Guide to the types of employee recognition programme

The power of employee recognitionIf you’re looking to build a culture and working environment based on employee appreciation, then implementing a formalised employee recognition programme is an extremely effective strategy.

A successful recognition scheme has the power to impact on every area of your business, which means that there are lots of great reasons why implementing well-structured processes for showing appreciation is good for your business:

  • Employee engagement – Towers Watson found that recognising employee performance increases engagement by almost 60%.
  • Job performance – A Watson Wyatt study reported that the highly engaged are more than twice as likely to be top performers – almost 60% of them exceed or far exceed expectations for performance.
  • Employee turnover – A Corporate Leadership Council report found that highly engaged organisations have the potential to reduce staff turnover by 87% and improve performance by 20%.
  • Customer satisfaction – A study conducted by NBRI at a large Financial Service organisation found that a five-point improvement in employee attitudes led to a 1.6% rise in customer satisfaction.
  • Financial returns – The Corporate Leadership Council reported that engaged organisations grew profits as much as three times faster than their competitors.
  • Staff absence – Gallup found that more highly engaged employees took an average of 2.7 sick days per year, compared with disengaged employees taking an average of 6.2 days per year.


Different types of employee recognition programme

There are lots of different ways employers can recognise employee achievements via a well thought out programme, including:


1. Peer to peer thank yous

Despite their best intentions, managers don’t see everything that goes on. Modern recognition programmes use peer to peer techniques to enable colleagues to recognise the quiet but critical high performers.


Peer 2 peer staff recognition2. Social recognition

Modern recognition programmes are social. They use internal social media such as recognition-specific tools on their PCs or apps on their smartphones to instantly recognise colleagues who are going the extra mile or demonstrating company values, and the results are publicly displayed, for example on the staff intranet so that anyone can see them.


3. Core values award

Core value recognition programmes recognise employees who through their attitude, behaviour or actions embrace your organisation’s core values (eg respect, commitment, or innovation).


4. Helping hand award

Helping hand award programmes recognise employees that have given outstanding encouragement, support or guidance to colleagues and other employees in your organisation outside of their appointed role.


5. Budgetary management recognition for regional management

Managing budgets can be challenging, so forward thinking companies are introducing awards for regional management teams that proactively manage their budgets; creating realistic budgets, staying within budget, following policy guidelines, and taking corrective action to enhance performance.


6. End of year, best of the best and Chair or CEO recognition awards

employee rewardEnd of year, best of the best and Chair or CEO recognition awards recognise and reward your top performers, whether that’s in delivering great customer service, demonstrating company values, or supporting others. Employees who receive these rewards can inspire other employees and encourage them to display similar behaviour.


7. Long service award

Long service awards are a tried and tested part of the reward mix and are designed to recognise an employee’s on-going loyalty and commitment as well as their dedication, achievements and performance; not just to reward them for being with the company for so long.
In addition to the techniques mentioned above, you also need to consider whether your recognition awards will be adjudicated by an employee appreciation committee or require approval by a line manager.

Download our guide to reward and recognition

Reward and recognition guide

This guide will assist programme managers to develop a scheme that will improve the performance of your people, engage them and make best use of your available budget.

Click here to download

By sourcing the right employee recognition mix for your organisation you can create a working environment that will empower your staff to perform to the best of their ability, whether it’s increasing sales or improving customer service, and by doing so will lead to improvements in your organisation’s performance.


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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