How To Use Technology to Enhance Recognition Giving

There is no doubt face-to-face recognition given in a meaningful and personalized way will always outshine the text-based recognition given through most online recognition programs. 

But can technology driven recognition programs actually enable daily recognition practices?

I will show you some ways how technology-based recognition programs can enhance regular recognition giving where you work. 

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Top 10 Ways to Stay Focused on Recognition in 2021

Try out these focused actions as you lead others to give better and more frequent recognition. You will gain great enthusiasm and confidence for championing the cause of recognition in your organization. You’ll also help those you work with to better focus on giving recognition.

Choose one focus area that you can take on in the coming month.

  1. Focus on being mindful of recognition. Be mindful of recognition by paying attention in every moment to amazing things people do that merit recognition. A timely response, a helpful solution, a kind gesture, or making a difference.
  2. Focus on one recognition goal at a time. No one can do everything. Focus on achieving just one recognition goal. Whether programmatic or supportive, enlisting the help of others is easier when finding one thing to do better than anything else.
  3. Focus on calendaring recognition activities. Clear the calendar and slot in recognition activities you need to work on. Program analysis, communication planning, learning content, etc. – plug into your calendar to get done vs. a to-do list. 
  4. Focus on a specific recognition task. Try out using two-week sprints to make things happen. Break down quarterly goals into monthly activities and then two specific tasks to work on every two-weeks. You’ll be surprised at what you can do.
  5. Focus on leading indicators of recognition. We rely on lagging indicators like usage reports to make changes. But what proceeds every recognition activity. Now target these specific behaviors and increase personal connections for recognition.
  6. Focus on your recognition strategy. Your recognition strategy outlines your recognition purpose and beliefs. It’s also a plan for improving recognition practices and programs. Review your strategy monthly and report on progress quarterly.
  7. Focus on using recognition to support. Work with your senior leaders and review the business and people strategies to see how recognition can help. Revise and plan how to leverage recognition to drive various organizational initiatives. 
  8. Focus on practicing recognition daily. There is no better way to stay focused on recognition than by studying recognition principles and improving your recognition practices. Then look for ways to give better and more frequent recognition daily. 
  9. Focus on using your recognition programs. Go to your recognition programs first thing every day to see comments in the recognition news feed. Check out who has a birthday or a career milestone. Actively comment on posts and like what you see.
  10. Focus on encouraging one person at a time. Eat, breathe, and talk about recognition in your meetings. Teach one principle or practice that someone else shared with you or found through research with one other person each day. 

What Is The Purpose of Your Recognition Programs?

One reason recognition programs succeed is because they have a clear core purpose behind them.

Besides simply answering the “why” question for each of your recognition programs, work also towards using your recognition programs purposefully.

Check out the following purpose-driven ideas for helping your recognition programs thrive.

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Why Is My Recognition Program Not Working?

Perhaps you got lulled in by the 1990s mantra that “if you build it, they will come” when you designed your online recognition program.

The truth is the origin of that quote is a misquotation from the movie “Field of Dreams”. In the movie it is the lead character played by Kevin Costner, who hears the whisper from the cornfield, that “if you build it, he will come”. The “it” refers to a baseball field and the “he” is a long deceased, famous baseball player idolized by the lead character. 

We all know the premise of the quote as it relates to business contradicts basic marketing principles. Establish a need for something first before you ever build it. 

Let’s examine some reasons I have seen for why recognition programs may not be working very well.

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How To Decide Whether To Give Recognition Or Rewards

If you have online recognition programs, you’ll likely have your organizational leaders asking you for guidance on when they should give recognition with no monetary reward attached and when should they give a reward.

The point you may have heard me expound upon before is that when you give recognition, you don’t have to give a reward. But whenever you give a person a reward, you must always accompany it with recognition.

Too often people equate recognition as rewards such that when you’re talking about recognition, they only see cash or some reward in their mind. Or if you only give people a written or verbal expression of appreciation, they’re wondering where the reward is.  

It’s a shame when employees think like this, but they didn’t come to this idea on their own. If you set up your programs the wrong way in the first place, they can generate a strong dependence on using rewards versus recognition. 

This still leaves us with the question, how do you decide whether to give recognition to someone or give a reward? Let’s find out what you can do. 

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How To Set Up a Committee for Judging Formal Awards

Formal recognition programs are often the most common type of programs present in organizations. You find that many organizations invest the most amount of time, money, and resources in their formal recognition programs. 

These more formal programs often have a prestigious name associated with them, such as Excellence Awards, Pinnacle, President’s Awards, or other branded names. These awards are where employees or managers can nominate an individual or a team for a specific award category. 

Awards will vary depending on the industry sector your organization fits under, such as, 

  • Trades and services.
  • Information and Communication Technology.
  • Healthcare and medical.
  • Mining, resources, and energy.
  • Hospitality and Tourism.

The award categories of awards might include going above in beyond in such areas as: 

  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Customer Service
  • Quality Improvement
  • Patient Care
  • Health and Safety
  • Sales
  • Organizational Values
  • Teamwork 

The one thing in common with all organizational formal awards, no matter what sector they are from, is the need to have a judging committee. 

And that’s what we are going to talk about today, how to set up a formal judging committee so you can recognize and celebrate the outstanding performers where you work. 

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Four Criteria You Need for a Successful Recognition Program

To be successful with any recognition program, create criteria that you can measure your success by. How else will you know whether your recognition programs are achieving the results you want from them? 

In our Recognition Maturity Model, we have built in four criteria that help determine where you stand with recognition across nine categories, such as leadership, culture, programs, and analytics.

Look at the following criteria to see where you think your recognition programs stack up.

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How To Set Up a Point-Based Reward Program

Many people have clicked on a previous version of this blog post wanting to learn how they should set up a point-based reward program. 

Unfortunately, some individuals and recognition and reward providers suggest certain ideas as being best practices so the client’s employees will consume more points. So, buyer beware and let’s learn some principles versus supposed best practices to guide you.

My goal is to provide you with objective information along with solid principles for you to make wise decisions by.  I will also give you some pros and cons for some options.

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Build Your Recognition Programs From the Bottom Up

Designing and developing recognition programs take a lot of thought, planning, and creativity.

The best way I can recommend beginning is to consider the distinct programs falling under a pyramid. And like building most structures, the foundation is critical because it holds everything built on top of it.

That’s why you build your recognition programs from the bottom up. 

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