11 steps to nailing recognition

Alistair Dunn-Coleman

06/03/2018
Categories: Recognition, Culture

Embedding recognition in your culture forms a key foundation of the employee experience.

You can get so much positive progress out of a successful recognition scheme, including engaged and empowered employees, and a positive, appreciative culture. However, your recognition approach won’t automatically be a success; you’ll need to ensure you choose the right platform and processes to make it work.

Here's your 11-point programme to nailing your recognition platform:

Easy to use and readily available

To ensure everyone uses it, your platform needs to be easily accessible on the device everyone has; the mobile phone. Intuitive, easy to use technology is essential so that it doesn’t feel like a hassle.

Timeliness

'Thank you' needs to be at the right time; two months after the event doesn’t mean as much. Instant, in-the-moment appreciation is a must, and the right technology can make this easy.

Spread the love around

The most meaningful recognitions come from those you are working closely with, as they have benefited from the splendid work that has been done. So, everyone needs to have the power to recognise everyone; it’s not just the managers’ appreciation that counts.

You can’t beat face-to-face

There’s no doubt that face-to-face recognition means a lot to most people. But a lot of us aren’t that good at giving (or receiving) thanks in person; we’re more comfortable behind our phones, so having the ability to thank someone by a video message is a great way to bridge this.

Share everything and keep it open

The best thing about being in the digital age is that it’s democratising; there shouldn’t be any silos of information. Although a face-to-face ‘thank you’ can mean more, it’s only between the two people involved. Using a technology solution allows this to be shared with the rest of the department and company.

Make it completely social

Allow others to endorse a recognition through likes and comments; this gives an additional boost to the receiver, and encourages ongoing usage.

Make it relevant and personal

Provide information that is personal to the employee, be it people that are in their team or similar departments, or people they’ve chosen to follow. Having the ability to filter away from those who don’t necessarily work with you will maintain your interest in using the platform again and again.

Ditch the monetary ‘thank yous’

Authentic peer-to-peer recognition is emotive. Words and images portray this sentiment better than a symbolic, box-ticking voucher. The gesture doesn’t have to be grandiose; it can just be a small word of thanks to provide that mental boost to the receiver. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have a secondary layer of recognition where you award your top performers with experiences or gifts (just try to steer clear of money or vouchers; they get lost in the maelstrom of life, and the recipient won’t remember what they spent it on).

Recognition is for life, not just for Christmas

There’s no denying that entrenching recognition into your culture will require effort, especially after the flurry of excitement of the initial launch. Ensure new starters are encouraged to use it; make it part of your wider reward strategy by linking it to other types of recognition, e.g. quarterly or annual awards, and keep it in the spotlight with communications. Ensuring your senior team use it and refer to it is also a good way to ensure it stays relevant in the minds of your employees.

Award good work above all

Gamification is useful in many ways across the working day. Recognition is not one of those ways. If you make it a game, it becomes a competition, and you start to get leaderboards, and then it’s a popularity contest which belittles the work behind the recognition. A ‘thank you’ needs to mean something. Absolutely, give employees feedback on how they are doing and what they have (or haven’t) received, but, although daily gratitude is encouraged; don’t make it all about volume of awards and a leaderboard.

Look at the data

The effects of recognition are incredible (and immediately visible), but looking behind the scenes at the data for divisions, departments, and individuals, can you give you real insight into who is thanking who.  You can identify teams who are working well together, and those that aren’t. At an individual level, who is receiving the most recognitions, and for what? Are these your stars for tomorrow? Do they deserve additional reward with a gift to show the company’s appreciation of the effort they have been putting in?

There’s no escaping it; social recognition in the workplace is already happening. If you can stick to these 11 simple steps, you’ll see huge improvements in communication, collaboration and motivation between peers. You can find out more about OneHub Recognition – the social platform for employees – here! Or, you can book a demo with one of our experts.

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