Recognition and Reward in the Lab

Happy Lab employee in biorepository
Great employees are essential to lab success, keep them engaged and productive.

Your lab employees work hard and are committed to the success of your organization. Keeping them motivated is an important component of any lab manager’s job responsibilities. Keeping employees feeling appreciated can improve morale, employee engagement, and productivity. Also, valued employees are less likely to leave, reducing overall turnover, recruitment and training costs. We know that training new employees on software such as a laboratory information management system is a component of those costs. The decision of how to recognize and reward lab employees can differ widely based on the type of lab and the type of work being done. Regardless of what form the reward or recognition takes, it’s important to make sure employees are aware of what is being done and why.

Incentive Programs

Our User Education Conference is an ideal option for professional development.

Incentivizing employees is an excellent way to drive excellence in an organization. Such programs can take on several forms. Rewards can be simple, such as giving them small tokens of appreciation, such as movie or event tickets, gift certificates or small items such as books or music.  It’s important to check with your human resources office to be sure that the types of incentives you are providing won’t be considered additional income.

Recognition Programs

Lab Tech collecting samples to be entered into Sample Management Software
Small tokens and formal recognition programs are excellent ways to reward lab employees.
There are many ways to formally or informally recognize employees for a job well done. This credit for a job well done could mean small notes from a lab manager when an employee goes above and beyond. Recognition could mean a call out in an employee newsletter or a staff meeting. Other options include providing a formal awards program, wherein outstanding work performances are recognized in front of a larger employee gathering, occasionally with the recognized employees’ loved ones invited to attend. Know that some employees may prefer not to be recognized publicly. The last thing you want to do with a recognition program is to make such attention a stressful experience for the recipient.

Financial Rewards

Obviously, one way to enhance an employee’s perceived value is to provide additional compensation. Certainly, raises and bonuses can help persuade an employee to remain and feel like a valued part of the team.

Leadership Development

Recognition can take a number of tracks. Many labs have regular programs that provide leadership development opportunities for employees who demonstrate a potential for advancement. Such programs, either run within the lab or within a broader,  affiliated health care system, can provide employees with useful tools and skills that enhance their leadership and supervisory knowledge. When a vacancy arises in a lab, employees who have completed such development programs can be considered for promotion and have smoother transitions to a management role.

Also consider sending employees to professional conferences, signing them up for professional affiliations or subscriptions, and providing them with professional networking experiences. 

Giving employees access to state-of-the-art technology also helps recognize their work. If you use a laboratory information management system (LIMS) such as Freezerworks, you’re exposing employees to a robust solution that gives them exposure to systems that improve lab efficiency, track inventory, automate processes and provide detailed and customized reporting functionality.

With the right LIMS system, your employees gain hands-on knowledge about modern lab operations. Request a demo to learn more about the impact great software can have on staff development.