Gift Programs

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Planning an Employee Recognition Event

It is no surprise that employee recognition benefits organizations, but there are so many ways recognition can be delivered that selecting the right method can be a major roadblock in planning an effective recognition program strategy. There are four basic types of employee recognition events: formal, informal, random and planned and I am explaining each one in this post to assist organizations who are trying to plan the right mix of employee recognition events for their needs.

Formal Recognition Events
Description: Employees are presented with a recognition package and/or merchandise award at a meeting, dinner or ceremony.

What they achieve: Positive reinforcement through public recognition.

What is being Recognized: Usually these recognition events celebrate safety achievements, honor top performers and commemorate organizational milestones.

How to Plan for Formal Events: Clients that hold a formal recognition event tend to do so once a year. A couple of weeks prior to the event, a company representative places their annual order for all their custom recognition packages. Sometimes clients will present the recognition packages 4 to 6 weeks before the formal meeting to allow employees to select their recognition awards ahead of time and then present the awards at the annual ceremony.

Informal Recognition Events
Description: Employees are casually presented with a recognition package and/or merchandise award.

What they achieve: Consistent and frequent recognition that thanks employees for their contributions.

What is being Recognized: Outstanding performances, teamwork effort, peer nominations and staff contributions.

How to Plan for Informal Events: One option is to pre-order customized recognition packages to keep on hand for informal recognition opportunities. Another option is to pre-select merchandise awards and hand the awards out to employees when the recognition is given.

Random Recognition
Description: Sporadic, on the spot recognition awards given at the moment a person demonstrates a desired behavior.

What they achieve: Immediate positive reinforcement.

What is being Recognized: Employees are recognized for demonstrating core values of an organization, submitting an innovative cost savings idea, referral activity and going above and beyond expectations.

How to Plan for Random Recognition: Award cards of several different denominations are ordered and kept on hand to recognize employees right after a person is spotted doing something deserving of recognition. When the employee receives the award card, ordering instructions are on the back and a colorful design is on the front, making the award card a keepsake item.

Planned Recognition
Description: Pre-arranged recognition awards given around the time a goal is achieved.

What they achieve: Positive feedback and recognition on a regular basis.

What is being Recognized: Years of service, perfect attendance, employee of the month/quarter/year, holiday gifts and safety achievements.

How to Plan for Pre-Arranged Recognition: Shortly before a milestone is achieved, a list of recipients is compiled and an order for recognition packages is placed. Just after the milestone is achieved, personalized recognition packages are presented to each individual.

An employee recognition strategy often incorporates several of these events to ensure that recognition is given consistently and sporadically. By finding the right mix of recognition for your workplace, management is better able to engage and retain employees over time.

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