This is a 6 part series.
Part One – What is Recognition and Reward – Go here.
Part Two – Everyday Recognition – Go here.
Part Three – Above and Beyond Recognition – Go here.
Career Recognition. This type of recognition is typically imagined as the proverbial gold watch after 35 years of service. And you definitely want to build value into each and every milestone an employee reaches with your company. To be really effective in recognizing and rewarding longevity with a firm, you need to start from the very beginning – day one.
After a new employee’s first full day on the job, why not gather your senior management team and congratulate the new hire in front of his/her peers? Maybe spend $20 on something you know they would appreciate – maybe you picked something up in the job interview. You are not only recognizing your new hire in front of the entire team, but you also have the opportunity to gain some vital insight from this new set of eyes.
Why not ask if the company has fulfilled their commitments that were made in the hiring process? Does this new person have any questions that weren’t answered on day one? It is certainly too early to get any meaningful feedback on methodologies, but you certainly can set the stage for future input by welcoming the new person’s comments and letting them know that their input is valued and valuable.
Same goes for the first 90 days, which is normally a probation period. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, it’s really the thought that counts and the recognition that is shared with the entire team. Not to veer off on a tangent, but the first 90 days of a new employee is critical to your company. You not only need to have that new hire effectively oriented into your company culture, but you also need to re-enforce how valuable they are, especially when they are performing at their peak. I recommend you take a look at Michael Watkins’ The First 90 Days to get some critical input on this incredibly important time frame.
So, you should consider these dates as the minimum for recognizing career achievements with your company: The first day, first 90 days, first year, 3rd year, 5th year, 7th year, and 10th year would be recommended time intervals.
The value of any monetary reward would obviously increase over time – from a desk plant, to a plaque, to something more substantial, until you reach the gold watch finale. Put some thought into your rewards, don’t just throw money at people. Make it personal. Remember that you are celebrating the commitment your employee has made to your company, so it has to come from the heart.
Part 5 – Celebration Events