5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Recognition Program

Creating a workplace that is thriving and successful takes time. A successful business is about more than just providing a useful product and gaining profit. A healthy company is one that invests in its employees and encourages them to be engaged in their work and share the company’s success.

Many company leaders explore the option of creating an employee recognition program when seeking creative ways to invest in their employees. They consider things like budget, ease-of-use, time, and quality. A recognition program is an investment. For recognition programs to be successful, company leaders should also consider these five things.

Program Purpose and Goals

No employee recognition program is successful without being established on a foundation of program goals. Several common goals for recognition programs include:

  • Employee Engagement
  • Boost Workplace Morale
  • Increased Productivity
  • Workforce Retention

What is the purpose of developing an employee recognition program and what do company leaders hope to accomplish by establishing one? Successful programs spell out the purpose for giving recognition. Will the program provide rewards for sales associates to reach a certain sales number? Will employees get rewarded based on their productivity levels, or their contributions to company projects? Having an established plan for how employees can receive recognition encourages them to participate and work toward achieving their recognition goals while also contributing to the goals of the company. Recognition should always suit the program’s purpose and goals. Award value should be relevant to the work accomplished.

Company Culture

Employee recognition programs are not one-size-fits-all. What works for one company is not guaranteed to work for another. Company leaders and hiring managers spend hours combing resumes seeking out compatible personalities and talent to suit their business needs. Company culture flourishes when every employee shares the same values and goals. Success happens when groups of employees support each other, and new ideas are born.

Often, the age of the workforce drives company culture. Company culture can also be affected by the employee’s knowledge and use of technology, and their lifestyle choices in and outside the workplace. Choosing an employee recognition program that suits a company’s culture is essential to the success of the program. Employee programs can be customized to provide employees with an experience that satisfies their need for recognition while also increasing the strength of the company’s culture.

Employee Involvement

Early development of a recognition program might require company leaders to do a little research. To develop a recognition program that employees will want to be involved in, leaders must first know what their employees want. Recognition programs that are customized to accommodate employee wants and needs are more likely to be successful.

Get employees involved in the development process by creating a focus group that meets and discusses the company’s culture, employee morale, and what needs a recognition program should meet. The focus group should be made up of employees from various departments and roles within the company. If more input is required, have the focus group develop and administer an employee survey that gathers information about employee wants and needs from everyone in the company.

When employees feel involved in the process of developing a recognition program, they are more likely to participate in the program. They know that their opinions matter and that their employers are making efforts to accommodate their needs.

Types of Rewards

Customized recognition programs can incorporate various types of awards. Company leaders should be sure that the recognition they give is meaningful and genuinely given. Rewards can vary from tangible trophies and medals to branded merchandise, or lifestyle products, or be intangible and allow employees to choose from various experiences, charitable contribution opportunities, or monetary gifts.

Rewards should be quality products that are of value. Company leaders should work with reputable awards vendors to ensure that awards are top quality and the selection process and return policies are simple and stress-free.

Employee recognition programs that incorporate several types of rewards help cater to various employee needs and allow them to choose how they want to be recognized.

Analytics and Reporting

Having program analytics can prove the effectiveness of the employee recognition program. Company leaders should consider employee recognition platforms that provide insight into how employees are using and interacting with the program. Recognition programs should offer analytics on why employees are receiving recognition, what rewards employees are choosing, and whether or not it is helping the company achieve their goals set for the program. A custom recognition program can also include reports that monitor and encourage user activity.

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