Guidelines for Employee Recognition


1. Create a Game Plan

Recognize what you want to achieve through your employee recognition efforts. Do not use a scattered approach to employee recognition, hoping some efforts will stick while others will not. Employee recognition can quickly become a downer if only the infrequent few are recognized. Create goals and action plans for employee recognition: Recognize actions, behaviors, approaches, and accomplishments that you want to foster and recognize in your organization.

2. Be Fair, Clear, and Consistent

People need to see that each person who makes the same or similar contribution has an equal likelihood of receiving recognition for their efforts. When a standard is set and several people surpass it, recognize all of them. Recognizing only the highest performer will defeat or dissatisfy all other contributors, especially if the criteria for employee recognition are unclear or based on the supervisor’s opinion.

3. Set Guidelines

For day to day recognition, set guidelines so leaders acknowledge equivalent and similar contributions,e.g., recognize the employee who stays after work to contribute ideas in a department improvement meeting.

4. Be Specific

Be as specific as possible in telling the individual why exactly he/she is receiving recognition. The work purpose of feedback is to reinforce what you would like to see the employee do more of; the purpose of recognition is the same.

5. Provide Immediate Recognition

Offer employee recognition as close to the event you are recognizing as possible. When a person performs positively, provide recognition immediately. This positively affects the employee’s confidence in her ability to do well in your organization.