Employee Recognition Programs Best Practices

March 28, 2014 Deb Broderson

Employee Recognition Program Best Practices - There are no short-cuts

Pre-planning and planning are the cornerstone to the design of employee recognition programs that work well for  your organization.  We often see steps being over-looked, sometimes, because participants think they know the employee recognition programs that work for their organization. My advice – don’t take shortcuts.  The design journey is important to the success of your employee recognition program.  Let’s walk through five starting steps of pre-planning your Employee Recognition program design,  but first - a little  humor.

Five Employee Recognition Programs that DO work, pre-planning steps

  1. Clearly define the program objectives:  While this seems logical,  all too often programs are implemented without program objectives being clearly defined and documented.  Program objectives are the starting point of the design of employee recognition programs that work for your organization.  Put some thought into this and then keep the objectives front and center as you develop the promotions.
  2. Create your project charter: This is an internal-facing document that outlines the goals, business case, scope, problem statement, objectives and success indicators. This  charter will ensure that stakeholders from your company are all on the same page and, if you have outsourced program development, your vendor knows exactly what you want to accomplish.
  3. Document current program resources: Most times, there are some current employee recognition programs already in place (in various forms and formats).  Document those resources.  For your new employee recognition programs to be successful, some of these will need to be obsoleted and some will be incorporated into the new program.  Either way, knowing what has previously been stated will be extremely helpful.
  4. Program stakeholders: Clearly document all the stakeholders and their roles.  Who will be participating in regular meetings, and who will be given monthly/quarterly updates?  What are all the organizations that should be involved and what are their roles and  responsibilities?
  5. Program governance: This is an area that is often overlooked in smaller Employee Recognition programs, but it is essential to success. Decide (and document) who is responsible for the program business requirements and success metrics.  What are the corporate recognition policies, how will vendor selection be handled?  What resources are required to launch and maintain the employee recognition program?  How will the program be funded and how will it be promoted?

These pre-planning steps are vital to developing employee recognition programs that work for your organization.  Next weeks blog post will tackle the elements of the employee recognition design workshop.  For more resources:

  • Recognition Program whitepapers, case studies and best practices, click here.
  • Employee Recognition blog posts, click here.
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