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:
Health and Safety
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.