People like different things. How do you know what those are? Ask. Survey and then talk to people about what they would like as recognition for their good work and you not only build a more effective recognition plan, you build buy in.
Building a Recognition Plan isn’t about checking off a box and spending, or not spending dollars. It’s the tangible expression of thanks that you give to people who have helped you.
It sounds simple, but people screw it up all the time, because they don’t listen. People are different, you know that. While one person might beam over another plaque to hang on their wall, another might prefer a celebratory lunch with the team. Some people just want cash, regardless of the amount, and others would move heaven and earth for the chance to leave early, or take an extra day off.
What motivates them is personal, but you want to know what it is so your recognition is meaningful and positive. If you pull a stereotypical introvert to the front of the room and sing their praises and ask them to give a little speech, you’re going to embarrass them and they will probably avoid doing whatever it is that got them there in the future. Now, it’s time to recognize someone who happens to be much more extroverted, so this time you decide to quietly slip a thank you note and gift card into their mail box. Dumb move. They’re going to be hurt, and probably pissed off. They wanted a parade.
Make the time to ask people what they would like for recognition before they’ve earned it. List all the things you could theoretically provide, and be open to other ideas. Have each member of your team independently rate their level of desirability for each item, then discus it with them during your one on one meetings to be clear. Let them know you can’t always provide all of the things listed, some people are cash strapped, but that’s no excuse for not recognizing someone. Rewards, tend to have a dollar value; recognition doesn’t have to, it’s value comes from you saying, “I noticed an appreciated what you did there. It helped a lot. Thank you.”
If you surveyed a team of people, put the results together on a matrix and you’ll see the current culture emerge. Are most people looking for more time off? Do people want to be exposed to different projects? Is there apathy or engagement.
The answers are there, just ask, then listen and follow through.
Listen for more ….