3 Reasons It’s a Smart Idea to Start an Employee Recognition Program During a Pandemic


Is there really a good time to start something that will cost your company money without a transparent, clear ROI? (We are confident employee recognition has a clear ROI.)

But it comes back to values: do you value giving your team the recognition they deserve?

Listen up, we’re all trying to make sure what is spent now will allow us to even give people a pay check in 3 months, let alone have money in the budget for a plaque or some other kind of award. But it comes back to values: do you value giving your team the recognition they deserve?

Reason 1 – Your employees are working harder than ever, with no end in sight

Employees in some industries like hospitality and restaurants are furloughed, while others like big retail, shipping, and healthcare are working harder than ever. We’re writing about the companies who are keeping the lights on in America.

The Unknown

If you have watched the news, which we’re sure most of you have had some glimpses at in the last couple months, people who still have jobs are facing mounting pressures from outside the workplace like never before. And the worst part about these pressures is that it’s indefinite.

As of April 2020, there is no exit plan for this Covid-19 nightmare. This is the new normal. Kids at home with parents, elderly parents distant but still needing love and attention, and depending on the geographic location in the USA, a pandemic knocking at your door. Thee’s threat of a lockdown and closure of all public places because of an invisible enemy.

Now we don’t know if it will be this summer or next when we may see a slowing of the crazy train this pandemic has brought barreling upon us.

It is the uncertainty of a timeline that creates distrust for all things people called normal. Life two months ago was routine. Everyone had their schedule and our world seemed routine. Now we don’t know if it will be this summer or next when we may see a slowing of the crazy train this pandemic has brought barreling upon us.

The Healing

You can help start to heal this uncertainty as a leader. Continue to hold regular meetings, even if this means over the phone or on a Zoom call. When allowed in the near future, bring your employees together regularly to spark a new beginning and return to normalcy.

How could you recognize your employees during this time now? Creativity is king. There are new sparks of creativity everywhere with people using their new skills. A teacher taught his students their geometry lesson in a VR game, some businesses are creating new opportunities to keep the lights on, and interactions with your employees need to be just as creative.

We’ve seen many employers using our program even though there are policies in place for social distancing. They’re finding ways to recognize their teams, while adhering to the guidelines set before them. You can, too.

Reason 2 – If there was ever a time to double down, it’s now

If you used a recognition program in the past, and cut it because of its expense, then find something that fits your budget. Whatever you do, do not stop consistent, regular, fair recognition to your team. For the love of all that is good, please do not let that go by the wayside.

You may even consider using this time to re-evaluate the criteria you were using and start recognizing twice as many people.

The Parallel

A parallel would be the Stock Market. Currently we are seeing stock values tumble, and people sell off their portfolios. This is a good time to see the history of the market and try and predict the future. Many would argue this is the time to buy the stocks that will add value to the new economy being created by Covid-19.

Employee recognition is a commodity that will always be needed in the business world.

Employee recognition is a commodity that will always be needed in the business world. By showing your employees that, even in uncertain times, you are willing to invest in showing them your appreciation, it goes a long way toward keeping their loyalty in the coming months and years.

The New Way

We now offer an option here that allows you to invest in the coming months without a 12-month commitment. Normally we sell our awards with an upfront cost of 12 months, and then ship you awards each month when you submit the name of the winner(s). But with this new, simple solution, we take the anxiety of commitment out of the process, leaving only the benefits of our easy recognition program.

Reason 3 – History will remember the leaders that took positive action

If you hadn’t already accepted the role, it’s now been thrust upon you. As the manager of your team in a moment of crisis, you have the opportunity to emerge and shine as a true leader.

The Annals of History

When, in a few years, everyone looks back on this moment in time, the stories they tell will be both cautionary and inspiring. There will be some who folded under the pressure, and there will be others who used this time as a catalyst for greatness.

The leader who’ll be remembered as an inspiration will be the man or woman who takes a stand for their team. When other companies and businesses are cutting employee appreciation, even going as far as furloughs and layoffs, you have the chance to rise above all that. Use this time to do what others won’t; show your team how you appreciate their commitment to their work, and to you.

Be the Inspiring Tale

Years from now, when they’re interviewing leaders who pulled through the fires of the COVID-19, the authors of the day will turn to you for your input. They’ll want to know what it was like to fight against the current of staff reduction and a bleak time in the American workplace.

You’ll be able to tell them that you amplified your efforts to recognize the contributions of your team.

You’ll be able to tell them that you amplified your efforts to recognize the contributions of your team. That decision led you to be known as the kind of company culture in your local community that values its team above all else. Your team recognized what you’d done for them; employee loyalty and job satisfaction were never higher. Once the economy turned back on, you became one of the premier career destinations, and employee turnover became a thing of the past.

That’s a story that inspires others. That’s the story you get to tell.

Wrapping up

When others are telling you that this is a time to cut expenses and look for ways to minimize, remember this with regard to recognizing your hard-working team members:

1 – Your employees are working harder than ever, with no end in sight

2 – If there was ever a time to double down, it’s now

3 – History will remember the leaders that took positive action

Find a way to push through all the noise, and get started on a path thats employees you are committed to them. They need to know that in the most uncertain times, there is one thing they can count on: the fact that they are valued.

If you liked that, you may also like…

Workers on the Front Lines of the Pandemic

CNN contacted retail worker across America and put together this great video of workers who need recognition. To read the full post click HERE.

How to Show Employee Appreciation in Times of Crisis

They need to hear “thank you” now more than ever. Here are a few ways a great leader can show employee appreciation in times of crisis. Read the full post HERE.

What COVID-19 Teaches Us About Employee Appreciation

The people at work to help us and serve us, especially during this time, deserve a great amount of appreciation. To read the full post click HERE.

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