Your Employee Recognition Program Is Falling Flat... Now What?

February 25, 2015



I was chatting with an old friend the other day, and he looked at me seriously and said, "Allison, I have to tell you about this embarrassing thing that's happening at work!" I'm not sure exactly what kind of emotional torture I imagined was going on, but as he revealed it, all I could do was laugh.

It turns out, this affront is nothing more than monthly "getting to know the team" employee profile interviews and new hire bios, which both get posted on their message board near the time clock. And, rumor is, there are other activities in the works intended to create a more positive culture. I brought up that we do these kinds of extras all the time. And, much (much) more. I was truly surprised that he thinks it is so silly and awkward.

But then I thought about the shop where he works and their staff, which is a mix of young, hip, artistic types and skilled laborers. They don't care about the fluff. They aren't motivated by it or more satisfied because of it. Most significantly: what they really want is a paycheck. And, there's nothing wrong with that. I can think of a few kinds of businesses where the shenanigans we pull off at Baudville wouldn't fly any more than an ostrich with a full belly.

But, they're trying to do something. The leadership in the company sense a need for more camaraderie. More heart. More engagement. They just don't realize that recognizing, team building, and morale boosting are not one-size-fits-all activities. And, that it’s crucial to acknowledge and understand the people and the environment you’re dealing with before you jump in to any kind of employee recognition initiative.

I thought a lot about this situation, and wondered: if the Baudville way won’t work for them, what would—knowing that they are actively seeking a solution? What kinds of tangible rewards and incentives could they use that would actually have some value (and result)? And, then I had my aha! moment!

If they implemented a service award program using the hi5 Imagine the Possibilities™ card, they could increase loyalty by giving their people a reason to stay through their one-year anniversary and beyond. And, they could offer a darn-near-as-good-as-cash award: a tax-compliant gift card that their employees can use at more than 75 retailers to buy for themselves or their families something they truly desire.

And, if they wanted to get really savvy, they could also start a points and nominations program, and use it to reward behaviors and activities that matter to the company, like accuracy, safety, punctuality, and attendance. The points their employees accrue would eventually add up to more tangible items that matter to them. Allowing for peer nominations to be a part of the program would be a way to get people engaged with each other and help improve their working relationships. And, there might even be a little healthy competition.

I like this idea. And, we like it at Baudville, too, which is why we offer the aforementioned programs through hi5 Recognition. If you’re struggling to find a way to connect with your your team in a meaningful way, you will like it, too. Check out our web site today, and request info or a demo online or by phone at 1.888.919.7600.

Allison is currently living out the elaborate fantasy she described to her now-former staff and colleagues in early 2001. With a hearty dose of courage and absolutely no plan of action, she abruptly left her middle-management job to become a writer—and today she is doing just that in her role as Baudville's Senior Content Writer. She's here to tell you everything she's learned in her 20-years+ professional life, plus a lot more. She's wordy like that!

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