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Four basic tips for measuring your recognition efforts.

Marimer Guevara

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Success

It is always a good idea to incentivize and recognize your workforce. After all, you know there is nothing more valuable than your own employees. And, of course you do your job: events are organized, plaques are engraved, gifts are given, bonuses are paid… Once everything is settled you get some smiles and thank you’s… Everyone is finally happy! Right? But, are they really?

I am the Marketing Research Analyst at TCMPi and yes, I am mostly driven by graphs, numbers and reports – but there is a good reason for that: Results are always important! They hold the key to success! That is why measuring the effectiveness of your programs should be a priority on your list. You would like for your employees to be pleased with their jobs and to be proud of being part of your company however, have you ever wondered if the incentives/rewards/bonuses/gifts you give them are actually working? If not, don’t panic! It is never too late to start getting valuable information. Here are a few tips to start:

1. Throw some public recognition here and there and measure the impact.

Getting a beautiful plaque engraved with the words: ‘Best employee of the Month’ can be a great honor, but it could have an even larger impact if presented in front of your colleagues. Bring some doughnuts and drinks to the office and get everyone together for 10 minutes to celebrate your employees’ accomplishments.  Observe the reactions of their co-workers and talk to them about their goals and rewards preferences.  Document all you see and hear, first-hand information has great value and you will be able to learn more about them! Think about this like a mini focus group.

2. Learn what are the best presents for your employees.

Do they want to go on a company outing?  Would they like to select their own gifts? Would they like to show off their new TAG Heuer watch around the office? Remember you should have a general idea of the demographics, lifestyle and preferences of your workforce.

3. Take attendance (you do not need a roster!)

Are your employees actually attending your events? Are your gift cards being used? Are they redeeming theirs points for gifts? If spouses are invited, are they attending? Do not overlook this! Most managers will be happy setting up a program and getting the right people involved, but it’s also important to know that your efforts are paying off.  Choose the right services, it is not enough for you to be able to purchase some codes/gifts/cards on-line, make sure that you can also measure employee activity.  For events, ask managers in each department to be in charge of recording attendance, overseeing involvement and giving you some input about satisfaction levels.

4. Ask them to fill a quick survey

It does not need to be anything long or fancy and you do not need a marketing research expert. Stay simple and clear (you can even do it on-line!) We use Survey Monkey.  A few questions: Did you enjoy the last company outing? What would you like to receive next year? How satisfied are you with your monthly/quarterly/yearly company’s incentive and recognition programs? Tip: Make the survey anonymous but mandatory. You will have great information in your computer after just a few days.

Spend some time documenting your interactions, conversations and survey answers. Evaluate them and gain great personal insight to your employees’ world. You will learn a lot about your staff’ preferences and they will really appreciate it (and show it by working even harder!).

With tangible results you could even ask for a higher budget for your program next year! Remember, you are not just giving away ‘prizes’; you are investing valuable money to make your employees the best in the industry.