Employee recognition is a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, it seems easy to thank a teammate for helping out on a key project or your manager for having your back in a sticky situation. But it can be difficult to notice opportunities to show appreciation in the middle of a busy workday, and if it doesn’t appear that others are providing recognition on a frequent basis, there’s less incentive for you to go out of your way to do so.
Recognition can easily slip onto the backburner for employees, leaders, and HR — especially in the increasingly remote-first reality of our new normal. That’s why communicating employee recognition across your organization is so important. This means that all team members should be able to see that recognition is a core part of your company culture. It also requires giving them the tools to easily provide both social and monetary recognition.
Interested in developing a plan to facilitate communicating employee recognition at your company? Start with these easy-to-follow recommendations.
1. Make it easy for all employees to provide social recognition
Social recognition is the foundation of any successful employee recognition program — and the best way to communicate recognition throughout your organization. If team members can’t express appreciation when and how they prefer, and if they can’t see others doing the same, any communication plan you come up with will face strong headwinds. Social recognition can take many forms and includes everything from a quick thank you email after a meeting to an article celebrating 20 years of service written in the company newsletter. Companies that invest in social recognition are more likely to see improved stock prices, NPS scores, and even individual employee performance.
The best way to encourage social recognition is to make providing it as simple and engaging as possible. That means adopting a mobile-friendly employee recognition platform all employees can access from whatever device they prefer. It should also feature the ability to comment on, like, or award reward points to others’ specific recognitions. The transparency and accessibility of a modern recognition solution are a huge boost to keeping the cycle of recognition going and the communication flowing.
2. Get everyone involved in monetary recognition with a points-based reward system
Unfortunately, for many organizations, monetary recognition just means another bonus, raise, or generic piece of swag that will collect dust on a basement shelf. While monetary incentives are always appreciated, they often lack a personal touch. Even worse, this approach to monetary recognition throws a wrench into raising awareness of and participation in any employee recognition program. If showing appreciation in this meaningful way is limited to only a few team members, communicating wins and the recognition that follows is much harder.
Just as with social recognition, your organization’s goal here should be to democratize the process so as many team members as possible can reward each other. This might have been a tall order in the past, but some employee recognition platforms now offer points-based reward systems that allow all employees to provide a personalized form of monetary recognition. Team members are awarded a certain number points each month that they can then use to reward others at the company. The recipients can redeem the points for a wide variety of items, experiences, and other rewards that they actually find meaningful. From the excitement of rewarding others to the enjoyment of actually getting something you want, everything about this approach is a boon for communicating your employee recognition program to all corners of the organization.
3. Link recognition with company culture and values
To truly weave recognition into the fabric of your company, you need to make it a part of your organizational culture and values. Employees will buy into a recognition program when they see that it’s another way to help your company practice what it preaches. Team members are more likely to repeat actions they’re recognized for, so encourage them to show appreciation when they notice behavior that lines up with your organization’s values. More people building the culture you want to see through practicing frequent recognition — now that’s a win-win.
4. Align your recognition program with employee needs
It’s not likely that your recognition program will be perfectly aligned with employee needs from the get-go. You might need to provide additional reward points (or dish them out on a different cadence), look for a more wide-ranging rewards marketplace, or even adopt a platform that offers better compatibility with employee devices. HR and managers can ask employees about these and related issues, but this takes valuable time, and employees may not feel comfortable providing negative feedback directly.
Build a communication bridge between decision-makers and the rest of the team with an employee engagement platform that offers convenient, anonymous ways for employees to voice their thoughts and concerns. Establishing always-on channels for input is a must, as is using a recognition platform to gather and analyze relevant metrics. Act on any feedback or other results quickly, as the longer your organization waits, the greater the potential impact of any issues and the less chance any response will effectively address them.
5. Ensure leaders are at the forefront of your employee recognition program
Leaders from the C-suite on down should be the biggest advocates of recognition at your organization. Gallup found that employees say the most memorable recognition comes from their manager, with other leaders at the organization a close second.
Leverage this key resource for spreading the word about your employee recognition program — and recognition itself. Encourage and train leaders on how to provide meaningful, specific recognition regularly, and educate them on the many benefits of employee recognition. If they’re having a hard time finding things to recognize, it may be time to focus on transitioning to a coaching approach to management, so managers can better understand their team and employees have the support they need to reach their full potential.
Make communicating employee recognition seamless with Achievers
An employee recognition communication plan doesn’t need to be complicated. With an employee recognition solution that connects team members company-wide, an engaging recognition experience is always just a click or tap away.
Achievers Recognize — a core part of the Achievers Employee Experience Platform — is designed to help your organization get on the fast track to a culture of recognition. It’s a science-based recognition and reward solution tailored by Achievers’ team of experts to drive employee engagement and performance. Achievers Recognize makes showing appreciation easy and engaging wherever your employees find themselves. And with the Achievers Marketplace, your team members can redeem reward points from a curated collection of exciting global rewards.