How to Create an Authentic Employee Recognition Program

How to Create an Authentic Employee Recognition Program

Do you have an employee recognition program? If so, you’re in good company. According to a recent Society of Human Resource Management/Globoforce study of 738 human resources professionals, 80 percent of organizations do as well. Fifty-six percent said their program has a positive impact on recruitment and 68 percent praised its value for retention.

With those benefits in mind, it makes sense to promote your employee recognition program internally. After all, employees want to be praised. Praise yields higher productivity, innovation, and job satisfaction. A study by Cicero found recognition to be the most important driver of employee performance. At 37 percent it ranked higher than increased pay or promotions.

As with many programs, communications is the key for success. Messaging should be clear. It’s important to make sure key stakeholders are on board from the start. Doing so shows high-performers that you’re paying attention. It also engages and informs your staff around the idea that employees are valued for their contributions.

Here are five ideas on how you can communicate the value of work well done.

1. Create a Brand for your Employee Recognition Program

Branding your program adds credibility. Employees are more likely to view content branded from the company versus content branded from your carriers, says a study from Prudential. The brand of your employee recognition program should connect staff with what you need them to think, feel and do have a successful program. Once your brand is in place and recognizable, your employee will want to be a part of the program.

A brand is a look and feel that is unique to your company. It could be as simple as a catchy tag line or a logo that connects employees with the vision and values of your employee recognition program. Incorporate the brand in emails, posters, publications, postcards, employee handbook, company branded website, videos, webinars, intranet, etc. Communicate about the employee recognition program often. Repetition is the key to retention.

2. Publicize your Employee Recognition Program

Make it easy for people to get involved or apply to the employee recognition program. Help them to understand what’s required to earn recognition and how they can be successful. Highlight examples of past high achievers and invite employees to share their stories.

Announce employee recognition activities in team meetings. Keep communications consistent and as frequent as possible. This will keep the program front and center for all employees.

3. Provide Tangible Rewards

Inspire managers to personally recognize employees for their efforts. Employees often keep personalized company-branded plaques and certificates on their desks or walls. Those materials may inspire their co-workers.

Your employee recognition program may include monetary rewards, like cash or gift cards. Other rewards include extra time off, tickets to sporting events, accessories like watches or new electronics like headphones or tablets.

Pair all rewards with thank you notes. Research out of Harvard Business School found authentic thank you’s from leaders motivate employees. 180 employees watched short videos that personally thanked them for contributions. Compared to a control group that didn’t watch videos, those employees had a 7 percent increase in performance.

4. Showcase Success Stories

Employees love to read about their colleagues – and to be inspired by them. That’s why it’s great to showcase those high-performers who make a difference. Feature them in organizational publications, on intranets, and other media as appropriate.

Schedule a specific day each month to launch and broadcast these communications. Create social gatherings to promote your employee recognition program. For example, every third Wednesday is employee recognition day.  Your company can provide snacks in a common area. The tangible rewards, mentioned above, can be distributed in front of colleagues. Seeing their peers lauded may encourage other workers to put forth extra effort.

5. Get Leadership Sponsorship

Employees like the continued support of upper management. Yet, a Gallup poll of over 30,000 workers showed only one-third received praise for a job well done over the past week.

Have leaders promote your employee recognition program so employees know management is on board. This helps the employees understand that the company is invested in their growth and recognizes their contributions.

Make sure your employee recognition program is honest, authentic and aligns with your company’s values.

 

 

Sharon Tucker

Written by Sharon Tucker

Sharon is an experienced marketing and communications professional who specializes in multi-channel marketing strategies. She enjoys the process of strategizing and implementing communication solutions that maximize the opportunity to educate, motivate and empower employees to make the right benefits decision for their family’s needs.

Trion Communications sharon.tucker@trion-mma.com

Do Your Benefits Communications and Company Culture Match?

Do Your Benefits Communications and Company Culture Match?

Many companies pride themselves on their benefit plans. But a quick look at their messaging may tell you otherwise. Communications often give employees mixed signals about the value of those benefits.

Some companies unleash a tidal wave of information before open enrollment then a trickle for the rest of the year. Or, worse yet, they distribute boring and uninspired communications. Employees may not even recognize those messages came from their employer.

As someone who helps clients communicate effectively every day, I can tell you there is a better way. Make sure your benefits communications are relevant and align with your company culture. That culture makes you stand out as an employer and emphasizes your values. Your benefits should do the same, but if communications are lackluster, there could be a disconnect.

Here are 4 tips to help combine company culture with benefits communications.

 

1. Build the Branding Bridge

A benefits brand makes a difference. Ask yourself if your benefits brand fits comfortably among your company culture. Try this simple test. Give a co-worker a stack of communications that includes one from your benefits department and the rest from other parts of your company. Can they identify the benefits communications item at first glance? If they can’t spot your benefits brand, it might be time to re-evaluate it.

 

2. Make the Right Match

Is your company culture based on creativity and collaboration? A plain text email with a link to 40 PowerPoint slides is not the best way to combine company culture with benefits communications. Match your communications to the elements that define that culture.

Think about the aspects of your company that make people passionate. What would they tell a friend is the best thing about working at your company, besides the benefits? Apply that same logic to how you communicate what’s great about your benefits.

 

3. Watch the Wording

Liven up some of the language used in benefits communications. Even we can admit that Flexible Spending Accounts don’t set off fireworks in most people’s minds. Get creative with headlines. Spice up a few sentences in an otherwise dull document.

Avoid anything that sounds forced, or long, academic and boring. Remember, we live in the digital age, where attention spans are tenuous at best. A Jampp study found that human attention spans decrease by 88 percent each year. At the end of the day, your employees still need the facts. They’d prefer them to be short, simple and easy to understand.

 

4. Find the Fit

There are lots of ways to help remind employees about their benefits as part of a larger conversation about your company culture. Is your organization particularly passionate about innovation? Share new ideas from carriers, like apps to download, other tools to help employees, or tips to save money.

Benefits are an important part of how both employees and the wider industry perceive a company. Everyone should easily identify how your company’s benefit plans are a natural part of what makes it a great place to work. Keep benefits communications reflective of your company culture so employees will recognize the total value you provide.

Andrew Clancy

Written by Andrew Clancy

Andrew is an experienced communications professional who specializes in multimedia content creation. He enjoys the process of building communications solutions that achieve an organization’s objectives while empowering its employees through education.

Trion Communications Andrew.Clancy@trion-mma.com