Blog: Common mistakes to avoid while designing a R&R program

Compensation & Benefits

Common mistakes to avoid while designing a R&R program

Designing a rewards and recognition program? Invest in studying target audience to reap best results.
Common mistakes to avoid while designing a R&R program

Rewards and Recognition programs are a part of life for great organizations. One of the biggest battles HR needs to fight today after the global slowdown is to acquire and retain talent for the organization. HR department needs to focus on areas that enable employee retention and well being. Rewards and recognition is one such platform which provides an atmosphere of affinity and belongingness translating better performance and enhanced productivity of employees.


It is essential that we should be extra cautious while designing or implementing the rewards and recognition program for the organization as only a good design can define an implementable system that meets expectations of all stakeholders and achieves its goals.


There are many common mistakes that the organizations make while designing their Rewards and Recognitions Programs, some of them are:-


Not Getting the Positioning Right: It is seen that organizations sometimes don’t spent too much time in analyzing & positioning the rewards & recognition program which will be applicable to their current set up. It is felt that any award or recognition is right and hence investment in studying the target audience is sometimes overlooked. I think as responsible HR Managers we must lay emphasis in figuring out which rewards and recognition program will suit the best to our organization. Try answering the following questions which will make sense and help you know your target audience well and much more deeply.

1. What are my organizational demographics in terms of age, gender ratio, marital status etc?

2. What is the average tenure of an employee with my organization?

3. How much diverse is my workforce?

4. How are my people culturally different from one another?

5. What is the average age of people employed in my organization?

6. What will I reward and recognize?

7. What kind of employee behavior I should recognize?


Getting the right positioning plays a vial role in defining and deriving the desired result out of any new implementation. Hence in my view this is one the crucial and important aspect before starting off.


No Clarity in Communication: Clear, precise and enthusiastic communication is an important factor in determining the success of any new rewards or recognition program. The criteria of the reward system and what kind of behavior is being recognized must be clearly communicated to all the employees and stakeholders. The communication must be in line with the employee behavior, an organization wants to encourage and reward. Its alignment to the annual performance appraisal and personal development must also be well communicated. In case you fail to state clarity on the above aspects there are chances that your entire exercise falls flat with low employee participation.


Don’t ever think that the effect of a Collective Award is same as that of an Individual Reward: Off late, we started recognizing exceptional team work within our organization. We used to facilitate the entire team by giving them a single appreciation certificate & shield on their contribution in executing and implementing the project well on time. However, we received feedback from the employees that every team member played a vital role in the project hence the reward must be given individually and not collectively. They would like to share their achievement and wanted to take back home a memento or certificate of appreciation to show to their families. This concern was very well addressed by us and from next year onwards we have introduced a system of recognizing and highlighting individual contribution in any team project of the organization.


Outsourcing Rewards: Who better than you would be able to best understand your organization and cater to its needs to the fullest. Organization these days prefer to outsource their rewards programs to an external agency or vendor and many times these agencies are unable to judge the needs of the organization. It is fairly simple and understandable that the organization’s requirement and people’s expectations can be handled and addressed effectively internally. If you want to outsource rewards then only outsource your merchandizing part and not your system.


Buying in and interest from the stakeholders is required so that one does not commit the above mistakes while implementing the rewards and recognition system. Further, if you would like to add or expand my list, or would like to share real life example on the common mistakes, kindly leave your valuable comments in the box at the end.

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits, Performance Management, #BestPractices, #TotalRewards

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