Among the key objectives of doing so are gaining increased commitment or greater discretionary effort from the team, promoting desired behaviors, or achieving specifically measurable results.
Regardless of objective, during a best practices exchange by a group of CI and business leaders it was agreed that recognizing and rewarding employees has a strong impact on sustainable behavior and results — a perspective that aligns with the findings of numerous studies; or, as summarized by one of the participants, “People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be, not what you nag them to be.” (Unknown)
The group also indicated the following criteria would yield the best results when creating and implementing a rewards and recognition strategy:
- Keep it simple: one of the most cost effective methods of all seemed to be the simple thank you note.
- Extrinsic rewards programs require clear metrics, auditing, and mindful design to ensure a focus on the rewarded metrics will not lead to deterioration of teamwork or other facets of the organization due to things such as jealousy or resentment.
- Be specific: it is much more effective to recognize a team or a person for a specific result or accomplishment than for generally “doing a good job.”
- Be timely: the closer in time the reward or recognition is to the accomplishment being recognized, the more impact it will have
- Communicate widely: Publicity helps extend the celebration and communicates widely what is valued by the organization. Similarly, the way in which rewards are presented has a significant impact on how recipients value their rewards. Make a splash! And DO involve organizational leaders in the presentation.
- Be consistent: Be sure that you respond to comparable accomplishments in comparable ways.
- Be authentic: Sincerity in words of appreciation and praise are essential to an effective system of reward and recognition.
- Use team rewards to encourage better organization-wide results.