Human beings are susceptible to all kinds of emotional predispositions – we are, after all, only human.
Hundreds of studies continue to be conducted in an attempt to discover what motivates us to perform not only in the workplace, but also in our personal lives, and with technology making all aspects of our lives increasingly interconnected, it's important for businesses to gain a thorough understanding of what makes their employees tick in order to ensure a healthy and productive work environment.
The aim of recognition programmes is to identify and reward individuals who make a positive contribution to your business efforts and uphold the values and mission statement of your organisation.
What are the overall positive effects?
To put things into perspective, we are well and truly in the age of the millennial – they currently make up the majority of the global workforce; people are living longer and reaching retirement age much later than previous generations. For this reason, investing in affirmative HR activities will ensure your business attracts and retains talented individuals for longer and maintains a good corporate profile.
Recognition programmes help to motivate your employees to exhibit positive behaviour and overcome challenging situations by keeping a firm perspective on the desired business outcomes. Furthermore, rewarding the repetition of positive actions encourages greater transparency and job satisfaction.
The knock-on effect, of course, is that happy employees make for happier, more loyal customers and greater revenue for your business.
How group and individual recognition supports work
Community culture should be a priority for every organisation. The modern workforce seeks to collaborate and experience positive affirmation from peers in order to obtain a higher level of career fulfilment.
Rewarding teams fosters camaraderie, stronger relationships and greater accountability amongst employees. Equally, giving special recognition to individuals helps to set the precedent for higher targets and a more motivated work environment.
It's important to find a balanced way of rewarding everyone in your organisation appropriately, and this is mainly based on the initial objectives you set out when structuring your reward scheme.
How different incentives affect behaviour
Although the two can be combined, there is a difference between awarding recognition and giving a physical or monetary reward. At their core, the purpose of both these acts is for management to communicate their appreciation of a team or individual's efforts – and both can have great effects on behaviour, staff morale and the efficiency with which your business meets its targets.
It's crucial, however, to have a good understanding of what your employees will respond to. In some instances, a monetary prize in the form of a bonus may be a hugely motivating factor for someone – but, equally, a lump of cash could be quickly forgotten about once it's spent.
Taking the time to create thoughtfully, valuable or symbolic incentives and gestures can make your staff feel that your recognition of their efforts is more authentic and heartfelt. This, in turn, creates greater alignment and a stronger relationship.
Essentially, you will have to be clear about your objectives and then spend the time integrating them into the best possible recognition scheme for your unique business model, taking into consideration your existing company culture.