Too often in our rewards and recognition programs we confuse personalized employee awards with personalization. But there is a vast difference between the two and the way we handle that difference has a big impact on employee engagement.
A personalized award may take the form of the employee’s name on a plaque. Or on a piece of crystal. Or maybe on an item that is customized for your company alone and carries your company’s name or brand as well as the employee’s. These gestures are nice, but in today’s world nice is no longer enough.
We are dealing with a diverse workforce and, increasingly, a workforce where individuals—especially Millennials–demand to be known. To be known is to be valued, and to be valued is to be engaged. When we personalize our employee awards, we show that we know and value that employee, who in response will be more engaged. In short, we form an emotional connection between the organization and the employee, a critical factor in an economy where 52 percent of workers are not engaged and 18 percent are actively disengaged—“emotionally disconnected” from their companies according to Gallup (How to Tackle U.S. Employees’ Stagnating Engagement).
Here are some ideas for personalizing awards:
What have you found that awards employees in a way that is meaningful to them as individuals? What have you found that doesn’t work, and why? Send us your comments in the box below: