How to Successfully Implement an Employee Recognition Program

11/01/2023
Temps de lecture : 6 mn
L'équipe Talkspirit
L'équipe Talkspirit
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Temps de lecture : 6 minutes

One area of business management that organizations should be prioritizing is employee recognition. The reality is that it is no longer as simple as offering the best benefits package out of your competitors. If you want to have a cohort of happy and motivated professionals, you need to prioritize individual recognition. 

While that could be a shoutout in a weekly team call or a monthly newsletter sent to each member of your team, a great way to ensure that your recognition is equal and fair is by implementing an employee recognition system to highlight and celebrate the successes of your team.

In this article, we will outline what exactly an employee recognition program is and how to successfully introduce one to your workplace.  

What is an employee recognition program?

An employee recognition program is a way to acknowledge the achievements of your team. Whether that’s recognizing extra effort, applauding a new contract or deadline completion, or celebrating a team member who is a constant support system for others. 

The system must be agreed upon by company leaders, with clear criteria established for regular and achievable goals, and manageable rewards. It provides a tangible incentive to engage staff to work towards your business objectives while improving their quality of working life

An employee feeling happy and recognized for his work

Why are recognition programs important?

In today’s business climate, it’s more vital than ever before to have a team built with talented and reliable professionals. One way to assure this is by celebrating your cohort. This is confirmed by the fact that nearly three in four UK employees feel like they deserve more recognition for their work.

Failing to recognize the achievements of your team can lead to retention issues that can negatively impact the success of your operations and your employees’ productivity.

By implementing a recognition program, you automatically set a precedent of being a company that values its employees and the individual goals they achieve. Because let’s face it, the big achievements couldn’t happen without the small successes of every member of your team. 

So now we’ve outlined why you need an employee recognition program, and we’ll tell you how to do it. 

What types of recognition are there?

Employee recognition doesn’t just come from employer to employee. There are various people within an organization who can (and should) be able to recognize the successes of their colleagues. 

Manager-to-employee recognition

Perhaps the most obvious form of recognition is that from a manager to an employee, as they oversee the behaviors and successes of their team and can make informed, data-based decisions. 

As they are often in charge of deciding monetary rewards such as bonuses and raises, it’s obvious that they should have involvement in the process of recognizing team members. Receiving praise from a senior colleague shows an employee’s value to the company as a whole and can greatly improve employee satisfaction. 

Peer-to-peer recognition

Recognition from the people we work with, day in and day out, can be just as powerful as that from seniority within the business. Peers see the daily achievements that may be missed by results-focused managers. 

Peer-to-peer recognition at work

Peer-to-team recognition works to highlight the positive efforts of more than one colleague and celebrate the work they complete together.

It helps to build a sense of camaraderie throughout the workplace—it could be celebrating your IT team for their help with a recent project, or showing gratitude to those on your design team for some graphics used in a campaign that went well. 

This can be done using communication tools like Talkspirit, where colleagues can congratulate their peers through a simple message on the chat, or by publishing a post on the news feed.

Sending recognition messages through Talkspirit
Sending recognition messages through Talkspirit’s chat and video conference features

How to implement an employee recognition program

Benefit > costs

The first step in implementing a recognition system is the proposition process. Senior leaders may be hesitant to begin a rewards program since it will be a costly process to implement and run. But putting your resources into a system that improves the happiness and productivity of your team can only stand to benefit your business.

It won’t be perfect at first. You need to have the resources at hand to adapt and amend your program to best fit the growing desires of your workplace. With a team of employees pushing themselves that extra mile to ensure recognition, you also stand to see significant growth and an upward trajectory towards your business goals. 

Define objectives 

Defining objectives for your employee recognition program

It’s important to understand what you want to recognize in your program and what, by recognizing this, your company stands to achieve. 

By understanding the objectives of your system, you can determine whether or not it is successful. 

For instance, if you are looking to improve employee satisfaction, a platform that grants employees points based on work-based achievements might be a good way to start. This way, employees can see points grow, much as their sense of value will too. 

Keep in mind that measuring achievements will differ depending on each employee’s role and responsibilities. For example, if you operate a customer service call center, it’s easy to monitor the volume of calls a sales agent receives daily, weekly, or monthly and set a clear objective around this. 

However, if you want to track the achievements of a team leader with wider responsibilities, it may prove more challenging. In this case, you might reward them for successfully implementing new work processes that save the business time and money, such as automated customer sentiment tracking or caller ID reputation management.

Once you have defined the objectives of your program, you can begin to build it on a platform that best aligns with your goals. 

Build your program

Currently, there are various different platforms that can be used to create your employee recognition programs. All are able to house the different forms of recognition systems available, whether you are looking to create a structured system with set out goals and metrics to reach, or a platform where recognition can be given freely without structure. 

There is no definitive platform that will be best for everyone, as every organization varies in size and objective, so taking the time to research the best platform will mean greater success in the long run. For example, if you’re mostly looking to improve feedback and communication within your organization, implementing an enterprise social network like Talkspirit might just do the trick!

Once you have weighed up the positives and negatives of each platform, you can build your system, using the objectives you confirmed earlier to structure and inform your creation. 

Launch and measure the results

Measure the success of your employee recognition program

Once your team is aware of the importance of the program, alongside the knowledge of how to use the system to gain and give out recognition, you can begin to measure the success of your system

This comes from collecting feedback from your employee base, understanding what they like about the system, how readily they feel the benefits of the system, and what they are personally working towards (and if your program accounts for this growth). 

An obvious indicator of success will also come from the success of your business. Are you seeing a movement toward your organizational goals through metrics collected via your contact center CRM software or data spreadsheets? Are deadlines being met? Is your team more engaged on your enterprise social network? Are you seeing improvements in the happiness and productivity of your team?

All of these metrics will help to indicate the success of your program. But it’s important to encourage feedback and communication from everyone if you want the system to thrive. 

What now?

This article has outlined how to successfully implement an employee recognition program as well as highlighting why they are so important. The reality is, the more effort you put into your system, the more you stand to receive from it. 

Your employees and their happiness should be at the heart of this program, not just the benefits that your business can stand to achieve. If you walk into the process with open communication and participation from your cohort, you will stand to see a unified and successful workforce. 

Are you looking to implement a unified communication platform that improves feedback and employee recognition? Schedule a call with one of our experts to talk about it:

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