How to Design a Reward System for Employees in a Human Service Organization

Those who work for human services organizations often do so to have a positive impact on others’ lives. In addition to a bonus or pay raise, consider creating a rewards system that recognizes strong employee performance and achievement through recognition and praise. Create an environment that applauds those who constantly perform at their best each day to help the people in the community.

1. Create a list of employee performance expectations for your human services organization. Performance expectations can include maintaining contact with clients, obtaining certifications and training, becoming involved in organizational development, contributing new ideas and completing necessary paperwork in a timely manner. Review employee performance expectations and create a list of goals to discuss during annual employee evaluations.

2. Create an employee survey to identify instances in which employees have exceeded employee performance expectations. Ask employees to describe times when they or a co-worker demonstrated qualities worthy of recognition. Include questions about the types of rewards they would appreciate for their hard work. Post the survey on the organization intranet, send employees copies by email or hand them out.

3. Determine the types of rewards to offer employees. They can include a pay raise or bonus, promotion, certificate of achievement, annual office party or banquet that marks the achievements of employees. You also can give the honored employees a card that everyone in the office signs or congratulatory email or letter from management.

4. Create an employee enrichment program that provides free art classes, yoga instruction, monthly art, history or cultural seminars or other activities staff members might enjoy. Work with local businesses to provide these activities on a weekly or monthly basis. Enrichment programs impact the lives of all employees who participate, and are an ongoing way to show your appreciation for those who work for your organization.