May 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm #162424
Even though people are saying the economy is picking up, millions are still out of work and those with jobs are being asked to do more with no financial compensation. This will be yet another year my organization is not providing pay raises to employees. However, in the public sector, there’s only so much you can do about financial compensation. Employees still need to be recognized for a job well done! With the pressuring mounting on a daily basis, employees need to know that they are appreciated by their supervisors and management, but how do you do it?
What about an informal employee of the month in your office? You could dedicate a wall with 12 photo frames where each month, an employee is selected and recognized for their hard work and performance. Then their picture would remain up all year long and be continuously recognized.
Also, what about compensating with office supplies? (No, I don’t mean a fancy pen and pencil set!) Pay raises may not be authorized, but you may have money in your individual office budget to upgrade some of your equipment, like laptops, PC, tablets/iPads, etc. I know that I would do a song and dance in front of 1000 people just to get a new laptop that actually doesn’t say “Not Responding” 30 times a day.
I’m looking for creative ways to compensate and recognize hard working employees that doesn’t involve payroll. Please share ideas that you’ve implemented or wanted to implement.
Remember, when the going gets tough, the tough gets creative!
May 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm #162458
First of all, the single most important thing is for supervisors to simply ay “thank you” for a job well done. Every employee survey indicates this.
Try “thank you” cards to reinforce excellent perfromance/behavior.
Secondly, ensure that there are reliable consequences for excellent, average and poor behavior. Employees really want fairness in any system of rewards and accountability.
How about a lottery system where employees get 10 lotto cards to give each other when someone gives excellent service to a co-worker.Then have them place the lotto cards go into a locked box where x are randomly selected and employees are given two tickets to a movie or a restaurant.
Develop a video wherein you recognize the teams/employees who accomplished the most. Show it to everyone.
When visitors come to your office, make a point of introducing the visitors to your stars and explain why they are deserving of recognition.
May 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm #162456
The recognition SHOULD be tailored to the staff…
bare minimum IMO is the supervisor recognizing the accomplishment face to face similiar to @stewart…
Some people will be “tickled pink” by a simple public recognition, others will be embarrassed to death…
Where possible, if it fits the situation, some time off may be appropriate….
A issue which MIGHT come up, an under-performer needs to be recognized, at some level, for effort being made to get upto standards.
May 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm #162454
Great advice. I know some people that would hate to be the employee of the month, while others may love it. Definitely keep in mind the comfort level of individual employees with your form of recognition.
May 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm #162452
Compensation is like the $20 and card you get from a relative you never see, who you have to say (with coaching) “Thank you for my present Uncle X” over the phone. You appreciate it, but the uncle you REALLY like is the one that visits and actually plays or kids around with you and your cousins, who comes up to your room and compliments you on how you decorated it with posters, who kibbitzes at otherwise staid family meals, who defends your taking of a 2nd piece of cake to your parents, and who asks you where you think they ought to go for their vacation this year.
All employees like money, but often what they crave as much or more is simply being noticed, included, listened to, and defended.
May 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm #162450
Thank you so much for the input so far! These are all great suggestions, and I definitely agree that the recognition has to fit the employee.
I’m still looking for other outside the box ideas that people are willing to share. Please keep them coming!
May 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm #162448
Parking spots can hold a lot of currency.
An upgrade, if you are able to give one, can go a long way towards rewarding an “employee of the month,” or someone who otherwise deserves recognition.
May 30, 2012 at 12:09 pm #162446
I like your iPad/iPhone idea. If you are going to replace antiquated laptops, that’s the way to go. Instead of just giving new devices to executives, give it to the top performers.
I am also an advocate of giving more flexibility – specifically in the time and place – for high performers.
With limited training funds, I would preserve my precious training and travel dollars for high performers. You are bound to have a higher return on your investment than with low performers. Have them present their new ideas when they return.
Also, one of the highest honors is to be invited to important meetings with leadership. Bring your high perfomers with you and bounce ideas off of them. They will love that!
Most of all, treat your high perfomers like they are volunteers. Use the same techniques that you would use to keep volunteers engaged. Give them exciting assignments, rewarding work, and a chance to serve others!
May 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm #162444
Hi Cheryl – you’ll find a bunch of nuggets in this forum, too:
…and an alternative view of rewards:
May 30, 2012 at 12:52 pm #162442
Thanks for sharing the links. I tried doing a search before I posted, but I wasn’t searching by awesomeest 🙂
May 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm #162440
I like the idea of letting top-performers participate in meetings. That’s a surefire way to make employees feel a sense of importance in their work.
May 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm #162438
J. Ellen CrownParticipant
If I could get OUT of meetings, that would be an incentive for me…
May 31, 2012 at 4:04 am #162436
We just started a ‘have the boss’ parking spot for a week’ where individuals recognized get a special tag to have the Secretary’s reserved space for a week.
There’s also a supervisor that keeps and puts every single ‘good job’ e-mail into your file.
Another way – long as it’s not illegal – turn a blind eye and let someone play hookey. Or maybe hand out ‘vouchers’ for a ‘long lunch’….take taht 2 hour lunch without making up the time.
Occasionally I’d get handwritten notes for a job well done from the Secretary.
Maybe if you have a company logo you get it set up with an embroidery place and tell a person ‘we’ll pay for the embroidery if you bring in the shirt’ or maybe have one made (depending on your monetary cap and budget). Sometimes just allowing a person to wear a casual polo to work can do wonders. Or maybe you expand ‘casual fridays’ for folks that do good.
there’s no singular thing that will please everyone. but sometimes just being thanked and acknowledged is good enough.
May 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm #162434
I have a further question – we are a federal contractor and our employees always work off-site at federal agencies, so we cannot provide parking, long lunches, meeting inclusions…anyone have experience with this? Thanks!
June 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm #162432
We have someone that collects bi-monthy peer-to-peer “pats on the back.” The pats on the back have to be short… I believe “tweet-length,” 140 characters or less. You can give as many as you want to different peers. It’s not only interesting to see who receives them but who gives them. It’s been received well. If a supervisor isn’t good at recognizing employees, this provides an extra forum for peers to pick up the slack.
Time off awards work well too, especially for newer employees that haven’t built up much leave.
June 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm #162430
What if you give them ‘work from home’ time? They get stuff done on time or maybe ahead of time, let them have time to ‘work’ from home.
June 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm #162428
I had a boss in the private sector who would thank us as we left for the day. It was simple and kept morale high
June 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm #162426
Amazing how well that works, eh?
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