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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How To Improve Your Recognition Programs

Ben Feldman was a successful insurance salesperson back in the 1940s. When asked how he achieved his repeated multimillion-dollar sales year after year, he said, “If you’ve got a problem, make it a procedure and it won’t be a problem anymore.”

It is the same with improving your recognition programs. You first have to put some procedures in place, then you won’t have any more problems with your recognition and reward programs. 

The key to consistently improving your recognition programs is to follow a quality improvement process, like the following. 

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5 Easy-To-Spot Signs Of Potential Reward Problems

You may have seen it elsewhere or experienced it. Hopefully, you’re not dealing with it right now.

Runaway budget spent on gift cards, merchandise, points, and even cash rewards. Negative attitudes and perceptions of employee recognition. 

Let me give you just five indicators that you might have some potential reward problems lurking in the shadows of your well-intentioned recognition and reward programs.

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How To Celebrate From A Distance

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday with my family from a distance.

Families sang happy birthday to me via FaceTime or sent unique greetings like the JibJab Happy Quarantine Birthday with my face and my children’s faces imposed on dancing animations. 

All the families surprised me in the evening with a Zoom video conference get together and playing 3 rounds of the smartphone app game called Psych. Highly recommend this if you haven’t played it with a group of people yet.

My one granddaughter had made cookies and her Mom put a single birthday candle on the cookie and I virtually blew it out as she blew it out. However, she ate the cookie!

Now that’s what happened for me to celebrate a birthday. 

What can you do to celebrate your employees’ career milestones virtually? How do you celebrate employees who make a difference or for significant achievements from a distance because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

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