recognition programs

Rewards and Recognition: Recognition as a Basic Human Need

by Presenta Plaque | on Oct 30, 2012 | No Comments

Did you know that by establishing recognition programs in your company, what you’re really doing is meeting the fundamental needs of your employees? Some believe that basic need is simply a job that pays. Well, that’s not so. According to one interpretation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, anyway.

If you’re unfamiliar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it goes like this: all humans have essential needs that must be met through the course of their development. The most basic of all needs are the physiological needs which are critical to human survival: air, food, water, sleep, etc. The layers of need most important after the survival needs are those that would leave a person’s life empty and discontented when not met, for example, the security of home and employment, friendships, family, self-confidence, and the mutual respect of others. Once these crucial yet basic, lower-level needs are met, the final level of need – that of self-actualization – can be reached. This is the level of creativity, challenge and problem solving that works as a motivator to propel one’s life forward with purpose.

Forbes has recently conducted research with the result of being able to link directly Maslow’s Hierarchy with the needs we as humans have to be fulfilled in our careers. The basic human survival needs remain at the bottom of Forbes’s hierarchy, but above that, where Maslow places the need for safety, researchers have associated the need for employees to receive compensation and benefits. In correlation with friends and family, they place the need for social acceptance and team building, while self-confidence and respect directly translates into the workplace unchanged.

These two tiers, the social need to belong and the need for confidence and respect, are obtained through recognition from fellow employees. Psychologically, humans require the social reinforcement and validation of feeling like we belong among our peers and are appreciated by them. This need cannot be met without our actions being recognized by those we work with. When our peers acknowledge our efforts as part of a team, and when they respect the work that we accomplish, this motivates us to maintain our efforts and provides us with a sense of pride and satisfaction which is indispensable to our psychological development.

The final tier of self-actualization (Maslow’s idea of challenge, creativity and problem solving) is seen in the workplace structure as the needs we have in order to achieve career development opportunities. However, as is the hierarchy of needs, the more basic levels of need must be met before self-actualization occurs. Once our basic needs of compensation, benefits, social acceptance, team building, self-confidence, and respect have been met, only then can we meet our need for personal and professional development.

It’s time to throw out the idea that recognition programs aren’t worth the effort. Can you remember all the times that you were recognized for your accomplishments? Didn’t those times make you a better employee, a better professional, a better person? Recognition is necessary to meeting the needs of your employees and helping them grow into valuable contributors.

For more information on how Presenta Plaque can help you provide the essentials for your employees, give us a call or visit our website!

How Recognition Programs Build a Positive Workplace Culture

by Presenta Plaque | on Oct 23, 2012 | No Comments

In recent blogs, we’ve discussed the importance of recognizing your employees’ performances and recognition activities you can incorporate into your practices, but one detail we haven’t stressed enough is the impact a recognition program can have on your overall business culture. Regardless of the business you’re in, workplaces can be a hotbed of negativity; all it takes is one unhappy person to bring others down. It’s crucial to your business success that you foster an environment that helps your employees thrive. This means building an open, positive atmosphere in which people are given due credit for their accomplishments. After all, employees function better when they know that they will receive praise for any praiseworthy actions, and they won’t be as quick to develop bitterness about any perceived slights.

According to Inc.com, an online news resource for entrepreneurs, simply saying a regular “thank you” to employees may help them accept constrictive criticisms better. Rick Maurer, a business consultant interviewed by Inc.com believes that “if you make it clear that you are trying to make employees better at what they do, positive and negative feedback become a regular part of the conversation.” So tell your employees that their work is noticed and thank them when it’s actual quality work, but don’t just hand out “thank yous” like cheap candy. Maurer states, “If you say thank you all the time, even when people do mediocre work, you won’t build an environment where people handle criticism better.” By offering both positive and negative feedback to your employees, you send the message that they are a valuable part of the team, and you are improving their skills for their own professional development and for the sake of improving your company. Many employers believe that cash bonuses are the most effective way of thanking employees; however, Inc.com reports that employees prefer an in-person thank you and having their accomplishments displayed to management. Surely, “it’s easier to hand out a bonus than to create a culture in which saying thank you is a regular occurrence,” but cash bonuses can send out the wrong message to employees. Namely, one that says all accomplishments have their price, whereas a culture that supports honest and sincere appreciation sends the message that your staff is a team aiming to better themselves and the company.

Below is a list of tips we’ve seen across a myriad of sources who all agree these practices will help turn your business culture into a breeding ground of positivity:

  • Actively listen to your staff. Don’t brush off lower level employees or a colleague you don’t feel is worth your time. You never know when you’ll hear something important, or who will say it when you do.
  • Walk around the office and always know what’s going on. Great accomplishments won’t always make it through the grapevine, so walk around and recognize achievements first-hand.
  • When you see an employee succeed at something, tell their supervisor. Their skill may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
  • After telling the supervisor, reinforce all successes by vocalizing it to everyone. Tell coworkers, managers, and anyone else you can think of when someone accomplished something noteworthy.
  • Acknowledge progress too. Don’t just praise someone for a well-finished project. Applaud them for the road they took to get there.
  • Encourage coworkers to share their talents with others. Build a community where everyone can benefit from someone else’s greater skill or knowledge for the benefit of all, and make your employees proud to be an expert at something.
  • Be consistent in these practices to effectively direct your business culture into a positive and constructive place that will make employees happy to be there.

For more information on how Presenta Plaque can be a part of your daily recognition program that will transform your business culture, give us a call or visit our website!