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Recognition Intervention Strategies

Recruitment and Retention Toolkit   Recognition Intervention Strategies [2.5]   Introduction: Employee Recognition and Reward Programs [2.5.0]

Introduction: Employee Recognition and Reward Programs

Successful organizations understand the importance of developing a recognition and reward program to recognize the accomplishments and validate the work of their employees. These programs may be formal, offering material incentives for employees who achieve predetermined goals, or informal, providing positive feedback in the form of verbal praise. Perhaps, the most effective program is that which encompasses a range of recognition activities that reflects the unique culture of the organization.

As explained by Recognition Professionals International, the application of employee recognition is rooted in the behavioral psychology principle of positive reinforcement – behavior which is rewarded is most likely to be repeated. In the work place, recognition for behavior that promotes an organization’s goals has been shown to improve employee performance and retention.

Organizations hope to achieve a number of results through recognition and reward programs, including:
  • Creating a positive work environment;
  • Attracting and retaining employees;
  • Creating a culture of recognition;
  • Motivating and reinforcing high performance;
  • Increasing employee morale;
  • Supporting the organization’s mission and values; and
  • Encouraging loyalty.
Many employers are resistant to adopting recognition and reward programs. They tend to dismiss these programs as high-cost, “feel-good” activities with few tangible benefits to the organization and its employees. However, research suggests that recognition, ranging from verbal praise to small non-cash awards, can be a cost-effective tool to raise employee morale and lower stress, absenteeism, and turnover. Furthermore, while employees benefit from recognition programs, the organization’s adopting them also tend to see increased worker productivity and performance, improved profitability, higher retention rates, and decreased costs associated with turnover.[1]

[1] Daniel, T., & Metcalf, G. (2005). The fundamentals of employee recognition.

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