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How to Create an Employee Recognition Program

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Employee recognition is a meaningful component of every business, but it often goes unnoticed or unrealized as an essential part of the culture. It can boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, increase productivity, and build purpose within teams when an employee recognition program is executed correctly.

Employee recognition can be diverse into two ways – structured and unstructured.

Structured recognitions are more formal and often involve programs that are run by senior leaders, who offer praise and awards to their employees. It is also known as top-down recognition.

Unstructured recognition is the new approach to recognition. Managers create environments in which employees are free to spontaneously recognize each other for work well done. It is also known as peer recognition.

Steps to Create an Employee Recognition Program

There are many different ways a company can organize its employee recognition program based on the size of the company and the structure within it, but we’ve outlined 6 steps below to help you create an employee recognition program. These are as follows:

  1. Determine and Clarify your vision:  Before you begin developing an employee recognition program, you have to determine your reasons for doing so.
  • Goals and Benefits: You have to determine the goals, expectations, and target outcomes from employee rewards and recognition. Identify the purpose of using the program. Is it to increase the level of employee involvement? Increase sales? Or establishing a better corporate culture? Once you have set your main goal, it will be much easier to build a plan that will work to achieve your goals.
  • Carve out a Budget: It is important to provide a cost estimate to avoid overspending or a negative ROI (including hidden costs). What works best for a smart budget. For smaller companies, balancing prize costs with a recognition system is more likely. However, when it comes to medium and large companies, things can get a lot more complicated.
  1. Select a committee:  When you put together an employee rewards and recognition program, it’s important to form a committee. Even if you have a small company, set up a team dedicated to implementing, managing, and establishing the program. A well-chosen committee will help you keep track of everything by communicating and reinforcing the rewards. While you build your committee, the team should keep these tips in mind:
  • Good knowledge of the program
  • Shows interest in the program,
  • Leadership initiative,
  • Belief in company values.
  • Once you have formed the committee, keep track of employee success such as work anniversaries, employee birthdays, and promotions. All are excellent occasions to reward and appreciate.
  1. Clearly define Characteristics:  There are important characteristics that should be considered while creating employee recognition program. These are:
  • On time: Recognition is important. It can inspire people to do better. When you delay recognition, you deny your employees the impact of the recognition. In order to reap the benefits of employee recognition, you must give it as soon as an employee achieves their goal. It’s a good practice to acknowledge small accomplishments along with big ones.
  • Specific: Recognition is more meaningful when distinct accomplishments get celebrated. It is a good idea to be specific with your employees because it lets them know what kind and amount of performance will bring in praise as well as rewards. It makes people feel that good performance is tied to great incentives.
  • Value based: When it comes to rewards and recognition, the most important thing is that they align with your company values. If you have a set of deeply held values, make sure that the rewards you give out to employees reflect them.
  1. Define a Criteria:  Rewards and appreciation in the workplace should be clear and attainable. The best way to show your employees that you care is to set up a program where they can be rewarded and appreciated for their good work. To make rewards meaningful, you need to decide what form of good work is rewarded. The concept is to encourage behaviors that you want to see flourish in your company. Consider the following in your mind:
  • What type of behaviours should be rewarded?
  • How should the said behaviours be rewarded?
  • How often should you recognize your employees?
  1. Successful implementation of the program:  Before you create a company culture program, send out a survey to your employees. Let them share areas of improvement. Consider the feedback and use it to make any needed changes. After you’ve launched your program, review its effectiveness with a follow-up survey after three months. Did employees notice a change? If so, great! If not, use the data you gathered from the survey to make any needed changes to the program.
  1. Measure program effectiveness and make adjustments:  Recognition programs are great, but the only way to be sure they’re working is to measure their results. Employees tend to respond best to rewards that are tied directly to their performance. In this new era, you must reward your employees for their accomplishments. You can’t just leave your rewards and recognition as they are. Instead, you have to regularly review them and adjust them to meet the constantly evolving needs of your workforce.