Wendy worked in outside sales for a company for 9 years. Her manager was quick to criticize her and was slow in offering positive reinforcement. Her company had not bothered spending the time in building a recognition program that scales.
One day, her friend told her the story of a group of frogs led by a harsh leader. As they were walking through the woods, two frogs fell into a pit. When the team leader saw how deep the pit was, he told the frogs that there was no hope for them. He was quick to criticize them for not being careful. One of the frogs took heed to what the team leader said. He gave up trying to climb out of the pit and died quietly.
The other frog who was deaf couldn't hear the leader's harsh admonishments. He tried to jump out of the pit and succeeded. The leader did not praise the second frog for having succeeded but made it a point to inform the other frogs that if they are not careful, they will die like the first frog. Wendy's boss, like the leader of the frogs, invested no time and effort into building a recognition program that scales.
This article discusses the following points in detail:
- 1. Example of the Perfect Recognition Program that Scales
- 2. How to Build an Employee Recognition Program that Scales
- Establish a Committee for Building an Employee Recognition Program that Scales
- Identify Award Themes and Award Selection Criteria for a Recognition Program that Scales
- Design the Perfect Recognition Program that Scales
- Set Objectives for Building a Recognition Program that Scales
- Align the Recognition Program that Scales with the Company's Culture
- Allocate the Budget for Building a Recognition Program that Scales
- Market the Award Program for a Recognition Program that Scales
- Determine the Global Scale while Building the Recognition Program that Scales
- Finalize and Monitor the Employee Recognition Program that Scales
- Key Takeaways
So, what do you think happened to Wendy? She was defeated and completely demotivated since her company always missed the mark when it came to recognizing and rewarding the employees. After working sincerely for 9 years, Wendy lost the energy to pick herself up and show up for work, but did she give up like the first frog? Read on to know how a perfect recognition program that scales changed Wendy's life for the better.
1. Example of the Perfect Recognition Program that Scales
Luckily Wendy got a job at another company. Her new boss shared the same ideology as her when it came to customer service. She worked in the new company for a year before she was rewarded along with her team.
Since her boss had invested time in building a recognition program that scales, he held an annual awards luncheon where he presented Wendy and her team with the Customer Service Hero award for outstanding work during the course of the year. The new company believed in a social recognition program that scales. Hence, her boss gave her the recognition she deserved.
Wendy's boss also presented the team with a set number of points that could be redeemed for a reward of their choice to recognize their contribution to the company. Since Wendy was given the option of choosing her own reward, her prize became more significant than pre-selected gifts.
Wendy and her team were inspired by the reward, so her organization saw a substantial increase in sales and customer satisfaction as a result of the monetary gift. Her organization gave cash awards and gift prizes that included trips and events as a part of their effort in building a monetary recognition program that scales.
Her peers nominated her along with her team for the Customer Service Hero award and encouraged her to go beyond her job description. Wendy felt very happy since she was presented with the award after not being appreciated at her old company for 9 years.
Winning the award at her new job made her feel like an integral part of the company. Since the new company had a peer-to-peer recognition program that scales and allows employees to publicly recognize teams and individuals, Wendy and others at the company felt like their work was appreciated.
2. How to Build an Employee Recognition Program that Scales
Wendy's company built their perfect employee recognition program that scales using the steps given below. The program was appreciated by the employees since it gave them the recognition they needed to go about their jobs with utmost sincerity.
Establish a Committee for Building an Employee Recognition Program that Scales
Wendy's new company set up an employee recognition committee to identify, implement and develop a recognition program for each department within the company. The committee consisted of people from the management as well as employees.
The company believed that representation from every group was necessary for the success of the perfect recognition program that scales. Every group's interests, ideas, and preferences were included in the recognition program. Since there were various units within a department, equal representation from each and every unit ensured that all units shared their inputs.
Employees were elected by the managers to be a part of the committee. Employees could even volunteer to serve. Employees could submit a nomination to be a part of the committee. The nomination process was generally confidential and the nominators were also anonymous.
The committee also came up with a list of employees who were eligible to submit a nomination. The list of people who would review and score the nominations and the length of membership of the selection committee was also determined. Past recipients could serve on the committee. A selection sub-committee was set up and its members were also eligible for nomination.
After the committee members were elected, chairs and co-chairs were elected to oversee the development and implementation of the perfect recognition program that scales. The length of the service term for serving on the committee was also determined.
The tenure was typically one year, but it could even be longer, if necessary, in order to train new members to ensure the continuation of the committee without interruption.
Identify Award Themes and Award Selection Criteria for a Recognition Program that Scales
The committee, which was set up by Wendy's company for building an employee recognition program that scales, identified the award themes for the award programs that complemented the teams, employees and departments. The committee determined the selection process for the awards and helped employees work toward setting goals so that they could receive the recognition they were due.
Awards were given for exemplary performance and superior customer service. Awards were also given to encourage teamwork, leadership, productivity and innovation. The selection criteria for the awards were linked to the department's core mission, values or positive behavior. The frequency of the awards was also determined by the committee.
The company bore in mind that the award eligibility criteria complemented the work environment of the departments while building a recognition program that scales. The status of the employees and the length of the employees' service had a bearing on whether the employees were eligible to win the awards.
Some awards could not be won more than once so that all the employees could receive the recognition they deserved. Thus, a great deal of planning went into determining the award theme and award selection criteria for a recognition program that scales.
Design the Perfect Recognition Program that Scales
Wendy's new company spent a lot of time planning in order to build a recognition program that the employees believed in. While designing an employee recognition program they made sure that the program was adaptable so that they could always experiment with new ways of recognizing their employees.
The key feature of their recognition program that scales was that it was easy to use and it fits into every employee's workflow.
Set Objectives for Building a Recognition Program that Scales
Wendy's company created a recognition program that scales with the objective of increasing employee engagement by building a culture of recognition. The company believed that employees acted on whatever the managers actively enforced through praise and promotion or through passive reinforcement.
A long-term strategy to show appreciation for the entire task force was built using scalable tactics that enforced a culture of appreciation in the workplace. Her company employed tactics like having a chocolate tasting in a month when the employees were overworked to help them beat fatigue. The managers also encouraged the employees to share motivational stories to inspire their teammates.
Align the Recognition Program that Scales with the Company's Culture
Wendy's organization believed that any recognition program that scales should use methods that align with the company's values since these values can encourage people to join the workforce or continue working. Strong company values would improve customer satisfaction and retention and help employees make critical decisions during times of crisis.
Instead of stating the company’s values on a poster and just mentioning them during onboarding, her company set expectations for the employees' actions and behavior so that the employees aligned their day-to-day responsibilities with the company's overall mission.
Allocate the Budget for Building a Recognition Program that Scales
Since Wendy's company did not have a big budget for building a recognition program that scales, the management decided to issue periodic merit-based awards by spreading the budget over quarters or months and nominating teams and employees for monthly teamwork or quarterly customer care excellence award in addition to their annual awards.
Keeping the rewards small helped to centralize the work required to administer the rewards and helped to lower the costs incurred while building an affordable recognition program that scales.
Market the Award Program for a Recognition Program that Scales
The company's marketing subcommittee was responsible for publicizing the award program. Announcements were made prior to the program to make the employees aware that the award function was going to be held.
The names of the recipients were also announced immediately after the program by the marketing subcommittee. Marketing of the program was done using fliers, department newsletters, emails, department website, share point intranet site, department bulletin boards and meetings.
Determine the Global Scale while Building the Recognition Program that Scales
Wendy's company offered an employee recognition program that scales on a global level. Even though only one-third of the large organizations offer their employee recognition program worldwide, deploying a global platform was on the company's agenda.
The company had offices in Europe and Asia, so it selected a recognition program that scales, simplifies administration and provides consistent recognition for a global workforce.
Finalize and Monitor the Employee Recognition Program that Scales
After the committee set up for building an employee recognition program that scales finalized the award program, it sought approval from the employees and the management.
Last but not the least, the committee monitored the award program to determine its effectiveness and gauge employee satisfaction with the program. In case there were some changes to the size of the departments or the departments were reorganized, changes were made to the budget allocation accordingly since the program was adaptable.
Wendy and her co-workers were satisfied with the program since their company managed to build the perfect employee recognition program that scales.
Recognition is one of the simplest tools to engage and retain your employees. Even though there can be different forms of recognition and some forms are more effective than others, they all serve the purpose of motivating employees to go beyond their job description and deliver their best.
The 10 steps to create a wonderful employee recognition program that scales have been summarized below.
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- A committee has to be established and it has to identify the award themes and the award selection criteria for a recognition program that scales
- An employee recognition program should provide social, monetary and peer-to-peer recognition
- The recognition program should be designed such that is adaptable and it fits into every employee's workflow
- Typically increasing employee engagement is the objective for building a recognition program that scales
- Aligning the recognition program with the company's culture encourages people to join the workforce or continue working. It improves customer satisfaction, retention and helps employees make critical decisions during times of crisis
- Allocating a small budget for the recognition program centralizes the work required to administer the rewards and helps to lower the costs incurred while building an affordable recognition program that scales
- Marketing the award program, finalizing and monitoring the program and determining the global scale while building a recognition program are of utmost importance