We've all heard of or have been part of one.
Rewards programs that offer prizes, gift certificates, cash or time off to employees who have met some set of criteria are popular.
But when is the right time to start a rewards program?
Common sense would say that the time to strike is when morale is low and needs a good boost. But that could be the worst time.
Introducing a rewards program into a toxic work environment can create jealousy among workers or foster a "too little too late" response. The same can be said for holding a company outing or holiday party when employees are overworked, underpaid and frustrated.
Rewards programs and company events are best when used to enhance a healthy business environment. If there is need to improve morale, the first questions to ask include:
- Are business goals clearly defined and shared with employees?
- Do employees feel they are contributing to business goals?
- Is the compensation plan fair and well-communicated?
- Are under-performing employees being managed through a performance plan to improve?
- Do the current employees fit in the desired company culture?
So before you break out the CEO bobble-head dolls and gift cards to distribute to high performers at the next summer outing, take a look at the company's foundation.
If the answer is "no" to any of the above basic questions, hold off. Instead, put efforts toward getting to a healthy work environment.