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Four tips for launching your employee recognition program.

Daren Jennings

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You’ve always felt that your company lacked a cohesive recognition strategy, but you’ve finally convinced the executive leadership to support employee recognition. Now what?

Tie your recognition program to company goals.

Employee recognition doesn’t have to be limited to Years of Service programs or Employee of the Month awards. While those are classic examples of ways companies recognize their employees’ loyalty and contribution, feel free to get creative with your program! Does your company have values or ideals it wants to reinforce? How about a major goal this year? Decide what’s important to your company, and connect those priorities with your recognition program. You’ll get there faster and ensure greater adoption if you use the levers of employee recognition to forward a specific agenda.

Communicate, communicate, communicate!

I know, you’ve heard this one before on other blog posts. But you’ll hear it again because it’s that important. If you’re launching a new program or just modifying an existing one, you must communicate the changes clearly and repeatedly. If employees don’t know about it, don’t understand it, forget about it, or don’t buy into it, you might as well not even start the program to begin with.

Remember, people respond to different messages across different platforms, so to ensure everyone in your company is aware and understands your recognition program, you’ll need to think about a communication strategy that reaches everyone. A recognition specialist can help you devise a communication strategy that’s right for your company.

Empower your managers to promote and use the program.

Executive support is a must have for employee recognition, but a top-down approach isn’t always ideal when executing your program. Empower your managers to recognize their direct reports when they see something worthy of a reward. Widespread adoption of the program will result in more employees pushing company goals. And what manager doesn’t need a little help with praise?

But make sure the managers understand the program’s objectives, and have the proper oversight in place to prevent misuse.

How’s it working? Perform regular reviews.

Take the time to review your program’s effect on the organization. Are the company’s values being promoted? Are long-term goals being met? Do employees seem more committed to the organization? Many of these metrics are subjective and open to interpretation, so get feedback from a variety of stakeholders.

If adjustments to your program are appropriate, repeat steps one through four.