This is the “Big Idea” award. Its purpose was simple; whenever someone on our creative team had a big idea, they took possession of the award until someone else had the next one. When we fashioned this award from a discarded light bulb we weren’t thinking of peer recognition, employee engagement or on-the-spot rewards; we just thought it was a creative way to repurpose a huge light bulb. The thing is, it worked. The team became more engaged in brainstorming sessions and actively worked to win the award. Even though most wouldn’t admit it, they loved when co-workers came into our area saw the award, and asked the current holder what their “big idea” was.
Why did this award work? According to How To Super Motivate Your Team with the Science of Recognition! The award hit the three R’s of recognition. This means recognizing the:
- Right Behaviors; at the
- Right Times; in the
- Right ways
In my example, employees were recognized for having a big idea (right behavior), while it happened (right time), through genuine praise from managers and peers (right ways). The award increased engagement in the desired behavior and gave the team the recognition they craved.
This type of on-the-spot nurturing of employee behaviors and organizational values can go a long way in helping to cultivate an environment where employees feel engaged and appreciated. In fact, studies show that strong manager recognition can increase employee engagement by almost 60%.
Implementing an on-the-spot recognition program doesn’t need to be expensive or overly complicated. All that is really required is that managers take the time to recognize employees sincerely, immediately and often. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Note cards – Keep branded note cards to write personal notes encouraging employees caught in the “act”.
- Awards – Consider a few travelling awards that can circulate around your organization that personify a behavior you would like to inspire in your employees.
- Promotional Products – Reward employees with products imprinted with slogans supporting behavior and values you wish to nurture. Using imprint like “Creative Genius” or “My Boss Thinks I’m Awesome” that describes the recipient will help
- Give “High Fives” – Keep a few $5 gift cards on hand to give out.
- Retail Gifts – Give high perceived value retail gifts to reward special achievements. By adding corporate branding to the gifts you can give them the feel of an award.
When implementing an award system of any kind, consider giving your employees an opportunity to nominate others. This lets staff take part in the process and feel proud of their colleagues’ achievements. Recently, two members of the HALO team were nominated for awards by colleagues and won! Congratulations to Stephanie Preston, Director of Marketing, for being named one of PPB’s Best Bosses of 2016 and Jenna Smallins, E-Commerce Sales Support Rep, for being named one of PPB’s 2016 Service Superheroes. Receiving these awards was exciting for all involved and a great way to promote positive morale!
Do you give out on-the-spot recognition rewards or use a different type of award system? Share your ideas in the space below.