Situation: A company instituted employee awards two years ago. These include an annual President’s Award, at choice of the President, and a Peer Award which is awarded monthly by peers for outstanding achievement. Recently, management recognized a team within the company with an award for a significant team contribution – a company-paid trip to Las Vegas. This caused resentment among some of the other employees. How do you recognize employee performance?
Advice from the CEOs:
- There are two benefits to employee awards – the award itself, and, more significantly, the employee being recognized among his or her peers. Transparency within any award system is important.
- There does not appear to be anything wrong with the award to the team. However, it is important to communicate to the company that awards are proportional to the benefit that the employee or team has created for the company.
- Since there has been a mixed response, a message to the company is appropriate. The best way to do this is a brief company meeting, with telephone access to those who are remote. Here are some key points to cover:
- Make the theme of the meeting employee awards.
- Recognize the team that received the Las Vegas award and use the meeting to update the company on your rewards policy. Detail the policy, how awards are recognized, and that rewards are commensurate with the level of benefit gained for the company.
- Deliver the full message in a positive tone.
- Schedule 1-on-1 telephone conferences with individual remote employees who are not able to participate in the meeting.
- Optional – follow-up with an email detailing the awards policy.
- The complaints that you heard meant that the company did the right thing. A little jealousy isn’t bad if it shows that the company will reward hard, productive work.