It seems we budget for everything. Yet we rarely seem to budget for appreciation when, in fact, showing appreciation is one of the biggest things we can do to get people fired up, keep them more positive and celebrate the successes we have. As an employee retention speaker and employee retention author, I run across very few organizations that specifically put money aside for personal recognition or for recognition of group successes. This leaves things to chance and when things are left to chance the likelihood that they will be done is slim.
I advocate setting aside money that can then be spent by supervisors in the organization or by other leaders in the organization to show appreciation for the accomplishments of people. Like any budgeting process, you have to think ahead and anticipate that you will have certain successes such as safety records, sales records, hitting certain productivity and quality goals etc. Then, set aside the money for the lunch or dinner or whatever event you have planned. In a normal year, you can logically predict you are going to have certain successes that you want to celebrate. Set the money aside in the budget so when the successes do occur, you’re not scrambling to find the money to pay for the event. If you don’t have the money set aside and you hit some record, everyone looks at everyone else and asks, “who’s budget does it come out of?” Of course, nobody wants it coming out of their budget so, it often times does not get celebrated.
Money should also be allocated to each leader, so they have money to spend for spot awards of individuals or to hold department lunches etc. When an individual comes up with a great idea, give them a $25 gift card and congratulate them for their creativity. It doesn’t have to be some big formal process but if the money isn’t set aside, the supervisor has no way to pay for the recognition that should be taking place. This leaves the supervisor with the choice of either paying for it out of their own pocket or doing nothing. Most times, nothing gets done as a result.
Many organizations are paranoid about doing these things for fear that they will be abused, or someone will be offended. That is simply crazy. Having someone offended is better than not recognizing your people for accomplishment after accomplishment after accomplishment. All that does is make the organization look as if it is ungrateful for what employees do.
It’s time to start budgeting for appreciation. By doing so, you embed the idea in your leader’s minds that we do recognize accomplishments and show appreciation. This is one way you start to create a culture of C.R.A.P.! (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise)