creating recognition programs based on employees’ values.
  • Considering educational opportunities as a form of employee recognition.