Reward and Recognition

Recognition plans are reward plans that are built around the real time feedback of performance that is deemed “superior” by the organization. Three major points to consider:

  • Recognition should reinforce behaviours and outcomes that are important to the organization’s vision, core values and goals
  • Recognition programs do not need to be cash – non-monetary options such as awards, certificates or training opportunities should be considered
  • Recognition plans cannot prop up a compensation system that is not competitive or is viewed as inadequate
  • Recognition plans are an effective tool for managers to reward individual performance because they are:
    • Cost effective – Unlike base pay or incentives, recognition plans do not involve large amounts of money
    • Flexible – Recognition can take the form of verbal commendation, written commendation, gift certificates, gift items or small amounts of money
    • Real time – whereas other rewards can take months between the employees’ superior performance and the reward pay out, recognition should occur as close to the episode as possible

Sample Audit Questions Regarding Recognition Plans

Does our company utilize recognition plans?

Yes, we have recognition plans.

Questions for Further Consideration

  • If we do not have recognition plans, do we know the reasons why we don’t use them?
  • If we know why, are the reasons still valid?
  • Is there possible benefit from implementing a recognition plan?
  • If we want to implement a plan, are there any major barriers that need to be addressed? 

No, we do not use recognition plans.

Questions for Further Consideration

  • Do our plans reinforce behaviours/outcomes that are consistent with our vision, values and goals?
  • If we have recognition plans, are they being used?
  • If they are not being used, do we understand why? Reasons may include:
    • People don’t know the plans exist
    • The plans have been in place a long time and have lost their relevance and energy
    • The plans are too administratively cumbersome
    • The awards are not valued by employees

Examples of Recognition Programs in the Bus Industry


Formal Program

Informal Program

  • Team of the Quarter
  • Team of the Year
  • Annual recognition banquet
  • Spot awards: movie or dinner tickets, day off with pay, lunch with general manager, etc.
  • Employee of the month/year
  • Annual appreciation breakfast
  • Safety banquet
  • Annual barbecue
  • Annual picnic/golf tournament and games


  • Seeking Excellence and Recognizing Heroes Program
  • Perfect attendance, safety, Employee of the Quarter, Honour Roll
  • Employee accomplishments highlighted in company newsletter
  • Ice cream social for service awards
  • Service Awards
  • Hall of Fame
  • Employee of the Month
  • Employee Suggestion Program
  • Monthly birthday recognition
  • Passenger compliments posted
  • Features in the monthly newsletter
  • Outstanding Achievement Award
  • GM’s Award
  • Service Award
  • Annual Recognition Celebration
  • Dining dollars
  • Wellness/community service
  • Gift certificates/savings bonds
  • Annual picnic



Motor Carrier Passenger Council of Canada (MCPCC),
Business number: BN# 877577427 RT0001