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Recognition can encourage more participation in programs

Sixty percent of companies said their employee participation in reward programs was low.

Employee reward programs can be a valuable tool to increase productivity and employee engagement, but many companies struggle with getting workers to participate.

A survey of 750 organizations by Aon Hewitt found that 60 percent of respondents said their employee participation in reward programs was low. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that businesses can take to encourage additional participation.

The goals and objectives of the programs should be clearly outlined for employees, according to Benefits Canada. Complex initiatives that confuse or send mixed signals to staff members will discourage them from partaking. Taking the time to simplify long-term objectives and create measurable steps for employees should encourage more activity. Having a well-defined reward and recognition process is likely to also boost participation.

One of the main things that companies can do to lift engagement is to publicly recognize a few success stories. IMedia Connection notes that by singling out a few individuals, a company can make its program personal for larger groups. Successes of any kind are a big deal for organizations and they should be treated appropriately. Publicly recognizing someone for outstanding service, reaching a sales goal or even a long tenure can build employees' pride in their work and the company. Others will take notice of this and want to get involved in various incentive programs.

Providing a personalized reward to those that have reached specific milestones also gives staff members a positive example to follow. Merchandise is often appreciated more than cash bonuses, so firms should have workers select their rewards from a range of options. The rewards that employees choose can provide the same visual reminders as public recognition. Through a centralized website, staff members can check their progress or even offer encouragement to co-workers who have almost achieved goals.

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