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10 ways to improve staff recognition

By July 27, 2015 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

Earlier this year I read an interesting article by John Sylvester from IPM, and have taken some of his thoughts and added them to my own for this article on ways to improve your staff recognition programme.

Employee recognition has been proven to positively impact on both staff productivity and loyalty, which is why many organisations have implemented social or structured recognition programmes.

However, without care and attention employee recognition schemes can fall into disrepute and as a result they don’t achieve the results the HR professionals and senior leaders were expecting.

Here are 10 tips to help you ensure you’re getting the most from your employee recognition scheme:

  1. Plan to succeed

To maximise the impact from your staff recognition programme you should consider aligning the programme with your business values and goals. By doing so your employees will be able to see how their behaviour and effort contributes to the organisational objectives as a whole.

  1. Communicate consistently and clearly

Many businesses make the mistake of launching their new recognition programme with a big fanfare but then not following it up. It’s important to constantly remind your employees about the programme, the benefits (and rewards), and how it fits into your business mission and objectives.

  1. Select rewards carefully

You’ve probably heard it many times before, but no single reward fits every employee. Choose your rewards carefully and make sure that they’re appropriate, achievable and relevant to your employee demographics. Try not to use gift vouchers, gift cards and cashback cards because although employees can choose their reward, money (including gift cards) has been proven not to be a strong motivator.

  1. Recognise instantly

For maximum impact recognition should happen as close as possible in time to the actual event. Don’t wait until the end of the month or quarter, as the longer you leave the recognition, the less it is valued by the recipient.

  1. Reward effort as well as results

When planning your programme take into account effort as well as results. Some of the best recognition programmes have rewards for the ‘Unsung Hero’ to recognise those employees who quietly go the extra mile to support others in getting results.

  1. Clearly define the criteria and rules

Ensure that you have a set of clear criteria and rules that all employees understand and can achieve. Every employee should be treated equally irrespective of their role within the organisation, which means that everyone should have an equal chance of being recognised and receiving a reward.

  1. Senior management buy-in

It’s essential that executives and line managers are fully committed to the scheme. They set the tone for success so they need to be passionate and enthusiastic about the programme.

  1. Employee feedback

To be successful you need to review not only the results of your recognition programme but also how your employees feel about it. You can learn things from this feedback and use the information to continually improve your programme.

  1. Celebrate success

Publicly recognise your employees so that the whole organisation can share, learn from, and be inspired by their accomplishments. You can do this at staff or company meetings, via the newsletter or with a ‘Wall of Achievement’, but however you do it be specific about what it was that they did to earn the recognition and the effect it had on others and/or the business.

  1. Stay connected

Encourage the use of technology in your programme in order to boost employee engagement. Social recognition enables co-workers and peers to reward people instantly and allows those who have been recognised to share their success.

Letting employees know that you appreciate them through an employee recognition scheme should be a key part of your business toolkit. But to achieve the maximum impact from any programme you need to continue to invest time and attention on it.

Brownie Points is a multi-award winning platform for delivering exceptional staff recognition programmes.

To learn more, call us today on 03 9909 7411 or email us at

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