Skip to main content

The most effective staff recognition programs

By February 9, 2015 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

The most effective staff recognition programs tend to consistently focus on three key areas or themes. John Schaefer, a reputed consultant in the field of recognition in the in the US talks about these three key areas as Simplicity, Technology and Buy -in. I would go along with those points. He writes:

  1. “The secret to any program’s effectiveness is simplicity, clarity and believability. Identify the program measurables, which should include your Values, but could also include your Purpose, Mission and Goals. We call the “Making it Real”.
  2. “The technology platform you choose must be robust and flexible, so it can include everything from traditional, custom and plateau awards, plus Point-bank, Spot and Peer rewards and even gift cards and cash, as needed.”
  3. “You must have upper management buy in, and a willingness to continuously monitor, evaluate, tweak and measure the ROI of your program. A strong, experienced and capable recognition partner is helpful here.”

I would take these points a little further. In our experience:

  1. Simplicity and Clarity. Adding corporate Values, Purpose, Mission and Goals are a great place to start. Making these relevant and measurable is critical. For example, if one of your corporate values is respect or honesty, really drill down to identify the key behaviours or drivers that are associated with these values. Then clarify what the behaviours are that you are looking for are in relation to these values, that are “over and above” the current level of performance. It is important to help raise the bar but this can only be done when you know where the bar is. Once you have a base to start from, it should be easy to measure the improvements.
  2. The technology platform should be able to consolidate or include all your recognition programs, whether they are points based, social (Non or low points based), peer to peer, service awards or employee of the month. The platform should also be flexible enough to allow you to offer a variety of rewards, sourced by you and/or a third party – including products, services, experiences, learning and development or career enhancement. The most productive recognition platforms are cloud based, allowing your staff to access their programs from their laptop, tablet or smart phone, delivering the greatest positive impact.
  3. Management “buy-in”. This is critical. Any recognition program should be seen as a business improvement tool, as increased staff engagement leads to improved performance, increased brand value and should have a positive impact on your bottom line. As such it needs to be driven from the top. Measurable ROI is fundamental. If you can’t measure it, why do it?

Brownie Points have been helping clients to develop measurable staff reward programs and are recognised as experts in the area of staff motivation and engagement. To learn more, visit our web site at

Leave a Reply