Employee recognition is getting a makeover as companies adjust to the “new normal” of the post-Great Recession economy. The sluggish, slow-to-react and in some cases cost-ineffective recognition techniques of the past, such as annual bonuses and employee-of-the-month placards, no longer cut it.
The message experts are sending now is that workplace gifts shouldn’t stay hidden until a birthday, anniversary or holiday.
The new themes of employee recognition are immediacy and creativity, with an eye toward rewarding performance excellence.
On-the-spot recognition gives employees immediate feedback. At NASA, for instance, frontline supervisors award an “innovation coin” to an employee on the spot for particularly innovative work.
“Innovation coins” are part of a three-point strategy at NASA to engage its workforce and foster a culture of innovation. Leaders at NASA believe a key to innovation and employee happiness is transparency. When employees know why, how and when their work makes a difference, they’ll respond with dedication, consistency and self-motivated improvements.
In the spirit of transparency and sparking innovation, take a cue from the MIT Human Resources department and document your company’s commitment to on-the-spot recognition. MIT’s Rewards & Recognitions Program lays out clear guidelines for on-the-spot recognition:
- Be timely and spontaneous (“immediate recognition”)
- Personalize the message; be sincere
- If sending email, cc to supervisors and/or colleagues when appropriate
- Encourage everyone participate in on-the-spot recognition
- Enhance the recognition by presenting it at a team meeting or informal gathering; for those observing, this also provides an example of how and when to give recognition
- Put your recognition in writing — handwriting
- Keep the recognition appropriate in size for the achievement
Even MIT’s Division of Student Life has a program for on-the-spot recognition. What’s great about this program is how easy it makes saying “thank you” to anyone on campus — from the person who served your morning coffee to the helpful associate in the Dean’s office. An online “On-The-Spot Award Nomination Form” is designed to take only a few minutes to fill out.
The takeaway from this innovative program is that performance-based recognition needn’t involve lavish gift-giving or pomp and circumstance. A simple Thank You card or small gift, such as a gThankYou! Certificate of Gratitude for Ice Cream, sends a strong and positive message to employees.
They’ll know, right away, that their hard work is valued.
For more on fostering a lasting culture of compassion, appreciation and happiness in your workplace, download our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude. Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today!
About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-484-1658.
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