Seven Steps to Start Inventor Recognition Programs

Studies have shown that one way you can maintain employee loyalty is to recognize your employees for their accomplishments. According to Robert Half International, a staffing company, the number one reason people give for leaving a company is a lack of praise and recognition. (1996 Quality Digest)

Every company has a different way of recognizing their employees. Just as no two companies are the same, not every recognition program will be the same. The important thing is that your employees feel appreciated by the company and their direct manager.

Rewarding people who each have different tastes can seem almost impossible. There is no one surefire way to please everyone and get the job done without any glitches. There are several basic steps that will help you start your recognition program. Some steps may take you a matter of minutes, while others, especially those that require the approval of a committee, may take you weeks to complete. Included below are the basics.

Step One: "Why?"

Why are you and your company starting a recognition program? What will be the purpose of your intellectual property recognition program? Do you want to motivate employees? Enhance your corporate image? Encourage your employees to develop their ideas? Whatever the purpose, this first step will help you later as you choose products, decide on a budget and even choose who will receive the recognition.

Step Two: "Decide on your budget."

How much money is your company willing to spend on this program? Setting your budget will narrow your product options and help you decide who will receive awards. Remember that this number may have to be changed slightly at a later date, but having an idea of your budget will help you make later decisions.

Step Three: "Decide who will receive the recognition."

Refer back to your purpose and budget, when you think about who will receive recognition. If the purpose of your program is to enhance your corporate image, a corporate "Patent Gallery" in the lobby may be what you are looking for. If you have multiple locations this will allow everyone in the company to share in the excitement of invention. If your goal is to encourage employees, individual recognition items may be your best option. If you have a limited budget consider a company wall display or commemorating the first patent issued to an individual and recognizing multiple patents to a lesser degree.

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