The Bridge - January 2012 - (Page 4)

President’s Message Employee Recognition Beyond Hell Week Many of us dread Employee Appreciation (what has become) week because it requires an enormous amount of time and energy to put together, we get minimum help from the attorneys, it is never perfect, we have to do it with as little time and money as possible and the employees don't appreciate the appreciation! Let's just call it like it is . . . Hell Week. Employee recognition should span 52 weeks, not just one day or one week. It should also include more than an immediate supervisor saying thank you. In our environment and the current economic climate, it can be difficult to have a meaningful employee recognition program, yet it s tremendously important. Setting up an effective Employee Recognition plan poses challenges. These can include making it meaningful for the firm and for your employees. It should be flexible and allow for recognition at all levels. The recognition should be awarded fairly with more than one or two people deciding on who is recognized. Awards should be valuable to the employees. Calculating the cost/benefit analysis can be difficult. There does not need to be an excessive amount of cost to have an effective program. Awards can be non-monetary or minimal such as an extra day off, 1/2 day off on a Friday of choice, acknowledgement at a staff or firm meeting or certificates of recognition. Measuring employee turnover as well as attendance before the program is started and after the program is running for a period of time can assist with the calculating ROI. Diane L. Camacho, CLM, SPHR Diane Camacho can be reached at The program will have more success if a team of people from various departments and levels are involved in the design. When staff, managers and attorneys are all involved there will naturally be a variety of ideas and suggestions. Canvassing attorneys about what they consider going above and beyond by staff members can help set some examples of awardable behavior. Expectations from all sides will be explored. Once a program is designed, expectations must be communicated clearly to the entire firm. Similar to goals, expectations should be reasonable and attainable. Recognize behaviors and tasks that are in alignment with firm values, goals and mission. For example, reward loyalty with acknowledgement for milestone anniversaries, or flexibility with rewards for being positive and helpful during change. Awarding employees for ideas that are used by the firm would be a way to encourage innovation. It is imperative that the plan is implemented and commitments are met. Awards should be given at reasonable intervals. Yearly awards are appropriate for some things, but periodic acknowledgement of most recognition is important to keep the program relevant. Instant awards can consist of a $5 gift card for volunteering to help with a project at the last minute. Quarterly staff meetings are a good time to publicly recognize individual people or a team of people. Each firm will need to design a program that fits its culture. The program should be a representation of your firm and reward employees who exemplify firm values. Some interesting statistics are found in the Global Workforce Mood Tracker™ The September 2011 Report Prepared by Globoforce, Ltd. This survey includes 630 responses from fully employed persons over the age of 18. Employees surveyed would use recognition programs to: Eliminate favoritism "many people who should be recognized go unnoticed due to the favoritism among those who choose"; Recognize more than just the elite "Because only people in more prominent positions get the majority of the recognition"; and, Value employees for more than their work "to have happy employees that feel they are being valued as human beings not just for work". "Thirty nine percent of workers do not feel appreciated at work and 52 percent were not satisfied with the level of recognition they receive." The survey also shows that recognition may not be the reason someone would leave his/her job (74% said they have never left a job because of lack of recognition), but employees will work harder if they are recognized (69% said they would work harder if they were recognized). Another interesting statistic is 59% of the respondents do not think people are rewarded at work based on job performance. Money talks, 84% of the respondents would like to be rewarded with a gift card and only 2% want company-branded items. One of our current challenges is how to keep employees engaged in their work and excited about change. implemented recognition program could help this along. A well thought-out and 4 Golden Gate Chapter January 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - January 2012

The Bridge - January 2012
President’s Message
Golden Gate Members Expand Their Horizons
A Tribute to Ginger Permillion Cava
Webinar Wednesdays
Retreat Planning Plus
Leadership and Committee Column: Tammy France, HR Co-Chair
Chapter Leader Institute
Annual Conference Announcements
Stay Connected with ALA
Test Yourself
Got CLM?
Knowledge to Leadership Returns!
Save the Dates: ALA 2012 Regional Conferences and Expos
Member Anniversaries
2011—2012 Business Partners
Legal Marketplace
Job Bank
Golden Gate Chapter Leadership
January 2012 Calendar

The Bridge - January 2012