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What should MBA students know about employee recognition programs?

  • MBA Alvernia

Employee recognition programs not only make people feel good, but they can improve worker productivity and retention. If you have aspirations of managing others, these programs are downright essential.

The purpose of an employee recognition program is to acknowledge and reward actions and behaviors that support organizational values and goals. Designing and maintaining employee recognition programs takes effort. It starts with establishing what types of performance should be rewarded. It also requires examining exactly how employees and employer can benefit from the program.

Receiving recognition often means giving recognition. Teamwork can be strengthened when employees recognize one another for performance or cooperation. Peer-to-peer recognition can also provide managers with a good glimpse at their employees’ working relations as well as the challenges they regularly encounter.

A 2012 survey by consultancy Aon Hewitt found recognition was the fourth-most important driver of engagement globally, behind issues such as career opportunities and salary. Recognition was especially important for the Millennial generation – ranking third in importance for them.

Employee feedback goes a long way to ensure that recognition programs meet suit generational and individual preferences. According to Workforce Magazine article “Companies Recognizing Importance of Recognition: Rewards & Recognition Providers,” Millennials are driving the expansion of recognition programs. Now, rewards range from music downloads and dining discounts to spa and golf packages.

There are several sources offering tips on how to manage effective employee recognition programs. Here are some of the ways management consultants, human resource experts, career coaches and leaders from a variety of industries say employees can be rewarded:

  • All employees must be eligible for the recognition.
  • Recognition should occur as close to the performance of the actions as possible to reinforce the behavior the employer wants to encourage.
  • Attach recognition to accomplishments of real work objectives.
  • People like recognition that is random and provides an element of surprise.

Rewards and recognition programs can ultimately lead to a win-win situation for employers and employees.

Completing the MBA program at Alvernia opens up a world of career possibilities. However, it takes more than a degree to become successful. Taking the time to recognize and reward your team for a job well done will also help you develop long-term, positive work relationships. These relationships will become a valuable asset as your career progresses.

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