MAX!-imum Recognition for MAX!-imum Effort
By Catherine Eberlein Pfister
AEIS also has four general company-driven recognition programs to support specific company or departmental objectives that are not based on achievement or performance such as employee retention, employee referrals, etc. These rewards are not based on achievement or performance:
- The Service Anniversary program recognizes and rewards commitment and loyalty to AEIS by awarding 10 points for every non-milestone year of service to AEIS and 15 points for milestone anniversaries such as 5, 10, 15 years, etc. Recipients also receive a congratulatory letter from the CEO.
- The Holiday Gift program awards each employee 100 points in celebration of the holiday season.
- The Leads to Success program rewards employees for contributing to AEIS' sales efforts by providing leads that ultimately convert to sales, with rewards based on the sale amount.
- The Employee Referral program rewards employees for referring qualified candidates for employment: 1,000 points are awarded to the AEIS employee making the referral: 250 points are issued to the referring employee on the new hire's start date and the 750 point balance after the new employee has been on the job for 90 days.
The Circle of Excellence sales incentive program focuses on driving profitable sales growth by achievement of sales goals or other contributions. This traditional program targets all sales channels within the organization and is focused on driving profitable sales growth by recognizing sales force and sales manager over-goal performance or contributions. There is no discretion in this program and it is a direct reward for achieving measurable results.
Finally, the Recognition to the Max! award acknowledges commitment by individuals to both formal and informal recognition at AEIS. This award may be presented to the individual the officers feel has best exemplified and demonstrated "Recognition to the Max!" during the course of the year. The recipient, if one is named, is honored at the Annual Business Conference and receives an officer-selected award. A special travel award is awarded to three AEIS employees (and their guests) during the Annual Sales Conference. A blue-skinned actor in a red cape and tie hired to play "Max" presents the travel awards, and employee entries are based on the number of times they are recognized throughout the year.
Communications are frequent, fun and effective. Program promotion includes posters and banners displayed throughout company headquarters and animated Max! kiosk displays placed prominently in high-traffic areas. Max!-branded launch materials include items such as Post-it notepads, Max! reward cards and employee ID badge clips. Other program communications include a small reminder card with tips for effective recognition, periodic e-mail blasts to all employees with unique Max!-themed headers and Max!-branded Valentine's Day chocolates and bottles of sparkling grape juice. The Max!-imize Friday initiative features posters and e-mail blasts with targeted Max! headers along with special treats such as giant Max! decorated cookies to remind and encourage employees to recognize each other at the end of the week.
Measures of Success
Measurements of success are taken throughout and include sales, revenues/pre-tax income, customer survey scores and employee satisfaction survey scores:
- Employee satisfaction scores on informal and formal recognition.
- Leaders' 360-degree assessment scores on recognition competency.
- Usage measured via the company's online reward management tool.
The internal activities used by the company include leadership and pre-leadership programs, a career management program and flextime policy. Activities also include an employee advocate team and a range of committees that steered investment decision, "the stage gate," client opportunity analysis and activities.