How To Use Leaderboards to Socially Reinforce Performance Results

Leaderboards are a type of gaming mechanism that helps learners with goal setting and instilling motivation for learning and performance improvement.

So, how can you design and use leaderboards to socially reinforce the desired performance results you want in the workplace?

I will outline some of the leaderboard mechanics to be aware of and their implications. And I will provide you with a real-world example of a leaderboard that you can emulate and apply in your workplace. 

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How To Use Leading Indicators to Boost Usage of Your Recognition Programs

Recognition program metrics are old news by the time you get them.

And that “old news” element makes these numbers from the past called lagging indicators. They are a lagging indicator because we observe these measures after, or lagging after, any change has occurred. 

These lagging indicators create a conflict for you as the recognition program owner. Outcome measures from your programs are easy to measure. But you can’t do much to change them once you get them. 

My recommendation is to supercharge your programs by using leading indicators as well. 

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A New Year Is Just Around The Recognition Corner

Here’s a scary reality from the latest trends in Human Resources. First off is that 53 percent of HR professionals have seen an increase in turnover in the past year. That sounds like it might be a lot of people!

Already in America the number of monthly resignations is near all-time highs.

Other research suggests 40 percent of workers are planning to leave their jobs in the next year. The media is calling it the Great Resignation.

Which means those of us in the recognition profession need to support leaders in retaining and motivating our fellow workers. Here are some ways to get in gear for recognition in 2022.

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How Different Types of Analytics Tell a Different Recognition Program Story

Analytics is the science of logical analysis. 

Analytics with employee recognition programs use recognition program output metrics, or usage data, and apply mathematical equations, statistical analysis, and computer software to paint a picture of what is going on.

However, different levels of analysis produce a different image and insights. The deeper you go with analytics, the more understanding you gain and the better action you can take. 

Consider the following observations. 

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Let Your Recognition Programs Tell You Everything You Need to Know

Online recognition programs are websites acting as a central platform for a variety of recognition and reward programs. They allow everyone in an organization to express their appreciation, say thanks to folks, and give recognition for the great things people do at work every day. 

Those with permission can also give people rewards, whether tangible, monetary, or experiential. You give rewards to people for going above and beyond normal work expectations and when excellent performance occurs. 

What can your recognition programs tell you that you’re not tapping into? 

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Top 10 Ways to Create a Points-Based Reward Program

If you are considering setting up a points-based reward program, consider following this list of basic principles before meeting with a vendor or with your own IT team. Points-based incentives are a great tool to use for achieving amazing performance results and for motivating your employees.

  1. Clarify the need for an incentive or reward program. Incentive and reward programs reinforce specific behaviors or actions achieved within a specific time period. Does this fit your purpose for why you want a points-based program?
  2. List the perceived benefits of a point-based reward system. Points are an easily understood reward currency and an alternative to cash. They can be problematic if unredeemed or you paid on issuance. Ensure a great merchandise selection.
  3. Create a business case for using a points-based rewards program. Discuss with all stakeholders the purpose, benefits, and costs, of a points-based program. Outline your action plans for monitoring and any course corrections as needed.
  4. Identify the specific behaviors and positive actions you want people to do. Articulate the specific, actionable, objectives to be achieved that merit earning points. Tell employees things must be done in an ethical and non-gaming way.
  5. Determine how you will track the occurrence of specific results. Figure out the right things to measure using the right measuring stick to do so. How will you know when an employee has performed the desired results in order to reward them?
  6. Find the right way to measure the desired activity. Measure employee productivity and desired behaviors appropriately. Set up systems, recording methods, reports, and online processes needed to measure your target activities.
  7. Figure out the appropriate reward levels for different actions. Different behaviors merit different point values. You can either reward incremental progress towards an end goal or wait for full task completion or target output reached.
  8. Select meaningful and motivational items for point redemption. Make your reward values match the level or degree of performance done. Also give a wide range of merchandise items to choose from when employees redeem their points.
  9. Ensure activities are done the right way for the right reasons. Points-based reward programs can instill gaming or manipulative behaviors. Tell employees to always do the right things that are aligned with both organizational and social values.
  10. Set up analytic opportunities to mine the point-based reward data. Use advanced analytics to look at your points-based incentive data. Find out why certain activities are happening and prescribe what can be done to make great things happen.

Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.

Get Solid Data Fluency for Strong Recognition Programs

Not sure how you did with learning a foreign language at high school, if you needed to do that. When I was trying to learn French growing up in England, it was a matter of rote grammar drills, writing out the different verb tenses, and very little conversational practice.

I cannot speak French today so can never claim to be fluent.

I also spent two years in my early twenties living in Belgium and gained some Flemish language skills. However, upon returning to Canada and many years absent with speaking Flemish, I have found out that if you don’t use a language, you lose it.

That’s why being fluent with the data gleaned from your recognition programs is such a necessary skill for you as a recognition manager or program administrator. If you don’t use it you’ll lose it.

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How To Get the Low Down on Your Recognition Program Metrics

It is essential for you to know your recognition program data so you can understand how to use this data to leverage the results for elevating your performance and people metrics.

Too often I get asked about best practices in various aspects of recognition practices and programs. The problem is, whenever I see a best practice it likely took the professionals in that company 2 or 3 years to get where they are today.

For you to simply copy what they are doing right now immediately puts you behind the times the minute you start to do what they are doing.

So don’t compare yourself too closely with your competitors or other industry leaders.

I am going to take you on a reality check regarding your recognition program metrics. Then we’ll see what we can do with the numbers. (more…)

How To Solve HR’s Multi-Faceted Problems With Recognition

Does your CHRO or HR Manager seem overwhelmed?

Human Resources leaders are getting fatigued with all that is on their plates right now. They tend to get bogged down with all the administrative details versus the strategic work they want to do.

They’re expected to keep the talent acquisition pipeline filled, increase the engagement level of all employees, have the most attractive benefits and compensation packages, keep up with diversity and inclusion, and ensure everyone’ productive and performing well.

Where should HR prioritize?

HR needs to focus on the people side of the company and all actions that will add value to the business.

There is one tool, however, that will help you with both these areas.

It goes across all the functional responsibilities HR has to handle.

Are you ready? (more…)

What Makes Your Recognition Program A Success?

As a judge for Recognition Professionals International (RPI) Best Practices Award I have had the opportunity to evaluate with my colleagues 72 individual company nominations.

Each nomination requires companies to prove to the judges how they have effectively demonstrated each of RPI’s seven best practice standards, i.e.

  1. Recognition Strategy
  2. Management Responsibility
  3. Program Measurement
  4. Communication Plan
  5. Recognition Training
  6. Recognition Events and Celebrations
  7. Program Change and Flexibility

We score each submission on these standards and provide collective feedback for the owners of the programs to consider and incorporate into their programs and possibly future nominations.

With this perspective in mind let me address what makes a recognition program a success. (more…)