But what we’ve also spent a lot of time studying are the necessary pieces that must be in place for a company to successfully integrate a social, peer-to-peer recognition program.
Flat out, not every company is ready for one. If you’re wondering if that’s your company you should read on. If not, and you already have a recognition program in place (is it ours, btw?) then you, too, could learn something.
Companies who spend around 1% of payroll on recognition… more than 85% of those organizations see a positive impact on engagement. Furthermore, financial or physical gift rewards don’t lead to happier or more motivated employees. Putting a dollar amount on their hard work that isn’t equal to what they perceive as its worth could be detrimental.
Recognition itself will make your employees more motivated and productive, and there is research to prove it. You can rest easier knowing that when you decide to implement a program, you will see results.
The first step isn’t recognizing that you need recognition but recognizing if your team is ready for a structured program. That’s why we’ve taken the time to create a simple checklist to see if your organization is ready.
1) Is your workplace transparent or trying to be? Transparency in the workplace is…..nuanced. On one hand, too much information isn’t necessary for the majority of your workforce. No need to completely let everyone behind the curtain. But neither is no information at all. What kind of info you divulge is up to you and your team.
So, what should you be transparent about? Goals. Let everyone in on the goals of the organization for the next quarter or fiscal year. Take the time to structure the way you communicate goals.
2) Do your employees trust you? Only 49% of Leaders have the trust of their employees. Do your employees or co-workers understand that they can count on you to be consistent and trustworthy when needed? Trust is as vital to the success of a great organization as any other characteristic. Starting with being more transparent lends itself to building trust if you have none. Otherwise, start simple. Create simple team trust building exercises like these and see how your team responds.
3) Does feedback even exist? If you’ve answered this question with anything but ‘Yes’ then recognition isn’t going to be first on your list. Work towards building feedback loops that welcome open discussion on ways to improve. Establish trust and transparency first – then watch how impactful even small amounts of feedback can be for your team. Simple “pulse surveys” administered via email could be an easy place to start. Pick 3 questions that are vital and relevant to your team and get going.
4) How does your team react to adversity? Think back to the last time your team experienced something difficult. Maybe you lost a key client or had a failure in your product development. Whatever it is, think back to the moments right after your team learned about the set back. Think about your team’s faces. What did they do? Did they sulk? Did they look to blame others? Did they look to blame you?
If your team spends a majority of its time on “CYA” activities (if you don’t know what ‘CYA’ stands for, just Google it) and not on actively finding ways to meet the needs of your clients or customers then you’re already fighting a losing battle. Teams that spend time on trying to make sure their jobs are safe aren’t worrying about what the bigger picture. If your company is successful, so are its employees.
Secondly, take a minute to address how your team reacts to adversity. Look for ways to fix the immediate issue and then look at the problem and start from there. Either way, assess how your team reacts. If it’s a lot of “not my fault” or “who cares” then you need more than a recognition program.
5) How do you celebrate success today? If your current recognition system relies heavily on birthday cards, brief fist bumps in the hall, yearly “recognition dinners” or plaques for years of service- then you are currently wasting your money and time.
It’s not that those efforts are a lost cause, you’re just currently spending time or money on trinkets, actions, or gifts that do not move the needle when it comes to positively effecting your employee’s behavior, productivity and desire to stay employed. Those are great things to add to the picture when you have a structured employee recognition program in place.
Which is why we ask this question last. Things mentioned above are great additions to a recognition program that is clearly aligned with company core values, organizational goals, leadership goals and the goals of the individual employee.
Can you say that about your plaque?
No matter how you answered the questions above – AMPT can help you. Simply put, we are social recognition experts and we are here to help you through this process.