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What to avoid when implementing an employee engagement program

By August 16, 2017 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

When implemented correctly, employee recognition (and reward) programs have been proven to have a positive impact on business, and can promote staff loyalty, boost discretionary effort, increase productivity and improve customer experience.

However, a lot of employee recognition programs get it wrong, and often fail to deliver real improvements in employee engagement and the resulting business benefits. We know this because the programs aren’t successful, and while money is being invested into programs year after year, the end goal isn’t being met. So how do you avoid investing in a program that fails? With significant experience spanning several years, we have noticed three key situations that lead to engagement programs not delivering against expectations, so ensure that you don’t fall into these traps when implementing your program.

1.Failure to really understand that employees mostly, do it for the rewards or kudos. Employees get involved with employee recognition programs because of the rewards. Many employers start to “believe their own marketing hype” and get so focused on loyalty and productivity that they forget that employees are often in it for the extra cash or time off. Remember that rewards are the heart of your program. However, don’t underestimate the positive effect of recognition too, especially if you have never run a reward program before.

2. Assuming you know how to motivate everyone can create problems. Employers should spend a lot of time and effort trying to figure what motivate their employees, and understand what drives individuals. What to do and how to do it seems to elude a lot of employers. The biggest mistake employers’ make is assuming the same thing motivates all employees. Different people value different things by way of employee recognition. Some may want money, some prefer time-off, some tickets to a game or a donation to their favorite charity, and some just want to feel appreciated, valued and respected for their contribution. So it’s important to ask your staff what they want from a proposed recognition (and reward) program. it’s the easiest way to deliver something they truly value. And if you are operating a selection of rewards as well as recognition, don’t forget to cater for gender, age and ethnicity. We are all motivated by different things

3. Endorsement of any recognition program MUST come from the top. Gone are the days of executives sitting in their ivory towers. We work in a time of collaboration and open floor plans. Make sure you treat your employee recognition program the same way. Recognition should be able to come from anyone in the organisation, including peers and subordinates. Being innovative and catching employees off guard will guarantee that you not only “don’t screw it up” but also that your program grows roots in your organisation and thrives. Before launching any recognition and reward program, ensure that your Executive team are “on board” and that they endorse and openly support the initiative, while informing staff about the expected benefits.

Brownie Points and its growing distributor and channel partners have a wealth of experience in implementing and operating successful employee recognition programs.

To learn how Brownie Points could help your business, call us today on 03 9909 7411 to arrange a no obligation discussion or demonstration, or email us at for more information.

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