A step-by-step template to build an engaging employee recognition program

by | Feb 11, 2022 | Articles

It’s human nature.

People love being recognized for their efforts. Whether it’s a toddler mastering the first five letters of the English alphabet or an athlete putting in work in the field, recognition gives the zeal to improve one’s efforts.

That’s the case in the workplace as well! 

Employees love being appreciated through both praises and awards from their company leaders. Also, they are eager to go above and beyond in their performance when rewarded. 

In fact, according to a study by Deloitte, employee productivity and performance are 14% higher in organisations that prioritise staff recognition and employee rewards than those that do not. 

However, many organisations that are keen onappreciating staff excellence are at sea on how to go about it. Thus, this post provides a step-by-step template on how companies can build an engaging employee recognition program (ERP) to reward their employees for outstanding performance.

But first, what exactly is an employee recognition program? And what does a company gain from it?   

What is an employee recognition program (ERP)?  

An employee recognition program is an orderly and consistent attempt made by an organisation to acknowledge and reward employees for exceptional performance. It’s a necessity for success and growth in every organisation.

Some of its benefits include:

Let’s take a dive into how companies can create a recognition program that efficiently rewards employees for their remarkable efforts.

Steps to building an engaging employee recognition program

When creating their ERP, organizations need to ensure that the program is modelled to suit them and achieve the desired goals. While there might not be a one-size-fits-all program for every company to use, the steps below will help each organisation create a bespoke program. 

1. Lay the proper foundation for the program

The first step in building your ERP is to lay the foundation for it. This sets the tone for how the program will operate.

As yourself these questions, for starters:

Build a strong foundation for your recognition program
  • Why are you creating this program?
  • What goals do you hope to achieve with the program?
  • How will you put the program in place? 

If you can answer these questions satisfactorily, then you’ve got the basics covered. 

Structure the program in a manner that effortlessly fits into the company’s workflow. Also, set flags and indicators that will identify whether or not you’re still on track.

This step further involves ensuring that the program aligns with your company’s values and even getting an idea of the needed budget. The importance of this step cannot be overemphasized.  

2. Find out what your employees care about

Crucial to creating an effective employee recognition program is identifying what kinds of awards and rewards your employees would appreciate the most.

They say one of the best ways to express love is to do so in the recipient’s love language. It turns out that the same rule is applicable when building an employee recognition program. 

Employee recognition feedback
If you want to give a reward that will light up your employees’ eyes, find out from them what they would like! It gives employees a sense of belonging and the impression that their feelings matter. 

Keep in mind that there should be some variety in terms of employee awards. So, the program should feature different kinds of rewards such as:

  • Physical gifts
  • Peer-to-peer recognition 
  • Paid time off
  • Promotion
  • A social media shoutout or a spot on the company’s wall of fame
  • A special moment, such as lunch, with company leaders
  • Weekly (and other periodic) recognition of excellence in meetings, via email, or in collaboration tools such as Slack      

3. Craft a solid execution plan

The core of an employee recognition program is its execution. 

One rule is to keep it simple. No need to overcomplicate things by setting outrageous standards. Also, keep your word. If certain employee rewards have been promised, be sure to deliver just that. It will help preserve your employees’ faith in the program.

Additionally, technology is necessary. Building an employee recognition program doesn’t have to be a chore. Use software that’s designed to aid employee recognition aspirations. For this purpose, our robust employee recognition software, Award Force, is your best bet. 

Fortified with features such as hassle-free entry tools, judging and assessment tools, as well as custom configurations that dovetail with your brand, our software helps you manage your staff excellence and employee recognition programs. 

Award Force is designed with all your needs in mind; you can be sure of an impressive experience for your staff excellence recognition program when using it.  

4. Keep your company in the loop

Do you want the employee recognition program to see the light of day?

Then make your entire company aware of it, and encourage them to take it seriously. The ERP is a silver bullet for multiple corporate concerns, so it should not be hidden or taken lightly. 

Notify everyone. 

Whether via emails, Slack, or banners all over the office, visibility is the name of the game.

Furthermore, ensure that company-wide support is secured. A surefire way to do this is by demonstrating how the program consolidates the organisation’s current values. The agreement and understanding that flow therefrom rule out unnecessary questions about the process and any possible allegations of its unfairness.

5. Be observant and prioritise dynamism

Your employee recognition effort is not a one-off activity, so you need to measure its results.

Is it boosting workforce morale as expected? Are the employees happy? 

Use interviews, surveys, and feedback sessions to get an idea of how your employees feel about it. Keeping track of the effect of the program will expose any weak links. You then have the option of heading back to the drawing board or eliminating the weak link entirely.

More importantly, you can fan the flames in areas of the program that are yielding positive results. 

Your ERP isn’t set in stone, and measuring the results makes improvement a possibility.

Getting your employee recognition program off the ground 

So, if you’ve been stressing about how to get your employee recognition program up and running, fret no more!

These steps we’ve listed above will get your program off the ground in no time.

Looking for software to help you build an engaging and robust employee recognition program? Learn more about Award Force and how we can help! 

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