How to Create an Employee Recognition Program

Employee recognition is the informal or official acknowledgment of a person’s activities or behaviors that go beyond regular performance and complement a company’s beliefs and goals. By connecting personnel with strategic goals, businesses can establish a high-performance culture. A high emphasis is placed on fostering innovation and providing a superior client experience.

One of the most basic human desires is to be appreciated. It demonstrates that our effort is valued and motivates us to repeat positive behaviors to maintain this sense of worth. Employees want their contributions to be recognized and saying “thank you” when it matters can be the difference between great business culture and a bad one.

When you effectively invest time in your employees, they reciprocate and invest in the business. This can take the shape of enhanced collaboration, increased productivity, and better outcomes overall. Traditionally, companies have used incentives schemes but there are distinct differences to recognition programs.

Incentives versus Recognition

Incentives are offered before the fact, such as encouraging sales targets, which only affects a small group of people and occurs less frequently than recognition. Incentives are objective targets and measures with a known reward and frequency.

Recognition comes after the fact and is intended to benefit everyone, not just a select few or specific departments. Rather than a one-time effort, it focuses on everyone’s participation and establishes a recognition culture. This is where everyday achievements are recognized, celebrated, and in some circumstances rewarded.

4 Factors for Success

So, when planning and implementing a successful employee recognition program, there are four critical factors to consider

Be Precise

It’s critical to be explicit about what behaviors or actions are being praised and rewarded when recognizing your staff. This is the key to ensuring that the acts and behaviors you wish to reinforce are repeatable. The more detailed you are with what you want to see from them, the easier it will be for them to realize which contributions are important to you and will match their behaviour accordingly.

Be Frequent

We understand that meetings, overloaded email inboxes, and strategic planning sessions that are critical to corporate success keep work and life hectic. It’s easy to lose sight of your team’s efforts over the course of a month, or a few weeks. So, when it is provided often, employee recognition is significantly more effective.

Be Timely

It should be delivered as soon as you notice an employee taking positive action or behaving in a way that helps the team or company achieve its goals. Recognition that is given at the right time has the most impact! Employees forget the context of the acknowledgement as each day, week, or month passes when recognition is delayed.

Be Visible

Recognition given privately has an impact, but recognition given in a public context has a greater impact. It allows other employees to learn what behaviors employers value, allows them to participate in the appreciation discourse, and motivates them to act or behave in the same way to gain the same acknowledgement.

Recognition Program Checklist

☐ List your company’s reasons for starting a recognition program. It must have a greater aim that focuses on employees; if they don’t, people will perceive them as self-serving.

☐ Establish relevant recognition criteria that aren’t based on arbitrary selection or partiality. Recognition should be something special and accessible for everyone in the firm.

☐ Develop a budget. Cost must be considered to minimize overspending or a negative return on investment.

☐ Engage with employees through discussion and/or surveys. Consider extroverts and introverts and how employees want to be acknowledgment. Ask what rewards are important such as monetary, receiving certificates for their resume, time off, or a free lunch.

☐ Direct management involvement. While kind remarks from anyone are appreciated, it is especially meaningful when it comes from a direct manager and not solely managed by HR.

☐ Senior management support. Supervisors, managers, and senior management should support the program’s use and encourage it to be used regularly.

☐ Appoint a committee. Establishing a committee with a few employees to oversee implementing, maintaining, and establishing the reward programs will ensure greater success to keep the momentum going. They can also reinforce the recognition program’s objectives with the workforce.

☐ Measure and analyze. Successful recognition programs have a positive impact on the company, such as productivity, business performance, and employer brand. The effectiveness of the program, however, is unsubstantiated if there is no method to measure it.

☐ Continually revisit and improve. Your rewards and recognition should evolve and adapt to the changing needs of the business and the employees.

Boost Employee Recognition with Technology

To truly drive company results, firms must start developing a culture of recognition where people are recognized and rewarded for values-aligned behaviors that translate to purposeful contributions to company success.  An effective recognition program also becomes a significant aspect of your employer value proposition and can help improve on your employer brand.

KRIS Document Management System (DMS) enables employees to optimally contribute to the company’s goals through increased efficiency and productivity. It lets them channel their efforts and skills into meaningful work without getting entangled by paper-driven processes. Furthermore, HR can easily keep track of employee milestones and better manage the workforce through a digitally automated system.






Find out how a Document Management System can simplify your everyday office processes.