Employee recognition toolkit

employee recognitionAn effective employee recognition programme will help you enhance the performance of your employees and build a values-based culture within your organisation. And if used correctly it’s a powerful way to both develop and retain employees. That’s because what employees want most of all in their jobs is to be recognised for their contribution and feel appreciated.

This article outlines the key reasons why employee recognition is vital for your business and provides you with a mini toolkit of things to consider when setting up your scheme.

Why is employee recognition so important?

There are lots of reasons why employee recognition is an essential tool for organisations of all sizes, including:

  • Makes employees feel valued and appreciated
  • Fosters pride in their job and in the organisation they work for
  • Improves employee engagement
  • Reinforces the link between organisational goals and employee performance
  • Improves employee motivation and satisfaction
  • Retains the best employees
  • Attracts the best talent for a role
  • Create a supportive work environment
  • Reinforces organisational values and the behaviours you want employees to demonstrate
  • Improves the bottom line through increased productivity and innovation
  • Improves customer service


The three pillars of employee recognition

Incorporate these three pillars into your scheme from the start to give your employee recognition programme the best chance of success:

1. Communication
Employees need to be aware of the scheme, what activities and behaviours will be recognised, how the nomination process works and how the scheme links to the values, goals, objectives of the business and their role in achieving them.

2. Involvement
Respect your employees by involving them in the planning; find out what motivates them and what demotivates them. Ask them to give you feedback on the type of actions and behaviours that should be recognised and the rewards that should be offered.

3. Simplicity
Don’t over-complicate things. Keep your programme simple to administer and make it easy for your employees to nominate their colleagues for a recognition award.


Critical success factors

There are several critical success factors when it comes to setting up an employee recognition scheme. In the planning stage you need to consider all of the following:

  • The scheme should be fully supported by the senior management team, they should participate in its implementation and ongoing communication
  • The scheme must reflect the values of the organisationsuccess
  • The activities and behaviours that will be recognised should be clearly defined and linked to the business goals
  • The nomination process should be clearly defined and communicated to all employees
  • It must be inclusive, all employees from the top to the bottom must be included in the scheme
  • A process to evaluate what works, what needs to be changed, etc must be included
  • Communication is key and it needs to be ongoing.


Successful employee recognition

These five key elements should be built into any recognition programme in order to successfully create a culture of appreciation:

  1. Be Timely – when you see it, recognise it as soon as possible after the event
  2. Be Specific – be clear about what actions or behaviours are being recognised
  3. Be Sincere – make it thoughtful, tell the recipient about the impact it had
  4. Be Meaningful – base the recognition on the recipient’s preferences, don’t make them stand up in a meeting if they are uncomfortable with that scenario
  5. Be Relevant – the recognition should be proportional to the accomplishment


See how these organisations show their appreciation through peer to peer recognition schemes…

Recognition Video Case Studies

Aviva, Virgin Media and Siemens recognition videos 

John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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