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Building a recognition culture that engages the hearts and minds of employees

Posted by Joanne on October 13, 2011 Comments Off

In my volunteer role as Programs and Mentoring Director with the HRPA Halton Chapter, I was fortunate to book Rob Catalano, from Achievers (formerly iloverewards) to speak to our dedicated group of HR professionals this week. He spoke about 2012 Trends in Recognition: Using Recognition to Drive Employee Engagement. His presentation was impactful, inspiring and engaging.  Here are a few highlights:

Make sure recognition is specific, meaningful, and timely.

What gets recognized gets repeated.

Make it quick, easy, and fun to recognize performers.

Recognize results not presence.


Three Trends in Recognition

1.  Peer recognition: People want recognition not just from their managers, but from their peers, especially Gen X and Gen Y.  Recognition that is top-down only is not the best process to engage employees.

2.  Results based recognition – Don’t fund recognition programs based only on years of service when the average tenure of employees is now 1.8 years.  People will leave before they reach years of service milestones, especially if results are not recognized. Design recognition programs based on results.

3. Social recognition™ - This concept means the ability to take company recognition and share it easily on social networks like Facebook & LinkedIn.  Rather than be afraid that a company’s top talent will be “raided” HR needs to embrace this concept because it helps build individual and COMPANY brand as a great place to work.


Features of the NEW recognition program

Give me feedback – people are actively seeking feedback so build a program that makes it easy to give and receive feedback based on what it takes to succeed.

Gamification – employees (especially Gen X and Gen Y) enjoy earning points or badges, like in on-line games, or Scouts and Brownies, as recognition for specific performance results and behaviour. It makes it fun to achieve.

Portability – company recognition is portable so it can streamed to personal profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and personal profile websites, helping build individual and company brand.

Employee predictability – recognition highlights the top performers and is an early warning sign for low performers.  Low performers may ultimately leave because it becomes obvious they are under performing.


How to build a recognition culture and program

1.  Ask employees – “Are you engaged?”

2.  Involve employees in the development of the program.

3.  Get executive buy in by using data, such as employee engagement surveys, and stats on employee engagement and the bottom line.

4.  Identify the core competencies and behaviours that are critical success indicators for the company.

5.  Just do it.  Build a recognition rhythm based on results.

6.  Train everyone on the competencies, desired results and behaviour based on performance (not popularity) and how to give and receive recognition that is meaningful, specific, and timely.

7.  Make the program simple, instantaneous, fun, and flexible with choice.


So what kind of recognition program do you have in place at your organization?  Are you recognizing employees for showing up on the job, or are you recognizing your top performers based on results and behaviours that result in success?   If you need help building a results based recognition culture that engages the hearts and minds of employees contact us now.

Best regards, Joanne Royce

P.S.  What do you think about trends in recognition? Provide your insight and thoughts in the comments sections.

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 Joanne Royce

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