Associations rely on their personnel's dedication and conviction to achieve their mission and deliver the best possible service to members. Association executives are no doubt aware of the seemingly bottomless well of devotion to the mission their people exhibit every day. However, when it comes to recognizing that dedication and the hard work that springs from it, many organizations could be doing more.
Although most organizations have some type of employee recognition program in place, these programs tend to be based on tenure. That means employees only receive recognition for their contributions when they reach certain employment milestones. It's true that any recognition is appreciated, but these types of recognition programs don't work as effectively to motivate and engage employees in a way that allows them to reach their highest potential.
Because employee engagement and motivation are so vital for associations to provide the best service to their members, association executives should consider recognition programs that go beyond honoring employees at 5- or 10-year intervals. Having a program that recognizes and honors employees for the everyday efforts they make, above and beyond what's expected of them, can have a much stronger impact on them. Not only does this allow associations to show employees their appreciation, but it also can have a significant impact on improving employee engagement and retention. When employees receive recognition for their efforts right away, they are more likely to deliver exemplary results the next time.
When a workforce is engaged and motivated in their shared mission, there is little they cannot accomplish. That's why associations need to consider whether or not their employee recognition programs deliver the results they need. Here are some basic tips association leadership can use to build a more effective employee recognition program that boosts engagement and leads to better overall results.
Make It a Team Thing
There may be no more powerful motivational tool than the recognition and respect of your peers. Implementing peer-to-peer recognition methods -- such as a "wall of fame" where co-workers can nominate one another for recognition -- can be a great way to keep everyone motivated. A regular awards ceremony where employees can nominate one another for specific recognition is another good way to share an appreciation for everyone's efforts. Using your organization's social media presence to single out an individual's efforts also can be very effective.
Keep It Simple
A show of appreciation doesn't have to be extravagant to make an impact. Even a small token of appreciation such as a thank you note or a gift card can mean a lot for an association employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty. Leaving a small surprise gift at an employee's workstation often is enough to let that employee know their contributions to the association's mission are appreciated.
Make It Personal
It's been shown time and again that employees work harder when they know that upper management is aware of how hard they work and show their appreciation. That's why association executives should take the time to get to know their employees as people and listen to their concerns. Having an open-door policy encourages a dialogue between management and employees. Additionally, calling employees into the office for a brief "good job" or "thank you" can mean a lot to employees who are putting forth their best efforts every day for the association.
These are just a handful of ideas that association executives can utilize to improve their employee recognition programs. The benefits of implementing these ideas are clear: employees who feel appreciated work harder and display more loyalty to their employers. Given just how important dedication is to many associations' missions, there is no reason for association executives not to take a closer look at their employee recognition programs.
20 Creative (And Affordable) Ideas For Employee Recognition
created by Point Recognition
Kelly Chesterson is Vice President of Operations for Point Recognition. Chesterson holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Baldwin-Wallace College and is a Certified Engagement Practitioner. She has worked in the reward and recognition industry for more than eight years.
If you are looking for more advice on improving how your organization's association executives interact with other employees, have a look at Sarah L. Sladek's book, Talent Generation: How Visionary Organizations Are Redefining Work and Achieving Greater Success. The book details how organizations can make the most of their employee talent through improved engagement and the like. Get the book identify ways your organization can improve its relationships with its employees to improve decision outcomes.