Achieving business outcomes depends on how employees perform, within a positive business culture. Establishing and embedding this culture takes many forms, but employee recognition can be especially effective because it positively reinforces an employee’s own image of themselves and what they can achieve.
“Employee recognition is not simply a reward, it’s a form of communication,” observes Chris Rigby, Managing Director of Invogue Incentives. “It’s how you can reinforce the actions and behaviours that will help ensure the ongoing success and smooth running of your business.”
Effective Employee Recognition
“Positive recognition is both meaningful and supportive,” Chris explains. “Most employees want you to see them as useful contributors, because it boosts their own self-worth.”
To make this effective as a form of positive reinforcement, it needs to be simple and immediate.
“Employee recognition is relatively scarce in businesses and organisations, because for many employers it is a minefield”
“There are worries and concerns about rewarding performance in case it leads to accusations of favouritism, or jealousy among staff,” Chris advises.
Chris points out that, in practical terms, employee recognition does not have to be on a grand scale or particularly complex to be effective.
“Keep it simple, but varied,” he suggests. “It doesn’t need to include compensation or some other financial bonus. Really, it’s the gesture that counts, providing it’s sincere.”
To this end, corporate gifts work both symbolically and physically.
Gift Giving as a Communication Strategy
What matters is the fairness, clarity and consistency of staff recognition. Using gifts as a form of staff recognition helps with this, because while they have a practical, and monetary, value, they represent an individual reward, rather than a long-term benefit.
“Gifts are a form of thank-you, rather than something that represents promoting one person over another, allowing a degree of flexibility and scope to reward the many rather than the few”
This is a vital aspect of staff recognition: that while it helps retain and reward individual talent, more importantly it fosters an entire culture built on positive reaffirmation, encouragement and recognition.
“You must strike the right balance, between consistency and rewarding people for going the extra mile. You don’t want this recognition to become an entitlement,’ cautions Chris.
“Employee recognition through gifts can be overlooked, because it does not involve big bonuses. It is its more intimate nature that gives it an enduring potency”
“The old cliché is that it’s the thought that counts,” Chris concludes. “Actually, it’s really true. Saying thanks to your employees regularly, and marking it with some sort of gift, is good communication in action.”