Setting Recognition Program Goals

Dear Levy,

I want to set the right goals for our new employee recognition program. It’s important to me that we can track the success of our company’s program. What are some common goals that show the effectiveness of an employee recognition program?

-- Program Administrator



Dear Administrator,

Employee recognition offers several advantages to the workplace. From improving employee engagement and strengthening workplace cultures, to increasing production and reducing employee turnover, recognition can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.

You already know that to see these effects, it is pertinent to have specific goals set for the program. However, it can be difficult to set numeric goals for a program that benefits so many qualitative aspects of your company.

For example, employee recognition programs help to improve employee relationships. How do we know this if there is no standard of measurement? It can also be difficult to measure employee engagement. How do you know if employees are actually enjoying themselves at work and why does that matter?

To answer these questions, I suggest setting quantitative goals that closely relate to the qualitative bottom line. Some popular goals that can be measured by growth percentages, surveys, and other numeric results include:

  • More Productivity
  • Higher Customer Satisfaction
  • Improved Employee Retention
  • Increased Sales
  • Fewer Workplace Accidents

Remember those science projects your high school chemistry teacher use to assign?

If I add vinegar to baking soda, the reaction is a foaming explosion that will make my paper mache volcano appear to be erupting.

Measuring the success of your program starts when you set key performance indicators for the goals listed above. Tracking the success of a recognition program is a lot like a science project. Think about if this/then that theories. If your goal is to monitor the program’s influence on sales, think,

If my company made $300,000 in sales this year and I introduce a leaderboard element to my sales department that encourages employees to compete against each other for top sales representative, then employee engagement will skyrocket and next year’s sales will increase.

Benchmark the starting number, $300,000, set a goal for a reasonable amount of growth, say, 10%, and determine the element of recognition you’ll introduce to the theory to stimulate that growth over the next year.

Why does this type of recognition work? Healthy competition motivates people. The incentive of being at the top of the leaderboard encourages your employees to work harder to reach or exceed their sales goals. Whether they are competing for bragging rights or some other incentive, your employees automatically become more engaged in their work and benefit the company’s bottom line.

That’s just one example of how to set goals for your employee recognition program. Think about where your company currently stands, where you would like it to be, and what elements of recognition you can add to the workplace that might influence the outcome. Practice benchmarking and if this/then what theorizing when setting goals for your program. And for even more help with building your program, download this Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Employee Recognition Program. It’ll give you a lot of pointers for goal setting, program design, and more!


Happy Goal Setting!

Recognition Rachel

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