Implementing employee recognition programmes has never been easier


employee recognition programmes

Are you struggling to know where to start when it comes to implementing effective employee recognition programmes? Don’t worry you are not on your own.

Traditionally heavy upfront set up costs and ongoing post launch resource and budget demands have been enough to sap the enthusiasm of most HR teams. However cloud based ERP’s are changing that, helping HR professionals move beyond long standing obstacles into a new era of results based employee recognition. Here are 5 key implementation priorities that are simple to excel at with social employee recognition programmes .

  1. What are your company values and goals?

What do you want to achieve through recognition? Consider the specific goals your organisation’s focused on for greater business success. What are the key behaviours needed to succeed in reaching those goals? An effective recognition programme encourages employees to act in a certain way in order to be recognised and that supports the overall achievement of those goals.

  1. Make your employee recognition programme inclusive

Who will your employee recognition programme apply to? All levels of employees? Temporary staff and contractors? Whatever you decide, research suggests that to have a truly effective employee recognition programme, you should make it peer to peer rather than exclusively top down. That doesn’t mean exclude line managers; they have important contributions to make. But peer to peer recognition provides a more rounded perspective that increases adoption and builds trust.

Consider the level of visibility of your employee recognition programme too. Will it be within functions and teams only? Or perhaps within a business unit or even across the whole company? The research mentioned above also highlights social sharing of recognition as being an important component of an employee recognition programme’s success so think about how that could work within your company.

  1. Make sure employees can recognise frequently and in the moment

Think back to what you were up to six months ago. Struggling to recall? Exactly. It’s the same with recognition. It’s difficult to remember – not only for the person giving the recognition but also for the person receiving it. They’ll struggle to recall the finer details of what they did. That means they’re less likely to repeat the behaviour.

Delay employee recognition and you lose impact – the longer rewards are delayed, the more they’re devalued. According to Gallup, recognising employees at least once a week has a positive effect on engagement hence the statement in their Q12 employee engagement survey ‘In the last 7 days I have received recognition or praise for doing good work’. So create an employee recognition programme that lets employees recognise one another regularly and in the moment.

If you’re intending to have high frequency recognition, you need to think very carefully about the reward. If you opt for high monetary rewards, be sure that you have a budget that can sustain this. You don’t want to end up managing the negative impact of an employee recognition programme that runs out of steam because the budget’s overspent. Low or Non-monetary alternatives are far easier to sustain and are equally, if not more, effective.

  1. Recognise specific behaviours and actions

When your employee recognition programme is up and running, remind employees to mention specific actions and behaviours as part of their recognition feedback. It’ll show the recipient that their hard work has been noticed properly and it will amplify the right kinds of behaviours that deserve recognition across the company. Also remember, employee recognition is about culture, not KPI’s, while recognition of ‘star performers’ is important, acknowledging and celebrating the “little wins” is the key to any employee recognition ROI.

  1. Make it easy for employees to give and receive recognition

For employees to recognise each other regularly they need the right tools. So consider using social recognition platforms within your employee recognition programme. They encourage employees to communicate and acknowledge one another frequently without the need for high expenditure on rewards. They’re easy to adopt and intuitive to use. And if you need a few other reasons why social recognition works then you’ll find them here.


Jason Harney

Founder, also Director of Product and Marketing at Workstars. Jason has been instrumental in progressing social recognition software to the forefront of HR, against a backdrop of the traditional reward industry. As HR strategy begins to shift and innovate to meet the people and social challenges of the day. Trust, culture, values and engagement, matter more than ever. This is where Jason spends his time.