101 Top Employee Recognition Ideas

A feed of employee recognitions

The Recognize Team interviewed customers, researched strategies, surveyed the public, and used stories from our lives to produce 101 Top Employee Recognition Ideas. It was so important to us, we needed something more flexible than the blog to host it. So we put it on the main website.

To see the employee recognition ideas, go here.

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Happy Friday! How People Get Fired

Cardboard cut out of a person makes it look like they are working

Trick people into thinking you are working.

More now than ever, people are skipping out at work. How many times has someone said, “I’m working from home today” and sure they are on Slack and Skype, but when you call them they are clearly at the beach or a day time rave.

Check in next Friday for another How People Get Fired!

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Facebook Workplace

Top 10 employee engagement tips on Facebook Workplace

Facebook Workplace is a communication and productivity tool for businesses. It utilizes the great parts of Facebook to help companies work together more effectively. Take a look at the 10 creative ways to engage employees on Facebook Workplace.

1. Move daily communication into Workplace chat

Let’s face it, workers get a lot of email. Guide employees to move conversations from email to Facebook Workplace chat. This way email can focus on the larger form letters or correspondence with clients. For the daily chit chat, keep it in Facebook Workplace.

2. Login to Facebook Workplace with single-sign-on

If your employees can sign in with their omnipresent SSO username and password, it makes logging in that much easier. That’s why companies should be utilizing Okta, Lastpass, Microsoft Azure, or one of the many single-sign-on (SSO) providers. Both Recognize and Facebook Workplace support SSO.

3. Create groups to organize projects or teams

Facebook Workplace really shines with how content can be organized into groups. Recognition group, cycling group, engineering group, investment group, leadership group, are a few examples you can create. Plus, you can always remove groups later so don’t be conservative.

4. Add integrations from existing business tools

Employees do not want more websites to visit in their daily work. Instead, integrate all of your tools and services into one place, like in Facebook Workplace. For instance, add your employee recognition program, your cloud storage, and other processes into Facebook Workplace.

Facebook Workplace Recognize integration

5. Add an employee recognition integration into Workplace

Tying into #4, employee recognition fits really nicely into Facebook Workplace. People naturally praise others in Facebook Workplace, so your organization might as well turn those ad hoc recognitions into official endorsements. That’s what we are doing at Recognize.

6. Use Facebook Workplace events to schedule meetings

The more we are in one app the faster we can move around. Facebook Workplace events gives you the power of Facebook events, but for your company. For example, create discussion groups around events for your team.

CEO doing a live video stream in Facebook Workplace

7. Improve culture with Facebook Workplace

Facebook Workplace allows leaders to share their vision in a live video feed, like Facebook Live. It will connect leaders with the rest of the organization. Also in Facebook Workplace, use a group for a newsletter to keep the company up to speed.

8. Get consensus on an issue using reactions

Facebook gives your company instant feedback on any topic with a range of responses. With enterprise products that offer employee surveys for $500 a month, this added benefit helps clarify the ROI of adding Facebook Workplace.

People in colorful phone booths in an office

9. Share authenticated content in Facebook Workplace

Most companies have an intranet in Sharepoint or a custom internal website, but sharing that content on Facebook isn’t trivial and will take a bit of setup. To learn more go here.

10. Empower users by making them admins of specific groups

Employees crave more than money. Employees want autonomy, power, status, and access. Allow employees to create their own groups or assign passionate, top employees to be admins of groups. Ideas include a green initiative, project management improvements, ideation, sports and hobbies, or any KPI you want to drive. Help your employees feel empowered by having autonomy over processes or groups.

Facebook is just getting warmed up

Facebook Workplace launched last year and the attention is growing. With the advent of more apps to integrate, Facebook Workplace may become a major player for enterprise intranets.

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The State of People Analytics Infographic

People analytics graphic

9% of companies use predictive analytics or big data to analyze people trends

Sierra-Cedar 2014-12015 HR Systems Survey


3 types of analytics

DESCRIPTIVE PREDICTIVE PRESCRIPTIVE


192% increase in HR reporting employee engagement being very important between 2014-2015

Global Human Capital Trends 2015: Leading in the New World of Work


60% of HR and business leaders do not have an adequate program to measure or improve employee engagement.

Global Human Capital Trends 2015: Leading in the New World of Work


12% of HR and business leaders have a program to define and build company culture.

Global Human Capital Trends 2015: Leading in the New World of Work


7% of HR rate themselves as excellent at measuring, driving, and improving employee engagement and retention.

Global Human Capital Trends 2015: Leading in the New World of Work


75% cited talent analytics as an important issue, while
8% believe they are strong in this area.

Radical Group, April 2010


60-70% of company expenses are human capital costs

Jeff Higgins and Grant Cooperstein, Managing an Organization’s Biggest Cost: The Workforce


20% drop in employee engagement in first six months on job.

https://training.sirota.com/Springboard_introduction/

Infographic preview
Download the infographic

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5 Critical Areas for IT Adoption of Employee Recognition

Map on a table

Travel Trip Map Direction Exploration Planning Concept

You’ve decided that your company deserves a modern recognition program. You’ve received buy-in from your executive leadership. The last hurdle to pass is approval from IT.

Based on the seven key areas of enterprise SaaS cloud providers (http://cloudstrategies.biz/requirements-for-building-enterprise-saas-applications/), here are five areas specific to employee recognition and employee rewards software that every organization should cover to clear IT approval.

1. User Authentication for Employee Recognition Programs

How will your users log into the recognition program? Will you burden your IT team or help desk with support queries for misplaced passwords? Instead, use a recognition program that does not require or store usernames or passwords. Instead they delegate to the industry standard OAuth or Single-Sign-On protocols.

2. User Provisioning

How will users be added into the recognition program? Users should be preloaded into the system so as users activate their account they can see their colleagues. Manual entry is not scalable for large organizations and even spreadsheet imports can be tedious and error prone. A modern employee recognition program should be able to sync with your user directory in the cloud, such as with Yammer, Microsoft, or your HRIS software. SCIM is the industry standard protocol for user provisioning that is supported by Microsoft Azure, Facebook, and Slack.

3. Employee Recognition Notifications and Email Deliverability

Modern employee recognition programs should utilize several channels to notify and engage users of their recognitions. Often, email is a tricky channel due to spam and phishing filters. We recommend utilizing a program that supports desktop and mobile push notifications. As a last resort, email deliverability can be addressed by ensuring email is delivered by a fixed pool of IP addresses that can be whitelisted by IT.

4. Data Privacy and Security of the Employee Recognition and Rewards Data

Depending on your industry, the sensitivity of the data sent in your recognition program may vary. Make sure your recognition software has strict privacy rules and follows industry standards such as ISO27001, SOC2, or HIPAA compliance. Also look for 3rd party vulnerability testing.

5. Integrations

Recognition programs are their best when they are top of mind which means being close to where work is getting done. Integrations into existing software toolchains are critical non-only for the success of the recognition program, but for making life easier on IT.

Learn more about how Recognize addresses each of these areas here: https://recognizeapp.com/resources

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16 Must-Answer Employee Engagement Questions for Your Staff

A pink pattern

When was the last time you or your HR initiated an employee engagement survey at your company? In Recognize, we provide a way to ask these questions when you start the program and six months later.

Employee Engagement Survey Statements

The following statements are answered on a 1 to 5 scale, 1 being most disagree and 5 being most agree.

  1. I feel connected to my employer.
  2. I feel encouraged to come up with new and better ways of doing things.
  3. My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment.
  4. Supervisors encourage me to be my best.
  5. I am rewarded for the quality of my efforts.
  6. I am valued by my supervisor.
  7. Overall, I am satisfied with my job.
  8. Overall, I am productive in getting the job done.
  9. The company clearly communicates its goals and strategies to me.
  10. I have a clear path for career advancement.
  11. My job requirements are clear.

Additional Employee Engagement Questions

  1. How long have you worked at your company? (Less than 3 months, Less than 6 months, 6 months – 1 year, 1-3 years, 3-5 years, More than 5 years)
  2. Do you feel that employees are recognized as individuals? (Yes, No)
  3. How motivated are you to see the company succeed? (Very motivated, Somewhat motivated, Not very motivated, Not at all motivated, Not sure)
  4. Would you advise a friend to apply for a job at your company? (Yes, No)
  5. Overall, how satisfied are you with your position at your company? (Very Dissatisfied, Dissatisfied, Neutral, Satisfied, Very Satisfied)
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Five take aways from Startup School’s How to Think about PR

Sharon Pope does a great job providing a high-level overview of the dos and don’ts in public relations for startups. Here are essentially the cliff notes for this video:

  • When writing a reporter, start with the what instead of the why. Be brief. Say ‘We are the X of Y’. Have X be something that reporter has written about. Example: The Spotify of Meditation.
  • Find a user story. Look through your existing users. Has anything newsworthy happened to a user thanks to your app? Tell reporters about the user story – have that be the story.
  • Respond to other articles. “Your story about XYZ”. Possibly you disagree with that or shed a different light on the topic. Comment on articles with something thoughtful, not self-promoting. Reddit and Quora are places to do this. Create your own content – Medium/Linkedin.
  • Exclusives are when only one publication has access to this article. Embargos are when you ask multiple reporters if they will hold news at a specific time or place.
  • Exclusives are great to have an in-depth article that can be a beacon for your company.

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14 Employee Recognition Tips and Trends of 2017

From forward-thinking companies from all over the world, this is what we see as trends, advice, and tips for employee recognition and employee rewards.

Automatic Employee Recognition

Don’t rely on a paper-based system any longer. Incorporate automatic recognition for anniversaries, email clients, and more.

Intrinsic Motivation as Employee Rewards

Dan Pink’s Ted Talk changed the way companies look at motivating knowledge workers. Look beyond monetary rewards in a program to maximize results. Try status, access, or powers as other forms of incentives.

Leadership Buy-In

Gallup poll found recognition from executives or management is far more significant than from peers. Encourage leadership to recognize staff for all-for-one mentality.

Start Small, Think Big

Start with a program people can wrap their heads around, while having vision for the future. This increases adoption at early stages, as well as keeping it fresh later on.

Accessible to Everyone

All levels and departments of the organization should have access to the employee recognition program.

Have a Result

Incorporate monthly awards, give special responsibilities, give to charity on staff’s behalf, or create a rewards catalog. Give staff a reason to keep recognizing.

Timely, On-the-Spot Employee Recognition

The more instant and on-the-spot a recognition, the more the impact. Psychology research from behaviorism and beyond back this best practice.

Easy to Access

Employee recognition needs to be visible and top of mind if it is to be adopted. Utilize TVs, mobile, print, and staff computers.

Easy to Use

Recognition shouldn’t take more than 1min to send and be one click away. Plus, keep the required fields in the recognition form to a minimum.

Employee Recognition Based on Values & Behaviors

Tie in company values to the recognition program to get the most out of it. Promote specific behaviors based on leadership vision.

Promote Exceptional Behaviors

Don’t recognize employees for tasks they should already be doing. Focus on exceptional behaviors. For example, getting in on time is not exceptional, but getting in early is exceptional.

Incorporate All Types of Employee Recognition

Recognition programs include anniversary and service recognition, above and beyond recognition, and peer to peer recognition. Use all three.

Have a Result

Incorporate monthly awards, give special responsibilities, give charity on staff’s behalf, or create a rewards catalog. Give staff a reason to keep recognizing.

Gain Insights

The recognition program should provide management, HR, and leadership insights into engagement in the program and people analytics.

Top Five Goals

According to World at Work survey 2015:

  1. Recognize years of service.
  2. Create/maintain a positive work environment.
  3. Create/maintain a culture of recognition.
  4. Motivate high performance.
  5. Reinforce desired behaviors.
Employee recognition and employee rewards best practices such as use technology, provide experiences as rewards.

Employee recognition and employee rewards best practices

Contact us for a high quality PDF of the Best Practices

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Seven Must-Know Types of Employee Rewards

“Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.” – Anne M. Mulcahy

How do you pick the best types of employee rewards for your company? There are numerous methods of praising staff. Each and every company’s situation is unique, and what might work for one doesn’t necessarily have to work for another. To try and help you determine the best way to motivate your workforce, we have sought to compile some employee rewards for you to consider. Here are seven of them.

1) Ideas for Employee Monetary Gift or Products

Macbook Macbook Pro 2016 Touch Bar Macbook Pro

Who doesn’t want a shiny new Macbook?

Although we have quoted Dan Pink in the past as for saying monetary rewards can reduce productivity, staff nonetheless love cash and monetary prizes when appropriate. There are many options here to motivate your workers with monetary rewards. Don’t just stop at the employee when thinking about rewards. Consider their family as well.

  • Cash
  • Apple products, like MacBooks or the watch
  • HD flat screen TVs
  • Home spa package (lotions, bath bombs, oils)
  • Cooking appliances
  • Drones or other novelty high tech
  • Sporting equipment
  • Bicycles for adults and children
  • Car wash
  • In-home or in-office hair cut
  • Books
  • Pay for day care

The trick is to be creative. Ask your staff what they would want to have. Get your office community involved.

2) Gift Cards Selection for Your Employee Rewards

gift cards

Cards are an efficient way to reward staff. Some benefits of gift cards include they are sent automatically through Recognize for free with the initial subscription, with the large variety of gift cards, there is something for everyone, and gift cards are digital, so they are always accessible. Popular cards according to a 2016 study include:

  • Target
  • Gamestop
  • Chipotle
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Apple
  • Bestbuy
  • Fandango
  • Cabelas
  • Netflix
  • Home Depot
  • Nike
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Sephora
  • AMC
  • REI
  • Whole Foods
  • Visa prepared cards (who doesn’t love cash?)

3) Monetary Experience Ideas for Your Staff

rock climb

From boat cruises, tickets to a game, or gym pass, create a unique list of experiences for your staff.

  • Cooking class
  • Summer classes for the employee’s kids
  • Day on a boat with the family
  • Sporting event tickets (basketball, baseball, etc)
  • Rock climbing gym pass
  • Spa package
  • Specialty car rental
  • Unique combo experiences (‘secret agent package’ with skydiving and mixology class)
  • Vacation package
  • Local amusement park
  • Yoga or dance class
  • Skiing trip

4) Non-Monetary Experiences

rewards for day off

This is where a company have to get creative about what they can leverage as employee rewards. Non-monetary experiences and non-monetary gifts are less utilized and redeemed, except for the day off. Everyone loves a day off! You may want to subsidize these rewards to have some of them redeemed more often.

  • Lunch with the boss (or CEO)
  • Boss for the day
  • Change offices for a day
  • Paid time off (15min, 30min, 1hr, half day, full day)
  • Conferences
  • Pizza Party

5) Company Swag Gifts 

As you can imagine, these are less redeemed than other categories, since these are things that companies already give away for free.

  • Company sweatshirts
  • Company hats
  • Company mugs

6) Power for Staff

Companies rarely realize this is a reward you can offer and it costs no money. For those in the workplace that pull ahead, show promise, and deliver results promptly, assigning more power through delegation can offer them motivation to continue on the same trajectory they are on. Among the most common methods of assigning more power to better performing individuals is through assigning them some supervisory duties such as making them team leader.

  • Power to make a decision in an area they have show expertise
  • Power to come up with new ideas to tackle problems

7) Donating to Charity

charity

Helping out is a part of the human condition. Involving your workforce in charitable events works towards building cohesion within your workers. When they relax and connect at a personal level while contributing to a worthy cause, the effects will spill over to the office as rapport and in turn productivity and retention improves. Out of the box, Recognize provides gift cards for a number of charities:

Charity Gift Cards:

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Girls Who Code
  • RED
  • American Cancer Society
  • Clean Water Fund
  • National Park Foundation
  • Special Olympics
  • World of Children Award
  • Summer Search
  • Long Live The Kings

Non-Gift Card Charities:

  • NPR
  • Greenpeace
  • Mercy For Animals
  • The Humane League
  • Action Against Hunger USA
  • American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

Discover more charities to offer here https://www.charitynavigator.org.

Mix it Up

We recommend a mix of the above methods to motivate staff most effectively. Involving your workforce in determining the appraisal package is also a way of making the process more efficient. After all, they know what resonates with them. If leadership can offer perks and rewards staff love, your workforce will be more committed.

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