Valuing and Rewarding Excellence

Employees are the most important asset for any organization. When enabled and motivated well, they can create breakthrough solutions and great value through innovation and collaboration. It is imperative to invest and nurture employees to build a long-term asset for the organization.

Rewarding good work, consistency and commitment

Reward and Recognition programs are designed to determine the desired employee skills, work behaviour, ethics and accomplishments that contribute towards a firm’s overall mission and vision. These programs are intended to provide financial (reward) as well as psychological (recognition) benefits. Some examples of rewards programs include bonuses, cash rewards, gift cards, or any other tangible reward which is given to an employee in recognition of his / her performance.

The onus is also on the employees to align with the reward and recognition program enthusiastically and benefit from it. Constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement can go a long way in helping the organization design a program that is widely accepted, even across geographies.

People love to get acknowledged and recognized!

Although organizations have strong rewards-based programs, recognition remains one of the vital elements for engagement. It provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work, increases productivity and loyalty to the company. It is somehow ignored by the managers and leaders many times.

Praise and recognition can come from all quarters – managers, peers, subordinates and other stakeholders. In a recent Gallup global workplace survey, employees were asked to recall who gave them their most meaningful and memorable recognition. The data revealed the most memorable recognition comes most often from an employee's manager (28%), followed by a high-level leader or CEO (24%), the manager's manager (12%), a customer (10%) and peers (9%).

Make it Count

Managers need to build an environment in which the employees are empowered and encouraged to give and receive recognition. This positive feedback helps every team member see the value in his or her work. In short, outstanding performance is a result of authentic, meaningful and motivating recognition that is individualized, deserved, specific and timely. Great managers do not adopt “one size fits all” approach for recognition, they individualize their approach.

ecognition can also be in the form of a personal note or a thank-you card. But, the key is to know what makes it meaningful and memorable for the employee. Employees will remember personal feedback from the seniors – even a small appreciation a leader shows towards an employee, can yield a positive impression.

Self-Introspecting questions for Managers

Managers who fail to deliberately use the power of positive feedback are not only handicapping their own managerial effectiveness, but they are also diminishing the power of their employees and teams. Managers need to routinely ask themselves:

  • Do I regularly praise my employees for their efforts?
  • Have I created an environment within my team in which employees are encouraged to recognize one another for doing good work?
  • Do I know how each employee likes to receive recognition? Do I individualize my approach for providing recognition?
  • How often do I celebrate my team’s success? Do I make it a priority?

Best Practices for Managers

Effective managers promote a recognition rich culture in their teams. They do this by incorporating the following behaviours in their management style and approach:

  • Praise individuals for doing good work
  • Recognize your team members in monthly and quarterly forums
  • When you praise your employees, emphasize why the recognized act was important
  • Introduce a unique way to facilitate and encourage individualized recognition
  • Make recognition an agenda item at regularly scheduled meetings
  • Be an advocate for your employees by promoting their areas of competence and expertise
  • Forward appreciation emails received from customers to all team members

Aequs Excellence Awards

In order to boost employee engagement at Aequs, we recently overhauled the Rewards and Recognition framework. Aequs Excellence Awards was launched in India in Quarter-II of FY 18-19 to recognize and celebrate exemplary performance at work. The same will be replicated in France and US in the subsequent quarters. The Aequs Excellence Awards comprise monthly, quarterly, on-the-spot recognition and team recognition.

Motivation and performance of the workforce are essential tools for the success of any organization in the long run – an invaluable tool to help organizations gain competitive advantage. The program aims at creating role models at workplace and reinforce positive behaviours.