Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Power of Presentation

by Chad Zamler

I was recently given the task of analyzing the data from a company's employee recognition satisfaction survey. Being new the field of employee reward and recognition, I was not sure what to expect. After analyzing the responses and reading the comments, there was one thing that certainly stood out to me. These surveys showed me how essential the award presentation is to the success of a recognition program.

The presentation can make-or-break the entire recognition program. The results of the surveys proved to me that no matter how much employees like their reward, most will not be completely satisfied with the program unless there is some type of personal/meaningful presentation. Some of the employees who were satisfied with their reward, but not satisfied with the overall program commented that they would be more satisfied if "my GM would have known and acknowledged", if there was "actual acknowledgement of my time, dedication, and energy towards the company's success", and if the reward was "handed to me by my manager with a handshake and thank you, not just sent in the mail".

As you can see from some of the employee comments, most employees do not require an extravagant presentation (even though many would like this). They simply want to be recognized by someone that they know and respect. Something as simple as a 30 second acknowledgement with a handshake, "thank you" and "congratulations" by a manager when presenting an award can greatly increase the overall employee satisfaction of a recognition program and employee satisfaction with their job and employer.


Friday, September 12, 2008

No more "Employees of the Month"

One of the emerging themes that we are seeing from our employee recognition clients throughout North America is a shift from traditional manager only nomination schemes. Businesses are doing away with initiatives that could be viewed forever as "favoritism" or talked about as "it's your turn to get recognized this month."

In order to address this organizations shifting away from processes that single out an individual, such as "Employee of the Month" and moving towards more open-ended programs that allow multiple employees to be recognized when goals are reached. The objectives is to insure that more team members are eligible for recognition and in order to be truly effective recognition needs to reach as many people as possible not just a select group of high achievers.

The results have been encouraging in building employee engagement. To add another level excitement consider offering a peer nomination process.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Pen is Mightier...

True story: this past weekend my friend Joe hosted a little soiree at his home, and several friends and co-workers were invited. Over the course of the evening, somehow a conversation about homebrew morphed into talk about handmade wooden tap handles. At this point in the conversation (...and I promise, soon this will relate to recognition...), Joe disappeared momentarily and when he returned he held in his hand a finely crafted wooden roller pen accented with gold.

Joe says, "If you're looking for a good woodworker, you should talk to my line manager.

"When we rolled out our last project, to celebrate the accomplishment he made each of us on the team one of these pens. We each got to pick out the piece of wood that our pen would be made from."

Joe passed his pen around, and each of us "ooh'd" and "ahhh'd" over it and secretly coveted it. "See, mine has this wormhole that make it unique," Joe says.

So, what can we learn from Joe's weekend party? Here it is: Joe's manager did a remarkable job of giving his team members recognition for their work through this treasured memento of their blood and sweat that they gave to the project.

Not to wax too sentimental here, but that homemade pen is possibly the perfect award, and it's what so many of us at Terryberry give our blood and sweat to every day. To capture the shared vision of a group of people working together toward something big, and to crystalize it into a personal and memorable symbol that recipients will remember for years to come.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Work Day Bingo

Recently when presenting to a Human Resources group in North Andover, Massachusetts about motivating employees there were some great informal ideas flying around the room. One Human Resource professionals from a nearby retirement community talked about a practice they have of quarterly Cover-all Bingo.

If the employee teams hit certain metrics over the course of a quarter then the group is rewarded with a day long bingo game. Over the course of the day, there are periodic announcements over the intercom that could include; B-14 or O-68. Employees, who are actively engaged at the time with facility residents, then mark the Bingo card they were given at the start of the day as they work towards being a Bingo winner.

The game goes on throughout the work day until a certain predetermined number of employees reach the cover all level. This HR Director indicated that it makes for festive day with numerous winners (who are then able to select from a group of nice awards) and spontaneous celebrate often contingent on the numbers being announced. She indicated, you will hear YIPPEE or DARN echo through the halls facility but at the end of the day everyone seems to have a good time!

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