Category Archives: Employee Recognition

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.

Four tips towards an employee recognition company culture

Getting started and onboarding staff to a program is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations interested in recognition. To help articulate and solve some of our customers concerns, the following list can help guide the beginning of a recognition-focused culture.

1. Survey staff on employee engagement.

Does your staff feel recognized? An anonymous survey helps gauge your staff and sets a base.

2. Ease your staff into a recognition program.

– Mention Recognize at an all company meeting as a priority for the company.
– Send an email to all company with a link to sign up for Recognize or program of your choice.
– Track who has activated their accounts on Recognize and gauge interest amongst staff. Don’t force anything on the company. If people are resistant, continue to ease into the program organically.

3. Meet with department directors and team managers to set guidelines on when to Recognize.

– Recognize at end of projects or specific tasks domain to the company.
– Remind managers and directors to make sure to recognize someone every day on the team or the whole team once a week.
– Ask staff to send emails to managers or directors once a week on one thing they accomplished. On Monday, have the manager recognize their team for those tasks. Creating that feedback loop is crucial.

4. Tie recognition into the company’s structure.

Provide status for high achievers. With Recognize, we send monthly reports of whom is doing the best work each month. Let everyone know who those individuals are via a monthly recognition party. Incentive good work tied to company values by rewarding staff each month for each of the values. Each month reward staff who are high achievers in each of the company’s core values (e.g. innovation, leadership). Finally, the highest-rated receivers in each core value should be given more access to perks or power inside the organization. Don’t stop at $20 gift cards – give staff the ability to make special decisions if they are high achievers.

Engraining employee recognition while promoting company’s core values can be easy if admins and leadership follow certain practices to make it a habit for the organization. Contact us if in need of recognition consulting for help getting started. We custom tailor recognition programs based on your company’s goals.

Warming your company culture for higher profits

Kittens together

Traditional wisdom says strength and confidence are necessary to lead. New research says is only half the story. Social psychology research, such as Andrea Abele’s work on warmth and connectedness, show how warmth and strength together elicit the most effective leadership. The book Compelling People‘s main theme is warmth and strength together is the perfect cocktail for excellence.

When meeting someone, how do you act? Do you go right into the primary topic of conversation, or do you first build rapport by sharing experiences? When presenting to a group, is the focus on the stats and numbers, or do you first try to make a connection with your audience? Seemingly filler chat has been shown to make a huge impact on whether people will listen. People need to know you are there for them and you understand them. By entering the in-group of your audience, they will consider you part of them and you are worth taking seriously. In persuasion, being apart of the in-group is more effective than showing credentials of expertise. Story telling is often all that is needed to create a human connection.

A cohesive mindset amongst staff influences the company’s bottom-line, because a connected staff drives innovation and a customer-focus mentality

To bind a company together, leaders must communicate and show warmth with their staff. At Recognize, we see employee recognition as one way to create that critical bond. By providing positive feedback to staff, leaders open themselves up. When leaders overtly recognize staff, they show they care and acknowledge the hard work being done. The result, staff stop looking out for themselves and start looking out for the group. A cohesive mindset amongst staff influences the company’s bottom-line, because a connected staff drives innovation and a customer-focus mentality. Research by Watson Wyatt in 2009 indicates top-level staff must connect with low-level staff in order for staff to be more engaged. One simple way to communicate in a positive way is to promote everyone’s best behavior via a recognition program.

Learn more about warmth and strength by reading Compelling people, the references below, and practicing warmth in your life. You’ll see an immediately difference in how people respond to you.

References
http://www.americanbusinessmag.com/2013/10/happy-bosses-plus-happy-employees-equal-more-profits/

https://enterprisersproject.com/sites/default/files/How%20to%20Balance%20Competence%20with%20Warmth.pdf

http://compellingpeople.com/

Employee Recognition Parties

Office party
Years ago I was fortunate to work at a great company called Pop. Pop had a recognition program that allowed individuals to show appreciation for coworkers with a message and a corporate value. The best part of the program was the monthly parties.

Over a hundred people would crowd around the meeting area on a Friday at 4:30pm. Beers and snacks were laid out to set a casual mood. One of the most charismatic staff members would read off a gamut of recognition stats, “The word ‘jerk’ was used…. zero times, while the word ‘awesome’ was mentioned 800 times!” Gift cards were handed out for sending the most recognition and for receiving the most recognition. This small token went a long way for Pop, and helped drive an engaged, innovative workplace.

Simple steps to throwing employee recognition parties

1. Involve everyone. If you’re a company of over 200 people, break the parties by department or team.
2. Buy snacks or something to enjoy. It doesn’t have to include alcohol.
3. Schedule the meeting for a Friday at 4:30pm.
4. Use Recognize to read off most popular recognitions. Search through the last month and find funny or interesting recognitions to share.
5. If you need any help gathering information that is beyond the boundaries of the company admin, contact us for help.
6. Randomly give away a $25-$100 gift card to someone who was recognized.
7. Give gift cards to the staff members who gave the most and received the most recognition.

Celebrate greatness at work on a monthly basis and enjoy the rewards of an engaged workforce.

Multiple Recipients in Employee Recognition

Why only recognize one person when you can recognize many people at the same time? Employee recognition should be free to send to as many people as possible. Isn’t that our goal after all? To allow everyone to be recognized in the easiest way possible? We are cooking up a number of ideas to help people recognize more easily. Recognize is getting better and better for our customers. Today we announce multiple recipients to a recognition.

A screenshot of Recognize's multiple recipient in the send recognition form.

Recognize the planet

With multiple recipients, managers and coworkers can make sure everyone receives the notice they deserve. Many managers have requested this feature and it is about time we launched it.

When you recognize multiple people, it lists all the people as recipients in the recognition cards and on the recognition show page.

Screenshot of recognition show page where multiple people are listed

No longer are people left out of employee recognition

Batch recognitions is the best way to make sure your employee recognition occurs across your professional social graph. Never feel like you missed someone again.

Multiple Recipient recognition card

Employee recognition for the masses

It is our goal to promote professional’s online reputations. To bring employee recognition to everyone, we added the ability for individuals to sign up.

Now, anyone can sign up for Recognize

Companies can still sign up and engage their staff with employee recognition. But individuals can sign up too and grow their reputation.

By default, your recognitions are public. Share your profile on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks. When you do this, Google can index your profile and when people search for you on Google, they will find positive recognitions attached to your name.

Recognition programs shouldn’t be only for employees

Most recognition programs focus on employees. We want to let anyone have a recognition program at their disposal, even if it isn’t tied to their company. Thus, we opened up recognition awards for everyone.

Problem with most employee recognition programs is they are not truly social. A lot of times we want to recognize people outside of our work environment. In fact, nearly half the people who sign up for Recognize attempt with their personal email, even though we state on the homepage that we only accept professional emails. By allowing personal emails we help a lot more people send and receive recognition awards.

Send recognition awards with anyone

With this new feature, it is our goal to now add authentication with Google Gmail. Soon all your contacts will be imported dynamically thanks to Google Gmail API. It will be very easy to send recognition to your colleagues.

Until then, you can use people’s email address to send recognition. Once in the system, you can find them with autocomplete.

Like LinkedIn, but in real-time

Edmundo Vindel's recognition
The problem with LinkedIn Endorsements is they show skills you’ve had in the past. LinkedIn Endorsements do not present skill progression. With Recognize’s employee recognition program, we allow individuals to be recognized for skills right now. This allows us to (eventually) show your skill progression over time.

Sign up today with your company email or your personal email to begin promoting your online professional reputation.

Recognition commenting

Another feature we released is commenting. Before, we used Yammer comments. We are thankful for Yammer to help us with commenting, but we needed our own system. Now you can comment on recognitions to increase the recognition award’s value. Anyone can comment on public recognitions, and when a recognition is private only the parties involved can comment.

Go back to your company’s most popular recognitions and write a comment. Create a conversation within your organization.

Recognize any employee at any company

We added a new feature this week to help professionals promote their business relationships. We now allow users to recognize anyone with a professional email address.

Beyond employee recognition

Sometimes you want to recognize or be recognized by people outside of your immediate email domain. You may work at a university that has different subdomains or work at a regional office of a national company. Both of these situations require the ability recognize people in other domain networks.

Along with being able to recognize any professional, user profiles are public. Much like LinkedIn, workers can now share their recognition profile with anyone to promote their abilities.

Employee recognition profile

We are excited to see the response from our customers. Cross company recognitions is a feature that has been requested a number of times from our users.

Three steps to Social HR

The leftover dogma from the industrial revolution has to be removed from company culture in order to avoid an arduous path. The workforce is moving away from the repetitive motions of factory work. Norms developed to push people to their limit must be shed.

The modern workplace is all about sharing knowledge, social employee recognition, staff engagement, and interconnectedness. Embrace the ever-increasing hyper-connected social society in your workplace, and reap the rewards of an engaged innovative environment.

1. Use social enterprise software to interconnect and brainstorm with your staff

Communicate with your staff through Yammer, an internal enterprise social network. Yammer is a lot like Facebook’s wall, allowing communication with your entire staff. If one person has a problem in your company, they can ask on Yammer allowing anyone to answer.

Then, introduce social employee recognition. Many companies already have an employee recognition system in place, but most homegrown solutions are isolated. Our application, Recognize, provides a needed social element to employee recognition. When employees are recognized publicly, they’ll be more profitable. Regularly recognized employees are more dedicated to the organization as well as feel better about themselves.

Move away from your isolated intranet. Aragon Research predicts by the end of 2014, social intranets will replace conventional, information-driven intranets. Ones that connect with third party applications and allow real-time collaboration, allow for new ways companies can get the most from their staff.

Much like Yammer and Salesforce, choose tools that allow seamless integration with your technology workflow. In Recognize, we are working to completely integrate with Yammer, Google, and eventually Salesforce. Being integrated is key to surviving the modern enterprise technology landscape. One way to find apps that are connected is by looking in Yammer’s App Directory. The Business Tools section on Google Web Store is another way to find web apps.

2. Give more responsibility to your staff

Let your employees choose their job title. I love this idea ever since I heard it being practiced at Amazon. I even mentioned it in a previous post. It gives more ownership to the employees and suggests the employer trusts them. It may be a small gesture, but many small gestures add up. When employees feel they have more ownership, they’re more engaged.

Eliminate the 30 minute daily break. We are using our minds more than our bodies, and we need proper mental breaks. Strict rules like two 15-minute breaks implicitly assume the employer doesn’t fully trust their employees. Let your employees decide when they are ready for a break. Thus, your staff will more alert and able to handle challenging tasks.

Create an environment where everyone’s opinion counts. That’s why Yammer and social collaboration tools work so well. People can articulate and share their ideas on an equal playing field. We need to start applying this idea more in the real world. Build a “living wall” where employees physically write on a wall in your office. This act is empowering for employees. It is visible to everyone in the office, and allows everyone an equal opinion.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a recent trend in business. Not only do businesses save money when they allow their employees to bring their own monitor or device, it gives your staff more ownership over their lives at work.

3. Encourage more physical activity

When people do tasks together, they feel more connected. Introduce activities where the staff can collaborate in games, outdoor activity, or exercise.

Open an exercise room in your office. A room with a couple of ellipticals and a ping pong table will go a long way. Host daily exercise or yoga classes at the office. When people have exercised they are more relaxed and think more clearly.

Throw monthly parties celebrating employee achievements. Using employee recognition tools like Recognize can help with this. No matter what employee recognition platform your company uses, celebrating your staff with beverages and awards each month helps company culture and office positivity.

Throw bimonthly parties with TED-like talks from staff, and celebrate company projects.

Open up and embrace social

Using enterprise social web applications, providing more ownership to your employees, and fostering an environment of activity will lead to a better workplace for you and your staff. You’ll see more innovation and collaboration.

How is your company providing a social environment in your office? What are your concerns with an open culture?