Could these creative employee recognition programs work at your company?

giorgio-trovato-_XTY6lD8jgM-unsplash-1Employee recognition efforts can have a significant effect on employee satisfaction, engagement and retention.

Turnover, for instance, is nearly 18 percent less among employees who receive at least one recognition message throughout their tenure with an organization, according to BI Worldwide research.  In an IRF survey, 82 percent of U.K. organizations said they felt their employee reward and recognition program had increased productivity and performance.

However, recognition initiatives, while effective, can sometimes be difficult to execute — particularly when HR professionals are dealing with a considerable workload.

Some companies, though, despite time and other challenges,  have found ways to successfully acknowledge employees’ efforts — using resourceful approaches such as:

Regular verbal recognition in the workplace

New hires fill out a growth survey on their first day at Button to identify their career development goals — and identify what motivates them and how they prefer to communicate to help managers be able to build a strong relationship with the employees.

Workers are also recognized on a weekly basis during the company’s Friday meeting. Employees stand, according to the mobile commerce platform startup, and describe how someone has demonstrated the company’s values, gone above and beyond at work or done something particularly kind, creative or impactful — a practice that ends with a stuffed Nemo fish from “Finding Nemo” being lightheartedly tossed to the recipient.

Enabling tech-powered praise

After creating two Twitter accounts so Disney park and resort guests would be able to get real-time answers to questions during their visit, instead of having to search for a service desk or employee, the company began to notice visitors, in addition to posting questions, were sharing stories about employees providing a positive experience.

As a result, it created a recognition program that encourages guests to mention either of the Q&A-focused accounts in praise-oriented tweets and include a #CastCompliment hashtag to recognize employees “who added extra ‘pixie dust’ to their experience,” according to a Disney Institute blog post.

Encouraging employees to support their coworkers’ efforts

The peer-to-peer employee reward program Zappos offers lets colleagues recognize each other for performing well and contributing to the company’s culture. Employees — who the online retailer calls Zapponians — can nominate someone for one of several rewards for going above and beyond to help out a fellow employee or a customer. Employees can, for instance, dole out one $50 coworker bonus per month. Managers and supervisors aren’t eligible to give or receive the bonus, making a truly peer-to-peer initiative.

Employees who are nominated for a coworker bonus are also eligible for the HERO award, given to workers who truly exemplify the company’s core values. Chosen by Zappos’ leadership team, recipients receive a $150 Zappos gift card — and a cape. Employees can also earn internal currency, Zollars, for answering training questions or volunteering to help out. The money can be spent on branded gym bags, water bottles or other items sold through an internal company store, used to obtain movie tickets or donated to a charity.

For more information about elevating employee recognition efforts, view our posts on creating the ideal employee recognition program, offering a high-tech employee experience and the 3 elements employee recognition initiatives need to be as effective as possible.