Rewards and recognition are the two programs which help organizations to engage their employees to larger extent, increase productivity, bonding and retain them but these are two different practices and should not be mixed with each other. Without these two programs, it is difficult for the organizations to create a competitive advantage. Reward programs are related to competitive compensation packages, incentive schemes and profit sharing in a transparent manner while recognition programs relate to activities that satisfy psychological needs of appreciation. These programs help building the culture and climate of appreciation in the organizations. Recognition practices normally carry intrinsic value to employees and do not demonstrate monetary attachment.
Why rewards and recognition practices do not deliver desired results in terms of employee engagement, motivation and retention? The answer is simple. In most of the organizations these practices are not developed keeping in mind the culture of the organization and mindset of employees. They are just stared by copying from some other organization without deliberating much on specific self needs. Researches have also identified that successful R& R practices are those which are designed after understanding the different segments of employees and their psychological needs. R& R practices that have higher frequency and increased inclusiveness with inbuilt self correcting mechanism are capable of creating difference. With wider distribution of rewards and appreciation at all levels and sense of equity and justice with genuineness, these practices can bring robust employee performance and engagement.
These practices also need to be reviewed at regular intervals keeping in view the changing profile and psychological needs of the employees. Still we find the programs like employee of the month and long service award are in place in many organizations. Actually such programs serve as "hygiene factor" and do not add much value to employee engagement and motivation. Yes, can be good for the organizations that are at start level in this direction.
These practices fall flat when overshadowed by sense of rituals. What is needed the personalization of recognition practices. It requires investment of time and energy of managers those steer the programs. Most of the organizations miss this element. The organizations where HR persons responsible for such programs get involved with mind and heart, it is bound to strengthen and touch the emotional chord with increased level of psychological and social bonding with employees.
The organizations should ensure that such practices are meaningful with greater variety and parameters for recognition with more opportunities are put in place. Recognition activities should not be at pre-decided fixed intervals, but should be done immediately at the moment something extra ordinary happens. It should not be only concentrated on end results of performance but on sincere efforts also.
This issue on rewards and recognition brings the diverse shades of programs with in depth analysis of causes and concerns by recognized management professionals that will compel you to revisit your existing R&R practices and fine tune them according to changing needs.
If you like it let us know. If not, well, let us know that too.
Business Manager -HR Magazine
B-138, Ambedkar Nagar, Alwar - 301001 (Raj.) India
Dear Mr. Anil,
Thanks for your great sharing. I totally agree with you.
It's a very common mistakes made by HR persons. Modern HR professionals must have a marketing mindset to walk in employees's and candidates's shoes.
Related reading: How Well Are You Doing Values-Based Employee Recognition Program?
Hope to see more insight from you. 2nd December 2016 From Vietnam, Hanoi
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