How to Develop a Great Employee Recognition Program

How to Develop a Great Employee Recognition Program
Employee recognition is a fundamental requirement in the organization. Employees who feel recognized are not only more likely to be happier but are also more productive. This increased productivity usually translates into increased revenues and profitability for the company. Unfortunately, very few employees feel appreciated in their places of work. Multiple studies, including a recent one by Gallup, indicate that only 1-in-3 workers received recognition for their work over the last seven days. Considering that 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt appreciated, you can see why developing a recognition plan would make a difference in your organization. The following tips should help you create the right recognition program.

Begin By Understanding Your Company’s Recognition Needs

What do you hope to achieve with the recognition program? Or, if you already have such a program in place, what do you like and dislike about it? When you ask these questions before developing the actual program, you’re more likely to be successful in the end. The following are some of the reasons organizations develop employee recognition (and award) programs;
  1. To improve employee engagement: According to multiple studies, at least 65% of employees didn’t receive recognition for their work in the past week. This is devastating, considering that recognition boosts employee engagement by up to 60%.
  2. To improve your company culture: If your employees feel that they’re not listened to or that operations are dictated by higher up, a carefully though recognition program can help bring back that togetherness and the feeling of appreciation.
  3. To improve retention: A recent study by Gallup found that employees who feel unappreciated are twice as likely to quit the company within a year as those who feel recognized. A different study by Deloitte recently found that organizations with better recognition programs have a 31% lower voluntary turnover.
  4. To boost employee morale: finally, when employees feel that you don’t recognize them for the work they put in, they lose motivation. This loss of morale can severely impact their performances and hurt their productivity, ultimately impacting the company’s bottom line.
Employee Recognition Program

Understand the Different Types of Employee Recognition Programs

Once you’ve identified your reasons for creating or improving upon your employee recognition program, the next step is to understand the different recognition programs, how they work, and identify one that would have the biggest impact in your organization. The following are some of the most popular recognition programs;
  1. Top-down recognition programs: This is perhaps the most popular type of employee recognition. Here, supervisors and managers appraise and recognize the contributions of each employee. Typically, the supervisors will convene an annual performance review to evaluate and recognize employees’ performances.
  2. Peer recognition: Peer recognition is also very popular. Essentially, it involves employees recognizing fellow employees for work well done. It could be done through voting or other forms of feedback. But the bottom line is that employees get the chance to appreciate the work done by their peers.
  3. Milestone recognition: Milestone recognitions are celebrations held when a particular milestone is achieved. For instance, you could arrange a small party to celebrate the completion of a marketing campaign or fulfillment of a big contract. The strategy also works excellently with new hires.
  4. Nomination programs: These are “Employee of the Month” Employee of the Year” awards you hear about all the time. At the end of the month or year, employees are asked to vote for the person whose efforts they feel had the biggest impact at the company over that duration.
  5. Recognition and awards: Finally, many companies also choose to reward employees with tangible gifts such as bonuses and paid vacations for work well done – and it works like a charm! According to the Deloitte 2018 Global Human Capital report, employees respond very favorable to compensation programs such as bonuses, raises, and other tangible incentives.

Integrate the New Recognition Program into your Existing Workflows

Once you’ve identified the right recognition program, the next and most important step is implementation. Remember that employee recognition should be frictionless. You don’t want a few people feeling that there’s bias within the processes. Ideally, you want everyone within the organization to appreciate the program and feel that it’s fairness all through. Feel free to utilize apps and other software tools to make the integration seamless. Regardless, though, you need to ask yourself the following questions;
  • How much administrative time is required? The best employee recognition programs are simple to implement.
  • Can the tools be used for all employees? A great employee recognition reaches all employees wherever they are located.
  • Does the recognition tool integrate with the tools you already use? You want a program that works seamlessly with your CRM and HRIS systems.
  • Is it intuitive enough? An intuitive system or program is one that can be implemented with minimal disruption. It shouldn’t disrupt employee routines.
  • Does it allow timely recognition? A great recognition program enables you to reward employees as soon as possible.
  • What about scaling? Can it expand as the company grows? Since your company is likely to expand, you want a recognition program and recognition tools that can scale too.

Remember to Analyze and Improve

This is where successful companies excel. You must understand that nothing is built perfectly. Moreover, as time changes and the company grows, so will your needs. Consistently analyzing and improving the recognition program to reflect your growth journey will help you maintain your competitive edge and could be what helps you stand apart.