Category Archives: Employee Recognition

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

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

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.

The Importance of Employee Recognition in the Healthcare Industry

“Being a nurse means to hold all your own tears and start drawing smiles on people’s faces” – Dana Basem.

With healthcare being one of the fastest growing industries, organizations face challenges in more ways than before in employee engagement. That’s why more than ever, healthcare organization must consider employee recognition as part of their overall strategy. While healthcare employees work in extremely high-stress situations, and are not rewarded accordingly, the employers deal with serious challenges due to a high turnover rate and labor shortage.

Healthcare’s High Turnover and Low Satisfaction

According to a 2016 Nursing Solutions report, the average turnover in the nursing industry has reached 16.5% with an average turnover cost of $50k. SHRO’s are realizing this and that’s why behavior optimization and people analytics are on the rise in healthcare.

The report shows the current situation in the healthcare industry is driven by the inherently stressful responsibilities of the employees, the high turnover rate is also caused by a reason that can be actually controlled – employee recognition and satisfaction. Underappreciated and overworked employees will never be able to perform to their best. In fact, the lack of appreciation from the management is one of the top drivers of low job satisfaction, and consequently the main reason behind the high turnover rate.

Doctors in surgery

The Healthcare Solution

Employee engagement strategies move the needle for employee satisfaction and retention. Healthcare managers need to make use of these programs and to combine them with the proper tools, education and empowerment methods in order to ensure that their employees are engaged with their work. A successful program decreases turnover, improve efficiency and promotes the core values of hospitals.

How to Make Recognition Programs Work

The execution is paramount for new initiatives to take hold. Recognition programs in the healthcare industry should be balanced between value-based initiatives and performance-based. Studies shows people want to feel appreciated for their work, and they want to be rewarded for their creativity and their unique contribution to the organization.

However, for the recognition program to work as designed, all personnel involved from managers and supervisors to doctors and nurses, need to be properly trained. That’s why at Recognize we built it to be so straightforward that staff are guided through the program intuitively. We believe all tools should be easy to use.

Regardless of technology ease-of-use, the linchpin for an engagement strategy is buy-in from all levels of the organization. The following are a few suggestions:

  1. Give staff a reason to send recognition with non-monetary or monetary rewards
  2. Make it easy for managers to run reports, receive notifications, and recognize staff in their workflow
  3. Help leaders see the benefits of discovering qualitative people analytics through continuous positive feedback

It is important to communicate that a job well done deserves appraisal. As an organization in the healthcare system, you need to transform your company by implementing a strong culture of recognition. Once your employees know that their efforts are appreciated and their work rewarded, you will build a connection and reap the benefits, including an increased productivity, a lower turnover and an improved brand image.

Start Small Think Big

Recognition to your employees must be constant, unbiased, and meaningful. In the healthcare industry, it is important to be open to new, innovative rewarding ideas. While you can always use the existing goals and procedures for rewarding employees, innovation is what will make you benefit of a serious, appreciated recognition program.

Use Case: Making Workplace Safety a Priority

Healthcare workers are exposed to a wide variety of safety hazards. Several issues arose in 2015 that shed new light on patient safety threats. As part of a complete employee recognition program, you need to recognize and reward those employees that have been affected by an accident. At the same time, you can make workplace safety a priority by integrating this aspect into your reward & recognition program. Gallup’s employee engagement database shows 70% fewer safety incidents compared to companies with disengaged staff.

Incorporate Recognize Into Existing Processes

Integrate your NSC Employee Perception Surveys, or other safety procedures that you’ve adopted ​in your workplace, with continuous positive feedback through Recognize. Habits are easily adopted when attached to existing habits.

NSC-Survey-Process

The Result: Giving Rewards

Receiving awesome perks at work as a result from employee recognition will lead to long term success of an employee engagement program. Gamification shows we can use a variety of resources. SAPS stands for Status, Access, Power, and Stuff. These are the four elements you can provide as rewards to staff.

Status – Create a special video about someone in the company and present it company-wide. Give people a special job title based on their qualities.

Access – Give staff access to conferences or even a parking spot.

Power – The power to make a decision based on the qualities they have shown.

Stuff – Gift cards, days off, massages, lunch delivered, or cash are all popular examples.

The least expensive most effective gift to an employee is status.

More Staff Reward Ideas for Healthcare

  • Lower back massages each Wednesday
  • Employee awards banquet once every six months
  • Monthly meeting with the boss: each month, employees are invited by their superior to attend a lunch meeting
  • Free tickets to sporting events for overtime hours
  • Wall of fame recognition
  • 20% bonus for Holidays
  • Pizza party event
  • Various other bonuses for performance and for positive customer feedback

How to Do Employee Recognition for Healthcare

As a rule of thumb, you need to base your program on four unique elements:

  1. Unified platform:

Due to decentralization, a unified platform available in the cloud is vital for your recognition program’s success. The platform should be accessible from any device and should integrate seamlessly with third-party apps. Showcasing employee recognition and creating a team environment increases productivity by 12.5%.

  1. Recognition options:

While it is vital to make sure your employees understand the importance of being recognized and rewarded, you should also ensure that they are be allowed to recognize their peers. Your employees should have multiple recognition options in order to become part of the larger organizational culture.

  1. Mix of informal and formal strategies

While formal, branded awards are imperative for building up the organizational culture, informal awards are necessary to add a human touch and make the experience complete.

  1. Customizable awards

The last element of a successful rewarding program in the healthcare industry is a flexible program. You need to be open to change and base your rewards on the changing trends.

Once you put together all of these elements, you have a solid base for your employee recognition program. To get it rolling, here is what you need to do:

Whether the team takes a trip to Hawaii or event based themes, recognizing your employees helps boost morale, productivity and engagement.

  1. Create a project team

For starters, it is important to establish ownership of the program. The team within the institution should be cross-functional, incorporating multiple units in the hospital, the HR and IT departments. Or just someone well liked in the organization that people know and respect.

  1. Allocate a budget:

Next convince the members of the board, the directors, and the stakeholders that putting money in an employee rewarding program is an investment that pays off by itself. HR professionals with budget of at least 1% of payroll are more likely to perceive positive effects on the organization than less than 1%. Healthcare is ranked third highest in turnover rates with 13%, improving this is accomplishable with tried and true employee engagement methods.

http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/human-capital-and-risk/infographic-what-s-the-cost-of-nurse-turnover.html

The cost of employee turnover not only means financial repercussions, it can result in lowering the knowledge base in your company and decrease performance and workplace morale. – Streamline Verify

Promote the launch and help your employees understand the recognition and rewards process.

  1. Promote the launch:

Create a big event and promote it across all departments. Everyone should attend and it should be fun for everyone. Who doesn’t love a great party that celebrates everyone’s accomplishments?

People Want to Make a Difference in Their Workplace

They want to know that their work matters, especially in the healthcare industry. However, you need to go the extra mile and create a rewarding & recognition program if you want to have happy employees. Put together a recognition platform and you will be able to reap the benefits that result from keeping your employees satisfied.

 

How to inspire your millennial employee

The Why, What and How to Inspire Your Millennial Employees

Workplaces are seeing generation tides, Millennials are a big part of the workforce now and with each new generation adapting to changes are necessary. Just how well is your company adapting to fit the Millennial generation into your workplace? Let’s look at the current statistics to help you evaluate your company’s current methods, how to adapt with Millennials and inspire them:

Only 40% of Millennials feel strongly connected to their company’s mission and 60% are open to a different job. Staggering 29% are engaged at work.

What these statistics show is insufficient workplace culture and current way of obtaining talented Millennials. It’s vital to understand who they are and what they want, they make up 38% of the U.S. workforce. Simply, desires and expectation are not being met today.

67% of Millennials will be engaged at work if they strongly agree the mission or purpose of their company makes them feel their job is important.

87% say development is important in a job. And if 29% of the Millennials are engaged at work, just what is missing in today’s workplace?

While Millennials are known as job-hopping generation. How do you inspire or keep your talented Millennial employee? There are few ways to hire, inspire, and keep your Millennial.

headhunt-311354

Step 1 The hiring process:

Every recruiter or hiring manager will ask this interview question, “Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?”. Asking a Millennial this question is probably the hardest question they are going to answer. Millennial will jump ship if their employer lacks opportunities for them. Millennials are born as opportunity seekers, every hiring manager must set opportunities and help each millennial understand that opportunity.

Set expectations and lay out the opportunities before hiring a Millennial, and make sure to deliver those opportunities.

Provide staff with bi-annual milestones to reach long term goals. Remind them of where they are currently and help them develop to reach those opportunities. Millenials and Generation Z expect fast returns on investment. In the real world, that doesn’t happen often. Remind them of the steps they are taking to reach the mountain.

By setting those milestones, your staff will understand the tasks at hand and fulfill their goals. You can also celebrate each milestone achieved by using a recognition program to help them see and feel instant gratification and a sense of achievement.
workplace-1245776_1280

Step 2 Feedback is important, but how:

19% of Millennial say they receive routine feedback. Millennials want feedback but won’t ask for it. We need to discuss the importance of transparency and opportunities. Millennials won’t ask for feedback simply because they have high expectations and are overachievers. They are constantly sprinting for results and the current way for a company providing feedback is too long of a process, it’s not helpful and a waste of time. Your company can perform one on one feedback or with the whole group to help encourage each other to grow and be transparent with one another.

Unhappiness can still arise. When setting each milestone, you must ask for their evaluation, try to understand from their perspective and show them empathy. Communication with a Millennial is vital; otherwise, how do they know if they are doing a good job, or understand your perspective and or see themselves moving forward? While feedback is important, emphasize where they are currently and how you can help them get to the next level. Providing short and instant feedback is crucial is today’s landscape.

If your company is currently using the S.B.I (Situation, Behavior, Impact) model to provide your employee’s feedback, you are on the right track. This element of engagement and performance might be one of the greatest missed opportunities for leaders and managers. If your company does not have several opportunities for your employees, you can implement a Recognition and Rewards program with a company like Recognize.

Creating a nomination badge

Creating a nomination badge

Recognition programs are a way to reach out to Millennials. It provides instant recognition and gratification. They can comb through their level of achievements instead of printed awards and certification. Instead of communicating your feedback via words, why not create badges? Encourage feedback, think Twitter, likes, short and relevant actions for your Millennials. Personalize recognition campaigns by asking your Millennial employees to come up with badges and awards, which can provide a sense of ownership and help boost productivity. Be transparent and ask them for their opinions and ideas. Recognition can be display at your office with kiosk mode, where your employees can see their achievement. Encourage each other to participate, create friendly competition, and compliment your Millennials hard work.

screen-shot-2015-12-21-at-10-53-29-am

Step 3: Workplace Culture

Millennials are entrepreneurial. Maximizing these “intrepreneurs” who have a strong desire for achievement and who sets high standards and expectation for themselves and those around them. They will also look up to leadership for inspiration and motivation. Millennials want a manager whose ethical, fair, values transparency, and dependability. They want a boss who cares about their development and exercises their strength daily at work. It’s not just about 40+ hour work week and a consistent paycheck. It’s about how they can contribute and grow within the company.

How are you developing your employee’s skills? Are they learning or is it a mandatory checklist?  Truly engage with your Millennials, you must provide a better education and learning system that will challenge them. It’s about being relevant and being practical. How can they use what they’ve learned now and in the future?

To evaluate your company’s culture, here are four questions you should consider. This goes for all generation and from the book The Human Capital Edge, by Ira Kay wrote,

  • Is this a winning organization I can be proud of?
  • Can I maximize my performance on the job?
  • Are people treated well economically and inter personally?
  • Is the work itself fulfilling and enjoyable?

Helping Millennials understand these questions can help them visually see where they will be within those 2-5 years. What is your company’s goal for your Millennial employees? What recognition and rewards are you providing your current employees and how well is it being received? Create a winning culture environment that your employees can be proud of, and your company will acquire and retain talented Millennials. Your office will become a workplace where they feel inspired and motivated to stay and grow.

 

Emerging Tech HR Trends in 2016

Get over hiring difficulties and talent development. As we enter 2016, we welcome a promising year of new HR trends with changing mindsets and increasing integration of technology. Here are the top 3 Human Resource predictions to watch for.

High Demand of Data and Analytics Tools

Big Data is an emerging trend and plays a vital role in gathering, processing and analyzing data, thereby being the lifeline of business lifecycles. Any new-age business wanting to stand out from the crowd needs to be at the top of their game as far as data analytics is considered. Business decisions are getting increasingly data-driven, and for a good reason. Data is what helps you plumb the depths of your workforce so you can strategize HR operations right from recruitment to meeting employee goals according to shifting trends. According to Julie Stich, Director of Research at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, “Employers are trying different things to see what works for them—a lot of it depends on company culture.”

Increased Focus on Employee Recognition

Experts believe that the key to increased productivity lies in employee recognition and engagement. In fact, it is directly linked to better performance, profitability and customer engagement—outcomes that businesses of all types are seeking. If your employees feel appreciated for their efforts, it is natural that they will actively contribute to your organization’s growth. If employee rewards are a part of your workplace culture, you can also do away with talent retention worries. If you’ve used Slack’s team-based messaging software or Yammer’s collaborative social environment for businesses, you already know what we’re talking about. “We’re seeing an evolution here; it’s becoming more about total employee well-being” says Stich. With platforms like Recognize on the rise, it is clear why employee recognition is on the HR’s radar this year.

 

Rise of Integrated Workforce Management Systems

Any organization dealing with over 50 full-time employees will be aware of the monthly requirement to report and track data, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. If paying penalties or spending hours collecting data from multiple systems is not an option, integrated human capital management solutions come into the picture. While we’re on the topic of data, it is worth mentioning the focus on prevention of data breaches in 2016. The digital era poses various threats such as hacking of employee and customer data and has a direct impact on the business community, so time for companies to pull up their socks for extensive data management and security!

What Millennials Want In a Company

Company leaders are showing a real concern for what is to come with the largest generation – millennials. Millennials want autonomy, they want things to matter, and they want to be mobile. This different mentality from previous generations has been a two-decade-long shift first from video games, then internet, and now mobile.

Millennials on the phone

1. Instant, Always-on, Global Information.

The millennial comedian Aziz Ansari gave a comparison to the millennial mindset in the context of gay marriage. He said, “Two dudes are kissing? I’m about to watch every movie ever, right now! They [millennials] don’t care at all.” Instant global information has made millennials see the world in a whole new light. They look past issues that are not important in the global scheme, because now with Twitter and Facebook they can connect on a deeper level with people all over the globe about any issue as soon as events unravel.

2. Mobile

An endlessly expanding encyclopedia is in your pocket. Every person you have ever known is a short search away. College students complete their studies from anywhere on ultralight laptops. Being anywhere and still connected is the new norm.

3. Instant Feedback

Pinball to Nintendo to Gameboy to mobile computers, instant feedback has gotten more omnipresent. Millennials expect results fast. Increased internet speeds are inflating millennials already hyperactive expectations.

A Blueprint for Companies Seeking to Attain and Retain Millennials

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves” – Vicktor E. Frankl.

1. Autonomy and Idealism

By incorporating autonomy and causes, companies can reap the rewards from both a marketing standpoint and an employee’s lifetime value to the company. Companies with skunk groups for independent innovative projects receive both innovative ideas and prototypes, but also increase employees dedication to the company. Follow the startup incubator model by cycling through groups of people, or batches, in the skunk group. Then, many people can be a part of the skunk group generating more employee to company rapport.

To show your company cares, involve environmental or social initiatives. Give a percentage of profits to a charity, match employee donations to nonprofits, or create your own ice bucket challenge. Make a culture staff is proud to promote and show the company trusts its employees.

People looking at ipads around a desk collaborating

2. Mobile

Working from home can lead some to become complacent. The solution is to make working from home a privilege and not a right. If staff shows up for meetings on time, communicates effectively, and complete tasks on time, then they can work from home. Be transparent on what exactly has to happen to make working from home a reality. If done right, your staff can be producing quality work from a Mexican beach.

3. Instant and Transparent

Support communication tools that support working from anywhere. Give staff immediate feedback. Tools like Slack and Yammer for staff to communicate, and Recognize for employee recognition and rewards should be part of your overarching human resources and company communication strategy.

Companies must embrace with open arms a new way to operate. The industrial revolution is behind us and from the perspective of millennials, the world needs new modalities if we want to keep a healthy planet for the future.

I myself am a millennial. I founded Recognize after discovering the power of employee recognition at former employers. I want to help all companies have a simple employee recognition strategy. It makes work more like a game. When things are more like games, they are more fun and more profitable.

Introducing Employee Engagement Score

Cockpit

It is important to provide a metric that measures how focused a company is in recognition. It encourages companies to recognize more than the favorite outgoing employees, and to find new people to recognize. The result is more recognition across the organization.

Recognized employees in last seven days / Total employees = RES

The metric is intentionally designed at the organization level to encourage collectivism. Companies need visibility that the work they do benefits the company. Most Western companies focus on the individual performance, where RES helps focus at a higher level. When others are recognized, employees can instantly see the RES go up. Thus, workers know their contributions help the whole organization, collectively.

Four levels

The RES has four levels for engagement. They are simply separated by 0-25, 25-50, 50-75, and 75-100. Shown below is the color scheme.

RES

RES

RES

RES

Employee recognition for startups

Entering Startup

Entering Startup

“The Ducky goes to… David!” Leann Arkema, the VP of operations at Breakthrough, announces to the company of 14 employees. Everyone claps while David smiles and stands. “I accept this reward…”, David begins. Everyone quiets down as David reports some of the successes that week and thanks everyone for thinking of him for his hard work. Next week David will pass the Ducky onto someone else to be highlighted at the team meeting.

Employee recognition isn’t only for large companies with budgets for online solutions, like Recognize. Homegrown employee recognition works well in small centrally-located companies with passionate employees who are creating culture as they go. A recognition program in this setting can go a long way if it resonates with the team and is highlighted in monthly or in weekly meetings.

“The holder of the chalice presents a colleague with this commendation for feats of strength and stamina in the line of duty during our Friday Hour of Awesomeness.” – Peter Shanley Director of Strategic Programs at Neo

At the innovative interactive agency, Neo, they pass around a chalice to the employee of the week that went above and beyond. They call it the Neo Unicorn Cup. “Holder of the chalice presents them their commendation for feats of strength and stamina in the line of duty during our Friday Hour of Awesomeness.” Says Peter Shanley Director of Strategic Programs at Neo.

The Neo Unicorn Cup

Neo Unicorn Cup

Personalized employee recognition

The mascot is a large duck at Breakthrough, an online therapy startup. Leann Arkema says “The ducky symbolizes something that looks calm, but under the water the legs are moving very fast. That’s how we like to think at Breakthrough. We are relaxed while we work very hard.” Leann added a twist to their employee recognition program, the ducky is signed by the recipient. The ducky is now covered in memories of recognition.

Framework for startup employee recognition

  1. Choose a trophy for the monthly recognition. Ideally a company mascot or special symbol
  2. Email company introducing the program
  3. Pass the trophy around on a weekly or monthly basis in a team or company meeting
  4. Allow the last winner hand the trophy to the new winner
  5. Email company who won the trophy
  6. Keep the trophy on the desk of the winner for the week or month
  7. Add something special to the program to make it unique to your organization

Employee recognition works at startups to Fortune 500. What’s most important is tying the program to company culture. Companies will engage staff when they include a public, fun, and equal recognition program across the organization.

Personalized recognition campaigns to incentivize behaviors and promote mastery.

Flock of birds

Employee recognition is a means to show staff their time is valued, they have purpose, and ability to grow in an organization. At Recognize, we now help companies maximize their staff’s potential through personalized recognition campaigns, or levels of achievement.

The employee recognition campaign strategy

  1. Discover the values or the behaviors the company wants to promote. In Recognize, those values are presented as graphical badges.
  2. Determine the principles that guide those values or behaviors. Managers and company leaders are educated on the principles and asked to look for peers exhibiting those principles. As result, the staff has a top-of-mind mentality towards promoting the company’s goals.
  3. Each badge has levels of achievement. The levels are marked by number of recognitions for a specific badge. At each level we recommend employees are given status, access, and power in the organization.
  4. The employee can print out a recognition certificate to show their accomplishments.
  5. The Recognize Team sends leaders weekly reports of who is excelling based on recognition data.

The employee feels intrinsically motivated when they have purpose and mastery in the organization. Status, access, and power help create that motivation.

Recognition levels

Recognition levels

Status is when an employee can move up in each of the recognition badges. For instance, if “Social Media” is an initiative, the manager can create a Social Media badge. When an employee reaches new levels of Social Media, they are rewarded with an additional title of Social Media Expert or Social Media Strategist. The employee now knows they are noticed for their abilities.

Access is opening new doors to employees through a variety of methods. At lower levels, an employee may have access to a special parking spot for a period of time. At higher levels an employee has access to a conference. The increase of rewards motivates staff to excel in values or behaviors the company looks to promote.

As they say, power is addicting. Increasing an employee’s power in the organization drives the feeling of mastery. We recommend giving staff various levels of decision-making power via the recognition program. A junior marketer may actually be an expert in email marketing, and through employee recognition this can be discovered and validated. If this employee levels-up in a recognition email marketing campaign, they can be rewarded with power to make specific email marketing decisions. The junior marketer may still be a junior marketer, but has a new sense of purpose and mastery.

The Recognize campaigns emphasizes intrinsic motivation in the workplace. Through a well-planned campaign a company can promote any behavior. To learn more about recognition campaigns, please contact us.

Photo by Don McCullough.