The human brain thrives on recognition. When employees receive recognition, the hypothalamus is stimulated and this increases the production of dopamine.

This, in turn, enhances the quality of work and improves productivity at an organization.

An employee recognition program is a powerful tool that will not only recognize hardworking employees but also create a culture to align them with your organizational goals.

So, what is the psychology behind effective recognition programs for employees, and how can you make a successful one? Read on to find out!

5 Elements That Make Employee Recognition Programs Successful

According to a study by psychologists, gratitude is among the most positive emotional responses humans can give and receive.

Practically, it is the same as recognition. The study shows that grateful workers are more responsible, productive, and ultimately more efficient. 

With systems such as Bonusly’s software, a company can run an effective employee recognition program and keep its workers in high spirits at all times. Here are the things that make employee recognition successful.

1. Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement in the workplace involves recognizing and rewarding desired behaviors from your employees. This may include elements such as praise, incentives, or even simple appreciation.

Positive Reinforcement

Most employers only focus on being strict and ensuring employees follow a set of rules. It may create a rift between the two parties and give employees a hard time at the workplace.

When it comes to positive reinforcement, employers must strike a balance between being too harsh on the employees and being too nice.

The right amount of motivation and recognition will yield increased employee productivity as well as stronger interpersonal relationships. It is all about driving intrinsic motivation.

2. Commitment from The Top

Regardless of your organization’s size, the employee recognition program must capture everyone; from the top to the bottom. Most programs tend to fail because it excludes the top executives and senior managers.

However, involving everyone in the program brings life to the company and makes all employees more motivated to achieve the organizational goals.

Additionally, committing from the top increases visibility and administrative efficiency which are vital for all departments in the company.

Whether one is in the finance or the sales department, they know that they have to do better for recognition and awards.

3. Meaningful Employee Recognition

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to employee recognition programs. A recent employee survey shows that more than 60% of them are not consistently recognized.

When the recognition happens, 30% of them claim that it doesn’t relate to their desires or wants, which further demotivates them.

As an employer, you must come up with incentives and awards that align with the employee’s needs. For instance, you can start with verbal praise and move to meaningful merchandise.

Gone are the days when all employers gave was branded notebooks and pens. Depending on your organization, you can also incorporate paid destination vacations for the best-performing employees. 

If you are stuck on knowing what your employees need, consider using online and offline assessment tools or surveys to know what motivates them. Don’t forget to make the surveys anonymous for more legitimate responses.

4. Take Time To Measure Success

Technology has hugely switched up how we do things. In the 21st century, recognition is no longer an intangible soft topic.

Take Time To Measure Success

You can incorporate modern techniques that allow you to quickly capture, track, and report the behaviours to base recognition on.

One of the best ways is using surveys to understand your employees and determine how frequently meaningful recognition occurs.

Whether your objective as a company is to increase employee retention or enhance employee satisfaction, you must base it on measurable business objectives.

With this information, you can formulate an employee recognition program that communicates and encourages your desired organizational values and behaviors.

5. Continuous Improvement

There is no end to employee recognition. The lack of freshness is one of the largest complaints that employees make when participating in these programs.

This is because most organizations or companies wait up to a year to update or change the types of incentives. Instead of waiting for these annual campaigns, you need to schedule meetings (online and offline) to share ideas and update the program.

Additionally, the involved employees should be empowered with tools such as Bonusly’s software for convenient communication and sharing of any insights.

Other viable tools to promote continuous improvement include anonymous surveys and assessments. Keep your channels open at all times and let the employees suggest how they want to be recognized and motivated.

And there you have it! As you can see, a successful employee recognition program works wonders in promoting the employees and motivating them in their respective tasks.

However, not all employee recognition programs are equal and employers need to constantly engage their employees in it.

It helps them know what rewards and incentives work best for the employees, and how to make an impact in their lives. Remember that the process is never-ending and requires continuous improvements.