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The Three Dimensional Approach to Employee Rewards

Did you know that there are different ways to practice recognition? In fact, a thorough recognition strategy gives employee rewards throughout the year in a number of different ways. A comprehensive recognition program has three dimensions: day-to-day recognition, informal recognition and formal recognition.

Day to Day Recognition. This is the best place to start if recognition is new to your organization or needs a face lift. Day to day recognition consists of frequent and on-going expressions of appreciation, and it's usually the least expensive to practice. Day-to-day recognition is often recognized as a hand written thank you note or on-the-spot employee rewards. The practice of this recognition helps build a culture of appreciation through the frequent expressions of employee rewards throughout the organization.

Informal Recognition. Informal recognition gives employee rewards to individuals or teams who make progress toward milestones, achievements or projects. Informal employee rewards are often a low-cost gifts or group celebrations. One of the positive aspects of informal recognition is its wide reach; a high proportion of employees will receive informal recognition at some point during the year.

Formal Recognition. Formal recognition is identified as a structured program with defined processes and criteria linked to organizational values and goals. Formal recognition programs usually honor a small population with employee rewards at a public event or celebration. It’s typically the most prestigious award at an organization, which nowadays goes by many different names, such as President’s Club, Gold Club or Employee of the Year.

Incorporating the three dimensions of recognition provides many opportunities to give employee rewards at your organization! Using all three dimensions ensures recognition takes place throughout the year. And of course, recognition practiced on a daily basis by the entire team – co-workers, managers, executives, front line workers – is sure to create a better work experience for everyone!

Your Professional Portrait

I was 40 years old before I learned this simple concept: What you say about others says more about you than it does about them. It was at a time when my life was in turmoil. I had just been diagnosed with a chronic illness, I didn’t get the promotion that I had hoped for, and then I got a new boss.

I sincerely didn’t like her, and I am embarrassed to say that I spent most of my waking hours bad mouthing her behind her back. During that time I applied for eight different positions and kept getting turned down.

It took many years of reflection to realize that the reason I wasn’t considered for those positions was because I had been complaining to the people who could hire me. 

On a daily basis I was sending messages about my character. It was as"if I was shouting, "I am very difficult to work with!" "I am not a team player!" "I will stab you in the back!" "Hey hire me!"

Why didn’t I see what a negative professional portrait I was painting?

To take charge of the impression you leave at work, ask yourself – "How will my words or actions be perceived?"

Ruby Newell-Legner, Certified Speaking Professional, is an international staff development trainer and culture-transformer. Her company, RubySpeaks, Inc., provides the training employees need to create a work environment where everyone can excel on the job. For more information about Ruby, visit www.RubySpeaks.com.


Quick Tips

To get recognition going in your organization quickly in the New Year, follow these three steps:

1. Listen to people. Simply listening to employees' perspectives on company problems, ideas and issues makes people feel valued.
2. Look for opportunities to recognize people. Managers must make a conscious effort to look for opportunities to give employee rewards. Instead of waiting for the problems and mistakes to find you, go out and look for the achievements and successes.
3. Praise people for their work. Begin by keeping it simple! Verbal praise, a hand written note, a small token of appreciation are all simple employee rewards!


Recognition Best Practices

This month's Recognition Best Practice idea comes from Jennifer Goemann in Des Moines, Iowa. Thanks Jennifer!

"Our company sends a "Getting to Know You" quiz out with a new hire welcome kit. New employees send this back in with their paperwork before their first day. A few of the questions are about the person’s favorite candy and favorite plant, flower, sports team, etc. We provide their new manager a copy of the quiz as it also addresses how the person likes to be recognized, and then we make sure that one of their "favorites" is on their desk day one.

"We have had extremely good feedback about this practice!"


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