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If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Reviewing Your Employee Recognition Options

March 8, 2011 by  

In our lives we have routines…ways of doing things…and setups…

Have you ever heard the expression, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Most people have. Many Human Resources managers take this stance when it comes to their organization’s employee recognition program. Essentially, they believe that if there is no evidence of a real problem, and fixing the “problem” wouldn’t improve their years of service program, then there is no logical reason to waste energy and time (theirs or anybody else’s) trying to fix it.

I understand where they are coming from. The process of reviewing vendor options isn’t normally at the top of any HR professional’s to-do list. But at the same time, I feel like it is the responsibility of these people to periodically review their options when it comes to their organization’s recognition program vendor. Your employees depend on you to look out for their best interests. This applies to their insurance benefits, payroll timeliness, retirement packages AND employee recognition program.

Change is okay. Do not be afraid of change. The constant evaluation of the effectiveness of an organization results in the need for HR professionals to frequently research and advocate change.

If you feel like the concept of reviewing your current vendor against the dozens of other recognition companies out there is a little overwhelming, do not worry. Award Concepts will make it easy for you. We can administer fully-customized, anonymous surveys to see what your employees think about your current program. These surveys are at no cost to you. We guarantee that you’ll discover something new when surveying your employees. They are unique, hard-working and opinionated individuals; they will let you know what they really think about their recognition program.

Some other things to think about:

– Don’t minimize the value of an effective recognition program or the damage of an ineffective one. Research shows that the more satisfied employees are with the organization’s recognition practices the more productive they are. They’re also less likely to leave your company.

– Don’t treat everyone the same. One size does not fit all when it comes to employee recognition. Take the time to get to know your employees. Find out what motivates them. Respect people’s differences.

– Don’t rely on a traditional award like a logo’d t-shirt or coffee mug as the gift of choice for your employees. Think creatively. We offer our clients a wide variety of fun, modern awards that are useful for your employees.

Looking for a quote? Give Award Concepts a call today (1-800-659-7801). We’ll respond quickly with a competitive recognition program quote that will motivate, engage and inspire your employees.

And remember – just because you don’t think something is broken doesn’t necessarily mean that it cannot be improved upon.

The Relevance of Service Awards: Why a Service Award Program is Essential

March 8, 2011 by  

People want to be recognized. People need to be recognized.

The questions you need to be asking yourself: Are you recognizing them? If not, why aren’t you? And if you are recognizing them, how effective are your methods of employee recognition?

These are important questions. Coincidentally, they’re also the questions that you don’t normally ask yourself on a day to day basis. Recognizing an employee’s hard work and dedication to your organization is what a Service Award Program is all about.

So how does a service award benefit the company as a whole? In simple terms, a happy worker is a good worker. Your employees’ level of motivation has an impact on the quality or quantity of their work. Increased employee productivity and retention in turn benefits the corporate bottom line.

Historically, service awards have been synonymous with employee recognition. Service awards are a way of recognizing employees for predetermined years of service with the company. On milestone anniversaries businesses will offer gifts to commemorate the occasion, usually giving the employee a selection of gifts to choose from. The traditional method of recognition was for an organization to offer gifts to their employees by means of selection out of a printed award catalog. This is still very common, but today more and more companies are offering gifts to their employees via company branded websites, which happens to be one of Award Concepts’ specialties.

Over the past two years, we have invested into the development of “Software as a Service (SaaS)” employee recognition solutions to help fuel your organization’s recognition program. We’ve developed Recognition Portal™ websites that are customized to your company. We have established an Admin Recognition Portal, which is geared towards program administrators, and we also have an Awardee Recognition Portal which focuses on the award recipients. Each portal provides useful tools for day-to-day recognition that will help create a culture of recognition and fit in with your total recognition strategy.

In addition to the recent change in technology within the employee recognition industry, the awards themselves have also changed over the years. An effective mix of award types helps all types of employee recognition, from everyday contributions to major achievements and milestones. Award Concepts offers a wide and varied selection of awards that range from lifestyle gifts to customized emblematic awards. We literally have hundreds of gift selections ranging from binoculars to high-definition televisions, iPods to grandfather clocks, and digital cameras to crystal bowls. Try to think of any award you’d like to provide your employees; we have it.

A service award program is an essential part of every organization. If you don’t have one right now, you should. Contact Award Concepts for more information regarding Service Award Programs.

The Marathon of Employee Recognition

December 1, 2010 by  

Award Concepts' Brian Zwolinski with 2010 Chicago Marathon medal

I am not a professional runner – far from it, actually. I had never run more than 3-4 miles at any given time in my life. But earlier this year, I decided to challenge myself to do something that I never thought was possible: run a marathon.

By means of an intense 18-week training program, I gradually built up my stamina and improved my technique to get to the point where I was physically (and mentally) capable of running a continuous 26.2 miles uninterrupted. On October 10th, I completed the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I’d say it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

It was also one of the most fulfilling accomplishments of my life.

When I saw the finish line in front of me at the end of the race, I had such a wide range of emotions all at the same time. Pride. Happiness. Relief. Excitement. And I thought to myself, “Employee recognition should feel like that.” Those who receive effective recognition in the workplace should be fulfilled, proud, happy and excited. And those who provide it should also feel similar emotions. The right kind of appreciation can help to make a boring day an exceptional one. It’s no secret that people love recognition and praise.

Recognition isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. I’d like to further detail how the process of running a marathon can correlate to effective employee recognition:

1) Training – Without a strict diet and regular exercise routine in place, I never would’ve been able to run the marathon. Your staff members should similarly be trained to engage your organization’s employees. Subscribe them to our One-Minute Manager for daily email reminders on recognition.

2) Purpose – Running a marathon isn’t easy, but all that hard work pays off on race day. Likewise, you need to be conscious of your employees’ feelings throughout the calendar year. Are they happy? Are they stressed? Do they feel like they’re being appreciated? Employee recognition isn’t a ‘once a year’ thing. Talk to your employees. Ask them questions. See what makes them tick.

3) Community – One of the best aspects of the marathon for me was the incredible moral support I received from other runners, volunteers and fans during the race. This type of community and support should be evident throughout your organization. Use your awards program to build a culture of recognition and appreciation. Creating this culture will help to support all employees in continuing to serve your customers with excellent service.

4) Recognition – My name was listed in the Chicago Tribune as an official Marathon finisher. It meant a lot for me to have a published record of my achievement. If your organization has a corporate newsletter in place, you should list all employees who are celebrating their anniversaries each month or every quarter. If you do not have a newsletter, add a new page to your website or intranet. Employees who read these resources will congratulate each other throughout the week. This is a free and easy way to incorporate peer-to-peer recognition into your corporate structure. The best part: it works.

5) Rewards – I have some great keepsakes from my race, including an engraved medal that I have on display at home, and a shirt that tells the world I finished a marathon. Tangible awards act as an excellent reminder to employees that their company appreciates them and cares about their work ethic. Awards can range from standard items like jewelry, watches and clocks to more modern gifts like iPods, luggage sets and bikes. Our programs incorporate a wide variety of substantial and meaningful award selections that your employees will cherish for years to come.

For more information regarding the long-term benefits of effective employee recognition, please contact Award Concepts today. Our tools, tips and techniques will help you develop and implement a recognition program that will achieve the goals your company seeks.

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