November 29, 2022

How to create an employee recognition program?

When was the last time you received a gesture of appreciation or acknowledgement for your work? More often than not, even a simple phrase thanking the quality of the work done delivered with a sincere smile in the face has a positive effect on people. Employee recognition in modern organizations reinforce the sense of belonging, strengthen the culture and encourages talent to stay in the company for more time.  

Do you know how to create an employee recognition program? If you want to delve into the world of employee recognition, we can help you. At T2W we have an extensive experience in Human Resources and talent management, so we can help you. Here, we show you the main factors you need to consider while creating an employee recognition program. 

How to create an employee recognition program 

How to create an employee recognition program

1. Clear objectives 

The first step is setting clear objectives for the program. What do you want from this initiative? Take in mind that all recognition programs at work have two main purposes: solving company’s needs and solving employees’ needs. In that sense, the program can prove to be more effective if its objectives are in line with those of the organization. The program should move the organization closer to its goals by solving current problems and needs around its employees. 

Perhaps your organization needs to increase employee morale, reduce turnover or encourage creative new initiatives. Therefore, the objective of the program should be based on the current needs of the company. As the context of the business changes, the program can change to fit new needs and objectives. 

Ok, now you know where you want to go. However, how can you assess if you are getting close to your objective? You need to identify the metrics and KPIs that will show you when the program is beginning to deliver results. These indicators will change depending on the objectives you select. Once you know the objectives and metrics to measure success, we can move to the next step. 

2. Valued actions 

What are the actions that will receive recognition? This variable will change according to employee’s needs and the form of recognition you want to implement. For example, one of the most common types of recognition programs are the ones that value outstanding employee performance. Likewise, another common option is the one that values employee length of service in the company. 

On the other hand, you should consider also the programs that recognize employee’s actions. This option focuses on reinforcing the attitude, actions and behavior the organizations values. For this alternative, you need to check core company values and organizational culture. This way, you not only recognize actions that respond to the company’s needs, but also its values. 

3. The form of recognition  

Now you need to plan the best way to recognize employees. There are many different ways to acknowledge and appreciate people. This is a key aspect since the effectiveness of the program depends on selecting a style that really fits the people in the organization. 

Vertical and Horizontal recognition 

First, you need to consider the possibility of recognizing people vertically or horizontally. With these perspectives, we refer to the source where recognition comes from. In a vertical mode, leaders and people in management positions are the ones who show the appreciation to employees. It comes downwards in a vertical movement. 

On the other hand, in a horizontal mode, we talk about peer-to-peer recognition. While the vertical mode is the most common form of recognition among companies, the horizontal alternative is proving to be more effective in the modern workplace.  

In fact, receiving a form of appreciation from a coworker is 36% more effective financially if we compare it to the vertical mode. Finally, we need to consider also a more comprehensive perspective that combines vertical and horizontal modes. This could be the most complete and effective alternative. 

Public and private recognition 

Recognition in the workplace can be done publicly or privately. This is a very interesting disjunctive. In general, a good program recognizes employees in a visible way, that is to say, publicly. This can encourage people to participate and show the behavior that the program values.  

Public recognition can be done by appreciating and rewarding people in the work premises or in social media. However, you will find people who don’t feel comfortable with public recognition. In that case, that accomplishment would turn into a burden. That goes against the purpose of the program. This is why it’s so important to listen to employees’ opinions. 

Employees’ feedback 

Since one of the objectives of the program is offering a form of value to employees, you need to consider their opinion when creating it. How would they like to be rewarded? Do they prefer public or private recognition?  To solve these and many other questions, you can use internal surveys. At the end of the day, employees are the ones who will reveal the most effective forms of recognition. 

4. The scalability of the program, 

All companies want to recognize employees in a way that feels personal, sincere and special for each person. However, scalability is a factor that cannot be overlooked when it comes to recognition at work. When a company is small, it’s easy to offer recognition in a personal way, since there are not many employees.  

That changes when companies are bigger, since it’s more difficult to customize recognition with so many people to thank and reward. For this reason, you should analyze if the type of recognition and reward you plan to offer can actually be implemented. Is it possible to sustain it in the long-term considering cost-benefit? Finally, avoid selecting actions that could feel general, impersonal and insincere, since that won’t offer positive results. 

5. Apply the programs and measure its results 

Once the program has been carefully planned, it’s time to implement it in the organization. The program shouldn’t go unnoticed by people. You have to advertise it through company’s internal digital channels, with communication made from leaders to team members and announcing it in the work premises. Everyone should know the way the program works, the day it starts, who are eligible, the rewards they’ll receive, etc. 

Once the program has been implemented, it’s time to measure the results. For that reason, you have to go back to the KPIs and objectives defined while creating the program. At this point, you should keep in mind that the program can be improved. In fact, you need to measure the results in order to optimize the program constantly. That determines the success of the program in the long term. 

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.  

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