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Craig the Intern Talks About Rewards and Recognition

As an intern and college graduate, I have many friends who are already working for “the man.” When I ask them how they like their job, what they do or how work has been, the response is always the same.

“Work is work.”

This fills me with inspiration and excitement for my future every time.

Live the dream!

After a few more nosy questions, I have a friend who tells me how he really does love his job. He tells me that he doesn’t necessarily love what he does, but he loves the people he works with and the atmosphere that exists there. We are talking about great stuff:

  • Work days spent playing golf
  • Ski trips
  • Business trips to Las Vegas
  • Christmas bonuses
  • Margarita happy hours
  • Company BBQs

Just to name a few.

No, they’re not hiring. Not that I’ve asked on more than one occasion.

Some say that liking your job is all about liking the people you work with. Some say that it truly is all about the money. As human beings who thrive on social interactions, I think we need and want more than just a fat paycheck every month.

I know that I do.

The company my friend works for provides benefits and perks to increase employee engagement, reduce turnover and align core values by creating an atmosphere that inspires employees. These are the core principles behind the rewards and recognition industry, which specializes in implementing organized software or service solutions that make it easier to recognize employees when they deserve it.

Having an effective rewards and recognition system in place can result in an improved bottom line, but what motivates employees can also add up to more than just dollars and cents. In certain instances, a highly engaged workforce with a strong culture of rewards and recognition can impact turnover rates. A thoughtful program can decrease turnover as much as 50 percent. In fact, 85 percent of employees would like to have their efforts recognized — yet more than half don’t believe their company cares about them. Furthermore, 69 percent would work harder if they felt more appreciated.

So get with it. Here are some ideas:

  • Companies offer systems that allow employees to earn points that can be exchanged for different rewards.
  • They also have anything from news feeds to certificates that allow employees to compliment each other on a job well done.
  • From what I’ve read and learned thus far, implementing such a thing is much easier said than done, which is why I personally think it is a great idea to buy a program like this that already exists instead of trying to create your own.

And a good rewards and recognition program is more than a free iPod or grill. It’s being noticed and recognized for the work you do.

Here are a few recognition companies to keep an eye on. They were ranked on HRO Today’s 2011 Baker’s Dozen list of top providers in recognition services:

My humble opinion:

  • Salary = Employee time
  • Rewards & Recognition = How employees spend their time

Let me know what you think or how you feel about any existing programs you might have where you work. What do you like? What motivates you?

What have I missed?


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