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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Know Everything You Can About The People You’re Recognizing

When you want to give amazing recognition to people, you must know everything you can about the people you are recognizing. 

Recognition people feel is much more about the person than it ever is about any action on their part. Recognition is more than they do something, then they get something. 

Real recognition is about appreciating the whole person and recognizing them for what they do. 

Recognition is mostly an intangible expression of acknowledgement and valuing of an individual or a team, for their positive behaviours, their personal effort, or contributions they have made. 

The key is making your recognition very personal. Let’s explore how you can do that. 

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The Right Balance of Recognition to Reward Programs

One of the many challenges in managing a recognition and rewards program is figuring out how to steer the course of your programs to maximum impact. 

And one repeated concern I see is when program owners inherit a program, they call recognition, but it’s been almost a total rewards program. Getting rid of the rewards mindset that triggers entitlement, expectations, and “more please”, is hard to unlearn. 

Providers, compensation and benefits associations, and non-profit business research organizations give good estimates on how much money to spend. They draw upon a percentage of your payroll budget or the average dollar spent per full-time equivalent (FTE) of employees. 

But what’s missing is how much to spend on the different programs. Is there a perfect balance between recognition specific programs and reward type program? How do you advocate budgets based on how people use the different types of programs? 

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How To Do One Thing With Recognition Better Than Anyone Else

I have this great quote on my desk from Jason Goldberg, the American film and television producer, that says, “Find your one thing and do that one thing better than anyone else.” 

This has been my goal with employee recognition in trying to understand meaningful and effective recognition practices and how to make recognition programs amazing. 

So, how are you going to improve your recognition better than anyone else?

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How To Find Out What Your Leaders Think of Recognition

Heading every organization is a senior leadership team.

They play a critical role in providing strategic and operational leadership for your organization. And they also play an essential role in representing the organizational culture and showing what leadership should look like, by how they interact with one another and with employees. 

They often leave your task to “read minds” on how each leader thinks about recognition. Hopefully, you have an exemplary executive sponsor who is a cheerleader and champion for the cause of employee recognition to draw upon. 

But in a general sense, how do you find out what each of your executive leaders think about recognition? 

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4 Ways Strategically Designed Recognition Programs Are So Amazing

The recognition and reward industry are a mix of similar goods, technology, and services, in contrast with newer players who tend to provide more of a “plug-and-play” program offering.

Plug-and-play recognition and reward programs tend to focus more on the offering of rewards than they do recognition. And with this software as a service, stand-alone programs, clients typically manage their own programs.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether you want a “quick-and-ready” approach. If you want to lead out with recognition and use rewards wisely you might want to think about creating a strategically designed recognition approach instead.

If you are going to compare you have to compare all the way. Is the vendor simply a provider or are they willing to be a reputable partner dedicated to maximizing the employee experience?

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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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Never Underestimate the Value of a Compliment

Grateful to a colleague of mine for discovering a recent scientific study on the power behind giving people compliments.

How frequently do you compliment people? Are you reluctant to compliment someone? What could stop us from complimenting people?

We will explore and answers these questions and give implications for what you can do to give more compliments and better recognition.

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The Most Important Thing You Need To Make Recognition Happen

Most recognition strategies and plans for recognition depend on moving the bar on whatever metrics you have for program usage and employee perception of recognition. 

The gap analysis of where your recognition status is today and where you want it to be tomorrow relies on the program metrics you have. The challenging part about program usage metrics is that they are all lagging indicator measures.  

Lagging indicators do just that, they lag behind on indicating whether you achieved the results you wanted. By the time you get the output measures on a program, it’s hard to do anything about them that will make a future change.

Is there anything you can really do that can change this? Is there one important thing you can do that will make recognition happen?

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How You Can Make Recognition More Visible

One way to make recognition happen more frequently is to make it visible. When recognition is more conspicuous as a principle throughout the entire organization, it’s easier to make recognition more a way of life than just a program. 

Creating visibility for recognition requires both an individual and organizational focus. Does your organization have a low, medium, or high level of recognition visibility? 

Examine the following areas to see what you can do to have recognition more visible. 

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