The No. 1 type of employee recognition comes from the employee's own manager.
According to a recent Gallup survey, employees were asked who gave them their most meaningful and memorable recognition. Direct Managers came out on top at 28%, followed by high level Leaders or CEOs (24%), Manager's Manager (12%), Customers (10%) and Coworkers (9%).
Very often, we are asked in Allgo to design programmes that will help get people managers to say thanks more to staff. And while every company has slightly different requirements, most Manager Reward programmes fall into one of these three categories-
- Instant Manager Rewards
- Manager Nominated Rewards
Instant Manager Rewards
A technology-led alternative to the “on the spot prize” concept, Instant Reward Programmes use a technology platform like the Allgo Reward Hub platform to enable managers to immediately reward or thank staff. Instead of having to have a physical reward on hand, or having to order something that will arrive far too late, the manager can simply generate a personalised, branded token of appreciation, and email it to the employee then and there, or even print off a Reward Certificate to present immediately in person.
Making the reward immediate greatly re-enforces the behaviour that is being rewarded. Also, coming from the direct manager, the reward has an element of recognition automatically built-in, which is as important as the reward itself in terms of employee motivation.
Managers can have a monthly “reward budget” which they are award in defined amounts for specific actions. This manager reward budget actually encourages managers to reward each month, rather than waste their budget.
If using a reward platform, employees can build rewards received and redeem them online on for a catalogue of rewards – everything from retail gift cards to digital codes, technology products, travel rewards, leisure, merchandise and experiences.
And HR and Finance have a complete overview of all rewards made through the reporting module of the reward platform.
Many companies want to encourage people managers to recognise good work in their employees, but for budgetary or process reasons, want to maintain a level of control over who receives rewards, and why.
The old “Employee of the Month” (with wall plaque and cheesy photo) is mostly gone. But the idea of publicly recognising outstanding work each month is still very much alive.
Mostly, we see companies opting for Manager-Nominated Rewards, where Managers can put employees forward for rewards on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Recognition can then happen in a standardised way.
Typically, all people managers are tasked with nominating one of their own employees each month. This is normally done online (usually with a gentle email reminder!) towards the end of the month. Managers are required to give a reason to support their nomination(s). A management group then meets to debate and select the winners.
What’s particularly interesting about these programmes, is that by necessity they have to incorporate a degree of recognition to communicate the monthly winners. And it is this company-wide communication that generates the real power of modern Employee of the Month programmes.
From announcing the winner at monthly events to company eZine or intranet, there is always engagement and interest from employees around who has been singled out for public company praise and why. It also has that company-backed feel that the winners are announced throughout the entire organisation (and not just in the immediate team location).
And because there is a limited number of reward winners each month or quarter, it is possible to devote a higher budget to each reward. Gift Cards remain the most popular rewards to give, though some companies get more creative and offer technology gadgets, wine, hampers, or even extra time off.
Finance departments like these programmes because there is a fixed number of winners each month, and therefore a fixed budget for the year.
Sometimes, selected employees go forward to annual prizes, which can be for significant “Jackpot” prizes like European City Breaks or money can’t buy events, especially if they can leverage any commercial relationships or sponsorship events they already have.
Regular Manger-Nominated Reward Programmes are good for taking the randomness out of thanking staff and puts a structure and system in place that is seen as fairer and more transparent.
And it makes it easier on mangers to recognise their staff in a structured way that could otherwise be awkward, and gives HR centralised oversight of the programme, and Finance full budgetary control and compliance.
Ultimately, it gives the company an opportunity for the single most effective form of recognition – authentic, personalised acknowledgement from the manager, or even from the CEO.
If you would like to find out more about how to implement a Manager Rewards programme in your company, just contact Allgo and we'll be delighted to help.
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