Employee recognition has two aspects: the first is that it is timely and hinged on the successful accomplishment of certain behavior. According to Lawler and Worley (2006), employee recognition and rewards are the foremost concern for all human beings, quickly followed by proper management. The firm has faced increased employee turnover and lowered commitment to workplace goals. Whereas employees may not be able to bring their home to work, they often carry the feelings, frustrations, and daily challenges they encounter at home. It is important to ensure that employees take home mostly positive feelings about their work while dealing with the challenges may be difficult. It is important to note that the firm offers its employees a highly competitive payment and compensation package. However, low recognition and lack of a formal reward structure have increased employee frustration. Coupled with this, employees cannot appreciate their managers and leaders within the organization. This has made it difficult for managers to implement specific projects and establish high-performance teams.
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1. Establish criteria
It is important to note that it is not that the company completely lacks a recognition system. It is not uncommon for employees to receive praise from their managers for good effort and work completed. However, what lacks an actual formal structure to reward ad recognize high performance. Armstrong and Stephens (2005) point out that employees need to know the basis for recognition and reward. There must be criteria with which merit is established and recognized. Failure of a proper system means that rewards and recognition are haphazard and biased. While this could encourage and build up the morale of a few employees, it is most likely to lead to increased demoralization of the entire team. The first step of this project is to identify measurable behavior with the caution that a complete focus on measurement may lead to a criterion that does not merit key changes and behavioral structures. However, measurement provides the ideal foundation for building a merit system that is clear and recognizable to both the employees and the management.
The criteria should also describe who is eligible for recognition or recovering the rewards. According to Güngör (2011), all employees who work with the company and are undertaking similar tasks requiring the same measurement and performance behavior should be eligible for rewards. The most discomforting aspect of any form of reward structure is the presence of ambiguity and biasness, which often demoralize even the most hardworking employees. It is better to have no reward system than to establish a system that is neither formal nor structured, opening opportunities for biasness, favoritism, and ambiguous rewards. The following steps will be taken into consideration when identifying and setting up the criteria system:
· The project will form a committee made up of representatives of employees from all levels and departments. The main aim of the committee will be to provide advice to management about the possible effects of the reward system effects. The committee will also champion the reward system to fellow employees. This is likely to generate more excitement and support for the system.
Evaluation of the company goals and mission.
According to Hsieh and Chen (2011), reward systems not built on the company mission will likely draw the employee’s attention to company goals. The process should not define new company goals or encourage activities that though beneficial to the company, tend to draw the employees’ attention away from the main company goals.
· Designing a criterion that allows everyone to win and be rewarded is vital for a successful reward system. Employees of all ranks, with different tasks and working in different departments, should all have opportunities to be rewarded either as teams or individuals. However, for this project, the reward system will focus more on rewarding positive behavior in individuals. It is expected that this will, in turn, translate to positive behavior in teams and departments.
2. Establish a method of recognition
In the past, the company has quickly focused on monetary compensation when recognizing high-performing employees. While for the short term, this is an ideal reward system for the long term, it is not only costly, but it also lacks sustainability. This project aims to encourage behavioral change that would, in turn, lead to high productivity and performance among the employees. Monetary compensation has often led employees to focus on the money rather than celebrating and making personal changes to improve performance. For example, the sales staff have become overly focused on increasing sales due to establishing a commission system that rewards each sale. However, the company still scores very low in the service orientation and customer care department. This, in itself, means that future sales will be more difficult. There are new forms of reward, and this project proposes recognition. Top among them is offering employees a selection of projects they would like to participate in. This recognizes their efforts, uses their unique skills, and provides a unique opportunity for career growth. It allows employees to challenge themselves continually so they do not become bored with the same routine. Other possible avenues include lunch with the management team and providing a flexible schedule for the employees in the short term, allowing them both rest and rejuvenation in time for participating in their next challenge.
Further, this project will focus more on individual rather than team recognition. The recognition that employees receive should not only be equal to the task given to them; it is also important to ensure that the task is equal to the qualifications and abilities of the employees. As suggested by Allen and Killman (2001), winning in the reward system should not be so easy that all employees can win, thus minimizing the quality of the reward system. In addition, it should not be as difficult so that no one can win; a striking balance should be established.
3. Communication and training on the reward system.
Most reward systems often fail because, on the one hand, employees are not aware of the reward system’s needs and nature. When the employees lack awareness, it is often common to imagine that such rewards are far from structured and thus haphazard even where there is a formal system of recognition. The first aspect of this project will focus on involving the employees in setting up the reward system. This will include the following:
· Identifying behaviors that should be rewarded and given merit; thus, measuring such behaviors will not seem to constrict since the same employees have identified them.
· Identifying the most desired type of recognition and reward. Employees can provide their most desired reward system.
· Select the individuals who have met the criteria and deserve the reward and recognition. It is important to ensure that the final selection of the individuals should not be left to managers as they may be seen as emotional and biased.
The second aspect of this step in the project will deal with the challenge managers have in applying the reward and recognition structure. Management will undergo formal training on the same to understand not just the nature of the reward system but also the need for the reward system so that they are more encouraged and confident in the application of the reward system. The idea is to give the managers open knowledge that is not just theoretical but rather practical, allowing them to address the challenges that come with applying and bringing to life the nature of the reward system. According to Shields *et al. *(2015), managers tend to shy away from reward and recognition structures simply because they lack the confidence that comes with possessing the right knowledge to apply the formal structures. They are, therefore, more comfortable with the informal structures, which are fraught with challenges and biasness.
I have three years of experience working in human resources. Although I have not been a manager before, I have understood the value of motivation and commitment in the workplace through my internship and early working experience as a human resource assistant in two large companies. The companies have allowed me to work practically and apply my theoretical knowledge in human resources. However, the same companies have offered me an open learning experience, where I have to understand some of the challenges encountered when the companies are attempting to build a committed team and human resources.
My educational background has also given me ample opportunity to understand the fundamentals of human resource principles. Specifically, I have excellent knowledge of work planning, compensation packages, and reward structures. With this experience and knowledge, I am ideally qualified to spearhead the company project and bring together company resources to meet the project’s goals. With my successful background, I can leverage my presentation and communication abilities to find the right solution for this specific company, tailor-making a reward and recognition system that will encourage sustainable high performance and provide the company with a unique competitive edge.
A reward system will help to keep employees loyal to the company and determined to climb the corporate ladder. Reward systems do not need to be expensive. This project will lay the foundation of rewards by enhancing the importance of word-of-mouth praise and recognition by managers. However, such recognition will be based on a proper formal system. Further, each form of reward, whether words of praise or otherwise, will be closely followed by a properly times official letter of recognition.
Allen, R. S., & Kilmann, R. H. (2001). The role of the reward system for a total quality management-based strategy. *Journal of Organizational Change Management*, *14*(2), 110-131.
Armstrong, M., & Stephens, T. (2005). *A handbook of employee reward management and practice*. Kogan Page Publishers.
Güngör, P. (2011). The relationship between the reward management system and employee performance with the mediating role of motivation: A quantitative study on global banks. *Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences*, *24*, 1510-1520.
Hsieh, Y. H., & Chen, H. M. (2011). Strategic fit among competitive business strategy, human resource strategy, and reward system. *Academy of Strategic Management Journal*, *10*(2), 11.
Lawler, E., & Worley, C. G. (2006). Winning support for organizational change: Designing employee reward systems that keep working. *Ivey Business Journal*, *70*(4), 1-5.
Shields, J., Brown, M., Kaine, S., Dolle-Samuel, C., North-Samardzic, A., McLean, P., … & Plimmer, G. (2015). *Managing employee performance & reward: Concepts, practices, strategies*. Cambridge University Press.
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