Employee recognition programs are a $46 billion industry with companies spending between 1-2% of their payroll in an effort to improve performance and employee engagement. The majority of recognition programs are tenure-based than many employees do not even know about. With the average tenure of a U.S. employee being only 1.5 years, this type of recognition program may not be what your business needs. In an effort to see what is working for businesses, we interviewed Shelia Separk, Founder and President of CS Recognition Solutions.

What do you find to be the most effective way to recognize people?
We have found that the most effective programs are consistent, frequent and have company-wide awareness of the program. The program will not work if the employees do not know about it or strive to attain it.

What is the biggest obstacle for businesses when starting a recognition program?
The biggest obstacle businesses have is an accurate understanding of the basic fundamentals of a good recognition awards program. In order for the program to be successful, it is necessary for businesses to have a firm understanding of why they are important and how to make them successful.

Do you feel that employee recognition programs are on the rise due to the decreased employee engagement levels reported recently?
I sure do. Employers have realized that changes need to be made in order to build loyalty and productivity. The right recognition program can do wonders for a business assuming it is executed correctly.

What types of recognition programs does CS Recognition offer?
We offer a variety of programs to meet the unique needs of the business. Our programs include service awards, safety awards, wellness awards, special contests, peer-to-peer contests, sales awards, points based programs and event appreciation.

What is your most popular recognition program currently?
Our most popular program is a sales contest. These are a lot of fun for both the corporation and the employees! Sales contest awards can run the gamut from custom designed rings with diamond additions, merchandise points based contest and even a merchandise warehouse dash, (grab it and it is yours). 

What types of programs do you offer for peer-to-peer recognition?
We have two options for peers to recognize each other. They include points based and award cards.

What is the biggest question you receive from businesses that are considering recognition programs?
When businesses are considering a recognition program, their biggest questions relate to cost and budget. One of the things we are most proud of at CS Recognition Solutions, is the ability to sit down with a client to truly understand their goals and budget. We then develop a program that will make both the company and the employee a success. That is a win for us!