Many organizations believe a paperweight or a plaque is a rewards and recognition program. However, some rewards aren’t very rewarding. And some recognition activities aren’t very motivating. Keep in mind that every recognition action can have a value in reinforcing positive job performance.

Some of the best recognition programs, recognize the best performers, in a number of areas, and is based on many measures, and several different performance dimensions.

Reward and recognition can be a simple as posting names and pictures on a bulletin board, in a newsletter, or announcing great work at weekly staff meetings.

What makes recognition attractive as a reward is the feeling of accomplishment. It feels great when a person’s peers and leaders are made aware of his or her outstanding performance.

Recognition should be appropriate to the significance of the contribution or achievement. Sometimes there are symbolic awards, with low monetary value, like plaques and trophies that provide profound, heartfelt personal reward. Other times there are financial rewards that are valuable motivators.

Many organizations have a structured or systematic program recognizing milestones of longevity. Some organizations participate in award programs sponsored by local, state, or national associations.

The key is to create a reward program that really is rewarding, and a recognition system that is motivating. It might be wise to ask your coworkers for some ideas.

Rewards and recognition can go a long way in supporting retention and promoting outstanding performance. Think of unique and creative ways you can recognize your staff and the outstanding contributions they deliver to your organization. Well done.