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4 of the Best Employee Recognition Trends for 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Thank you computer key
As we've previously discussed, building recognition into your employee performance management process has a number of benefits. If your employees feel valued, it leads to higher job satisfaction and increased productivity.

Don't worry if your organization doesn't currently have a recognition system or process set up as part of managing employee performance though, because it's not too late to start! If you're stuck for ideas, here are four of the top trends in employee recognition for 2015 - maybe one of these will suit your business down to the ground, or spark off an idea that leads to something else.


Peer-to-peer recognition 

While recognition from the upper echelons is still recognition, employees receiving recognition from their peers is often seen as more meaningful. After all, it's the people on the ground, their colleagues, who really know exactly how they're performing. How you choose to organize this is up to you, whether it's peer nominations voted for by the whole organization or by a panel of judges. 

Going the extra mile for colleagues, who are, after all, internal customers, or doing something extra special for external customers is often more easily identified by peers than management. Peer-to-peer recognition gets everyone involved, and also boosts engagement 24/7. Why? Because it's not only 'the boss' that employees are trying to impress, it's their peers as well. 

Remember the four golden rules for delivering feedback to employees.

Digital recognition

Of course recognition should be digital in this digital age, but it's surprising how many organizations stick rigidly to the trusted methods of physical presentations of a paper certificate or branded reward. Presentations are fine, but the recognition should also be shared digitally - using social media or the company intranet to spread the word makes it much more visible and public. 

Choosing the rewards themselves is also a time to think digitally. Less of the company sweatshirt or branded ballpoint pen, these days digital rewards like virtual gift cards are more popular - and also mean that if certain employees continuously achieve, it's easier to 'top up' their rewards. 

Personalized recognition schemes 

The best employee recognition schemes for managing employee performance aren't typical 'one size fits all' schemes. Perhaps some employees would appreciate getting extra time off, while others would prefer gift cards. It's important to try to achieve flexibility with your schemes, and let employees choose from a number of options if possible. Even if your organization isn't in a position to offer completely individual awards and recognition, at least find out what your workforce would prefer. Talk to employees, ask them their opinions, and they'll feel more valued and included in the process.

Health and Wellbeing 

With our lifestyles getting generally healthier, wellness related rewards are poplar for 2015. Maybe your organization already offers certain health and wellbeing benefits, like free fruit for employees or lunchtime walking clubs. Expanding on this in terms of employee recognition by offering rewards such as gym membership is not only great for health-conscious employees, but it might even save money on healthcare benefits! You could even offer recognition to employees achieving certain heath related goals, for example giving up smoking.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net