are not a substitute. Employees need
regular and consistent affirmation that
their work is appreciated.
should be weary of diminishing the
value of the reward through overuse.
Smaller associations may consider a
program that recognizes employees over
a longer period. The American Student
Dental Association, with just 12 full-time employees, created a “High Five
Program” to recognize employees who
go above and beyond their job responsibilities. ASDA staff nominate coworkers
and a task force selects a winner. At an
all-staff meeting, the winner receives a
$5 gift card, a certificate and a rotating trophy — a tooth cookie jar that the
winner signs and dates.
“It encourages goodwill,” says ASDA
Communications Editor Kim Schneider.
“We also liked that all staff could be
a part of the recognition process. It
doesn’t just come from the top down.”
Employee of the Month/Quarter/Year
distinction is a meaningful reward for
many employees because it’s often an
affirmation from the employee’s peers.
A good supervisor will regularly give
positive feedback to their employees,
but staff-to-staff recognition is less
common — however, no less appreci-
ated. While annual rewards are great
complements to ongoing programs, they
4.Public Recognition Make recognition a tradition at
divisional, departmental or all-staff
meetings. Managers can read letters
of praise from members, clients, customers or coworkers. Invite staff to
share a peer-to-peer thank you. Post or
announce at meetings recent professional achievements (certifications, honors, publications).
At the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, CEO Pat Blake,
CAE, encourages staff to send her kudos
— compliments about other staff members who go above and beyond. Blake
shares the kudos (on average about 25
to 40) at monthly all-staff meetings.
“One of the challenges of an association career is that we are often in
the background,” Blake says. “Our
good ideas … get morphed into good
ideas developed by the volunteers.”
The kudos tradition is a way to make
sure employees are recognized for their
hard work and good ideas, Blake adds.
“It also gives me a chance to comment
on behaviors I am trying to foster or
5.Training Programming efforts shouldn’t
be limited to employee rewards and
recognition. Ongoing training reinforces
the association’s dedication to high
employee satisfaction. Supervisors
should be trained on the various ways
they can reward, motivate and inspire
employees — and how identifying the