2012 real time: 2 tips for successful offline recognition

Dear A Advisor,

I’m a Human Resources manager for a large-scale manufacturing company that employs both online, computer-based office staff, and offline factory and shipping staff (including some off-site). Although my company has a great recognition program in place for our online office staff, we do not have a similar program for our offline employees. I want to institute a recognition program for our offline staff but I’m hesitant: I’m not sure how employees would be able to effectively use a recognition platform when they don’t have access to a computer at work.

I want an effective platform that will engage employees in different roles across my organization. I need your suggestions!


Dear Unplugged,

One of the biggest challenges in creating an effective and engaging employee recognition program is facilitating the engagement of offline employees. The key is to make your recognition program flexible enough to respond to the needs of your employees across the organization.

First of all, timeliness is one of the most important aspects of effective employee recognition. Online programs are great for computer-based staff since they make real-time recognition seamless. In order to provide the same employee recognition experience for offline employees, try providing managers and supervisors with on-the-spot recognition cards. Recognition cards facilitate a tangible and immediate act of recognition. If the cards are associated with points or a further reward, employees can then redeem them on a personal computer, reinforcing the recognition.

Second, consider providing computer access for offline employees at work. For example, communal computer kiosks are a great way to facilitate off-line employee interaction with your recognition program. Your offline employees will perceive that your company supports their involvement in the program.

Engaging offline employees simply requires making the program as accessible and flexible as possible. Employees in sectors that operate largely offline—whether in the manufacturing, grocery, retail, or hospitality industry—can make a huge impact on the efficiency and health of an organization; these two simple approaches can support an immensely successful recognition program and bolster the health of your organization.

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