Does Having a Written Recognition Strategy Really Make Any Difference?

Apparently, some people question the need for a written recognition strategy. These are some things individuals responsible for recognition ask.

  • What benefit does an organization have with a recognition strategy over other organizations that don’t have one?
  • How does a recognition strategy really help me?
  • Does having a recognition strategy make any difference? 

Sure, you can live without having a recognition strategy. But I will always strongly endorse the need for having one. Following are my reasons why.

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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.

Why Don’t You Have A Recognition Strategy?

You know how surprised I am that the percentage of organizations with a written recognition strategy has actually dropped from 55 percent back in 2017 down to 49 percent in 2019.

I guess the question remains to be answered why this is. And while WorldatWork never asked respondents to answer why they had a recognition strategy or not, the issue needs to be answered. 

I won’t pretend to read people’s minds, but I can tell you from organizations I have subsequently worked with, why they didn’t have a recognition strategy before I worked with them. If you don’t have a recognition strategy, you just might relate with them. 

Check out some reasons below that organizations might give for why they don’t have a recognition strategy. 

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Why Senior Leaders in The Room Change Everything

Female business executive standing alone in boardroom

Whether it is a strategy meeting, planning meeting, or procurement meeting, there is something special that happens when you have your executive champion present in the room with the rest of your recognition committee.

Managing, administering, monitoring, and planning the day-to-day aspects of recognition practices and programs, requires constant vigilance, self-discipline, and persistence on your part with supporting recognition throughout the organization.

The reason you periodically want a senior leader in a recognition strategy or steering committee meeting, is because they can help you align recognition with the business strategy and give you the vision of where they see recognition supporting organizational strategic initiatives.

Consider some of the following benefits of having a senior leader in your meetings.

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How to Put a New Spin on Your Recognition Strategy

Michael Porter, the well-known strategist, and professor at Harvard Business School states, “the essence of strategy is in the activities–choosing to perform activities differently or to perform different activities than rivals.”

As I think on the final output generated from the process I used to help company leaders create their own written recognition strategies, each one is unique to their particular company. They have their crafted version of a recognition purpose and philosophy statement. Every company has a different overriding short-term goal. Their focus points reflect the needs and gaps for their organization. And the plans developed provide concrete goals and actions that will lead to better and more effective employee recognition for their company.

Porter also said, “The more benchmarking companies do, the more they look alike.”

Therein lies the dilemma for many companies. So often they want to know everything about what other companies are doing for employee recognition best practices and programs. Essentially, they want to duplicate what successful companies are doing and implement their ideas right away.

I will draw upon the thinking of INSEAD professors W. Chan Kim and RenéeMauborgne, who specialize in strategy and, specifically, Blue Ocean Strategy, to put a different spin on developing a recognition strategy. (more…)

Can’t You See The Need for Investing in Recognition?

You’ve got your recognition strategy and plan written up and ready. The budget is prepared and your finance people have reviewed it. Primary stakeholders were consulted on their specific needs. Any relevant concerns have been addressed. You have the support of most of your leaders.

You present everything to your file leader. Zapp!

No go! Not approved!!

He or she doesn’t see the value of spending money on employee recognition. They view recognition as an expense along with compensation and benefits. There’s no urgency in their mind to invest in recognition.

Those of you responsible for employee recognition will likely have to deal with such a leader at some point in time. They just don’t “get it” as far as recognition is concerned. Yet, you know that wise leaders always invest in growing and developing people.

What can you do to prepare yourself for such a leader? How do you anticipate any potential rejection points towards recognition initiatives? (more…)

ROI to the Power of 3 on Employee Recognition

If you’ve been running recognition programs and initiatives for a while, you have likely encountered the inquisitive, cynical, or perhaps challenging leader who throws down the ROI gauntlet for you to “prove” recognition is contributing to the bottom line.

My recommendation is to be careful about jumping too quickly or focusing solely on the money-sided ROI. Make sure you examine both below and above the bottom line to more easily convert recognition into an investment versus an expense.

Yes, there is a lot more to ROI than meets the eye, which is why we will examine ROI to the power of three. It’s much more than being financial.

You need to look at other returns that can come from recognition. (more…)

Understanding How To Use Your Social Recognition Program

Whenever you see something great happening on the job, besides thanking them directly face-to-face, you can also use a social recognition program to instantly acknowledge your staff online.

Social recognition programs are another tool in your toolbox to better practice giving recognition to your peers and employees. And they help spread the good news of all worthwhile actions happening to others in the workplace because everyone can use it.

Our social recognition program is a great way to acknowledge your staff whenever you see something great happening or when someone reports outstanding performance of a colleague or direct report.

Over 40 percent of companies now have social recognition programs in place. If you don’t currently have a social recognition program you need to get excited about them and become a leading company.

Here are some key points to effectively using our social recognition program: (more…)

Getting In Line With On-Line Recognition Programs

Consider the benefits of using technology driven recognition programs

If you have tried in-line dancing and been successful, you will know the end result is synchronized poetry in motion. When drawing on outsourced providers for on-line administration and management of recognition programs you synchronize your operational resources with the ability to more consistently recognize your people. The by-product of using external technology driven recognition programs from vendors is immense when you add up the real operational costs and functional staff used to administer recognition in-house. (more…)