Last week, my colleagues at the IMA Summit Awards Event in Snowbird, Utah, honored me by giving me the Recognition Professionals International’s 2022 Harkins Education Award.
The RPI Board of Directors gives this award to recognize members who have provided leadership and commitment to RPI’s education initiatives. The Board Executive Committee nominated and approved this behind my back, as I sit on the board as a director.
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?
How are your career milestone or service award programs doing these days?
It seems the majority of organizations have tenure or long service award programs. According to WorldatWork’s 2017 Trends in Employee Recognition, length of service recognition remains the top ranked recognition program with 85 percent of organizations.
Historically, and especially within the public sector, career milestone years were only acknowledged when an employee reached 25 years or longer. Today, most progressive organizations commence with at least 5 years and then celebrate every 5-year increment thereafter.
But when you look at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the average tenure for salaried employees is 4.2 years. That average drops to 2.8 years for the mobile 25 to 34 year old employees.
What impact are your formal recognition programs having on your people and their performance? Are you designing your best-of-the-best and above-and-beyond award programs to make a difference?
According to the World at Work 2017 Trends in Employee Recognition Survey, 77% of organizations have above-and-beyond performance programs, and only 17% of them have what they termed as formal programs. They did not delineate or define well what they meant by formal recognition.
The Conference Board of Canada in their 2017 report on recognition found that 50% of corporations have formal company-wide recognition programs in place. Organizations that have these programs recognize outstanding individual achievement as their main purpose and organize large-scale celebration events to accompany these awards.
But neither study pursued whether these formal award programs had achieved their objectives or if they considered the award programs effective or not.
Look at the following seven ideas for building greater impact into your existing formal award programs.
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…)