Lots of companies think their recognition programs are the very best. Many that I have seen are truly pretty amazing and exemplary. A few think of themselves a little better than they really are. But at least they’re trying.
Since judging the best practices nominations submitted to Recognition Professionals International for the past 11-years, I have seen the overview of nearly a hundred or so recognition programs. Based on the criteria that I had a hand in developing, the other judges and I score each nomination, and also provide helpful, written feedback on their programs.
Often, those who submit their nomination the first time receive a best in class award covering a few of the seven best practice standards. They usually act on the judges’ feedback and resubmit the following year. If companies carry out the recommendations that judges suggested they typically raise the bar and can merit earning the best practices overall award.
How good do you think your recognition programs are? If you submitted a best practices award nomination for your company, would you measure up?
Take a look at RPI’s seven best practice standards below and assess where you think you would stack up on a seven or 10 point scale. (more…)
Getting complaints about your recognition programs, or having to listen to the naysayers in the room about employee recognition practices, can be a draining and daunting experience to deal with.
One big secret for dealing with negativity around recognition initiatives is to treat each encounter as a gift. I’ll share with you what I mean by this, shortly.
If you can learn how to handle negative feedback about recognition practices and programs in a positive and productive way, you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way. (more…)
When recognition programs stop working properly, employees and organizations go into a state of cultural “cardiac” arrest. Unchecked, your sick programs can result in disengagement and deathly poor morale levels. If intervention happens quickly you can restart and put new life into your recognition programs. Make sure you examine carefully these Top 10 Ways to Revive Your Recognition Programs. Choose one or two steps to apply to your recognition programs today.
- Check out the heart rhythm of your programs. Analyze the recognition program data to observe usage: who is using the program, who is getting recognized, and find out what people are actually being recognized for. And, who has NOT been recognized?
- Ask employees how recognized they feel. Describe their current recognition symptoms. Employees’ perceptions of your programs will give you a solid readout. Have employees share how program usage could be improved. Ask how they could be more involved.
- Determine root-cause analysis for unhealthy programs. Could it be: Lack of awareness? Invisible access? Poor education and recognition training? No communication supports? Not top of mind? No expectations for recognition? Perceptions of no time to use?
- Programs may need shock treatment. Deliver a new current of energy and enthusiasm to get back on track. This could be a new program design, new rules, purpose, and rebranding. Clarify the expectations and hold people accountable. Create a communication campaign to revitalize.
- Remove arterial blockages to your programs. If there are design and system issues then get IT and your strategy design people to quickly assess and make instant changes. Also, check out and correct people’s attitudes and intentions. If programs are vendor driven involve your account rep.
- Educate why you use recognition programs. Reinforce your organization’s strategy, goals, and culture about recognition. The more consistently and better your programs are used the more engaged and productive employees will be. Give people a better purpose and request they identify their “why”.
- Recognition programs mostly stop working because of people. When programs break down no recognition gets pumped to people in the company. Work on problems but make sure to educate people on effective program usage. Find out the specific barriers people raise and address each one.
- Provide supports to defibrillate your programs back to life. Improve and check reports regularly to determine concerns. Use eLearning to teach effective program practice. Send regular communication messages to encourage adoption. Have leaders and managers set a positive example.
- Don’t face recognition program failure alone. Recognition program revival is a team effort where you must partner with leaders, managers, and employees. You must take charge of the choices and needs that affect effective programs. Establish a recognition committee and meet regularly.
- When all else fails, plan a program transplant. Removing a damaged and ineffective program by replacing it with a new one is no easy decision. But, if a program isn’t working properly and has caused irreversible damage – change it! Then use the previous steps to help prevent future problems.
This post is based on a posting by the author in Incentive Magazine.
You’re excited about your recognition programs portal. You have everything you have asked for over several years of design and development.
Your recognition portal houses a recent peer-to-peer, social recognition program. You can easily access your career milestones program from here as well. The social news feed allows everyone to know about career and personal anniversaries and people can make comments, add replies, and like messages of praise, acknowledgment, and thanks for the great things happening at your company.
And, your supervisors and managers, have access to a performance-based reward and recognition program. Here they can give rewards accompanied by recognition to employees who go above and beyond in their work.
You launch your new all-access recognition portal. Then it’s crickets.
Your wish is to get more employees and managers involved in effectively using your recognition programs.
Is there anything you can do to invite greater participation with your recognition portal? What are some principles you can apply to make your site more engaging? (more…)
Many of you have a variety of online recognition programs available to your employees and managers to use.
Employees can usually acknowledge their colleagues or even express appreciation and thanks to a supervisor or manager. Most of the online recognition, award, and reward programs are peer-to-peer, manager to employee, and with formal award programs, the organization to the employee.
Sometimes, we make our recognition programs but they end up being too transactional in nature. When this happens, it can lead to a less than ideal recognition experience for your employees.
What needs to happen is more humanizing of our technological recognition programs.
I am going to give you seven P’s to consider when creating any meaningful and memorable recognition experience with your programs. (more…)
I received this question from a colleague wanting to help a client on how they should set up a points-based reward program.
Some individuals advocate certain ideas as being best practices. Often incentive and reward providers espouse these principles as being absolutely right.
With all this advice out there I will do my best to be objective. I will provide you with some pros and cons along the way for what you can do. (more…)
One of the challenges with recognition providers is that most of their services and offerings are based upon recognition being delivered via online recognition programs.
Recognition vendors often use Software as a Service (SaaS) model delivery. This software distribution model is where a third-party provider hosts an application and makes it available to customers over the Internet.
But what are you supposed to do for employees who have no computer or smartphone access? Maybe they don’t own a smartphone or the nature of their work does not allow them to access work content online.
How do you recognize employees who don’t have computer access to your typical recognition programs? (more…)
When employees go above and beyond in the workplace it stands out.
It’s noticeable. Exceptional. And it should be celebrated.
That is why managers need to understand the importance of recognizing employees for going above and beyond.
Why should you establish an above and beyond category to your existing recognition award programs? What are the benefits of doing so? (more…)
From your daily administering of various recognition programs, you know exactly when it is time for changes. You’re also aware, from talking to colleagues who manage recognition programs in other companies, that there are often new bells and whistles you could benefit from.
But your biggest challenge can often be convincing your sponsoring leader of the need to evolve the recognition programs if they want to remain current.
I will share some ideas on how you can move things forward and gradually influence a reluctant leader. (more…)