Employee Recognition When the Bonus Budget is Cut

In this economy you and your employees are being asked to do more with less.  Budgets have been slashed, headcounts reduced by 10%, 401(k) matches also reduced and bonuses cut or eliminated. Employees are also experiencing guilt, because they remain when colleagues have been let go, fear that additional cuts will be made and may feel growing resentment over the necessary cut-backs.
How can you counteract these feelings and recognize employees’ efforts without incurring additional expense?  The answer?  Find out what “motivation language” each employee values and use it to select a method of recognition.  If you don’t know what makes each employee smile and feel gratitude then ASK!

Below are “motivation languages” different employees possess and some ideas for recognizing each:

  • Words – A simple verbal thank you, job well done, good to see you today.
  • Gifts – A coffee gift certificate, movie tickets, plant, or trophy.  Many people who are motivated by gifts take great pleasure in unwrapping them — don’t forget to wrap it.
  • Social opportunity – a lunch out or a coffee break with you, doughnuts brought in for the group, a few hours out bowling as a group.
  • Recognition by others – an article in the company newsletter, an all company email thanking them, their name on a plaque in the lunchroom.
  • A simple handshake – A small gesture that can go a long way.
  • Helping others – many people find great satisfaction in helping others.  Ask them to chair a committee, assign them to mentor someone, use them as a trainer.
  • What opportunities for recognition exist in your organization?  We’d love to hear.