Over a cup of coffee’ with Mandar Bhagwat

We had lots of questions from our subscribers on the topic of employee recognition and how it should be managed with in a company. We caught up with Mandar Bhagwat over a cup of coffee to get his views and perspectives on how these challenges should be managed

Q. What is employee recognition and why is it relevant for companies to invest their time and money in this initiative?

Mandar: Across organizations, everyone always desires a bunch of energetic and focused employees, who will give 100% + in their job roles and help achieve the objectives of the organization. But what you have in the employee mix could be telling a very different story. You might have some guys who are performing very well and several others, whose performance lies in the ok to not acceptable median.  As an organization, what can do to charge up the rest of the guys to elevate their performance?  Having an organized employee recognition program helps you do this effectively. Employee recognition works like a powerful communication tool that reinforces and rewards the most important outcomes that people create for your business.

When you recognize people effectively, you reinforce, with your chosen means of recognition, the actions and behavior that you most want to see people repeat.When you consider setting up an employee recognition processes, you need to develop employee recognition that is equally powerful for both the organization as well as the employee. It must make the employee feel recognized and rewarded in a powerful and positive way. Your employee recognition must also reinforce and ensure that you, the employer, will see a continuance of the positive behavior that was recognized.

Q. What should be important constituents of an effective employee recognition program?

Mandar: There are several things that need to be set up at an organization level. The company should decide what values are important for them and they would like to recognize good performance on those parameters. This helps define objectivity into the program. The recognition has to happen ‘in the moment’. What I mean to say by this is that you cannot have a quarterly or a monthly program, where you are recognizing specific employees. In this case, the award does not hold the relevance anymore as the moment has already passed and has become history.

The people who are being recognized should get enhanced visibility in the organization. This will make more people wish to aspire for that award and improve their performance levels in order to achieve that.

The recognition itself should be worded well and should cover the exact reasons why it was awarded in the first place. This helps set the context and also describes the exact contribution made by the employee, which has earned him that award.  Apart from all of this, of course, the technology that is used in managing the employee recognition program should be really simple and straightforward so that there are no delays. Bravo, the employee recognition tool that we promote is an initiative in this direction.

Q. Even though there are so many benefits, why is employee recognition scarce?

Mandar: Time is an often-stated reason and admittedly, implementing and managing an effective employee recognition does take time. Employers usually do start out with all of the best intentions when they seek to recognize employee performance. But, they often find that their recognition efforts turn into employee complaining, jealousy, and dissatisfaction. With these experiences, many employers become hesitant to expand investments in employee recognition programs.

In my experience, employee recognition is scarce because of a combination of several factors. People don’t know how to provide employee recognition effectively, they are not invested in the right tools and often, clarity of objectives at an organization level for the recognition program is not so well drafted.Most assume that one size fits all when they provide employee recognition, which is not true.

Q. In Summary, What would you say are the benefits of running an effective employee recognition program?

Mandar: There are obviously several benefits. Improved performance levels, improved retention, increased referrals in the recruitment process, higher energy levels, improved employer branding.

Prioritize employee recognition and you can ensure a positive, productive, innovative organizational climate. Provide employee recognition to say thank you and to encourage more of the actions of employees. People who feel appreciated are more positive about themselves and their ability to contribute. People with positive self-esteem are potentially your best employees.

Mandar Bhagwat is Director at SpadeWorx. Mandar is technologist at heart with a good understanding of software business. . He has expertise in providing hands-on leadership, and direction in project management, technology usage, SDLC methodologies, resource deployments and customer interactions.

He specializes in Conceptualization, Architecture, Design, Marketing Strategy, Business Development.

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