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Effective Employee Recognition Programs – [2023]

By May 17, 2023October 17th, 2023No Comments

What makes an effective employee recognition program?

Effective employee recognition programs require personalized and authentic moments of care.

That doesn’t mean it has to cost an arm and a leg though! It does mean that employee recognition programs need to allow employees to share what is meaningful to them, as well as provide the tools to act on those needs and wants.

We know that HR professionals really do care and appreciate their team, and there is a genuine desire for employees to get the thanks they deserve.

Unfortunately, billions of $$$ are wasted recognizing employees in ways that don’t matter to the employee you’re trying to recognize. Take a look at these real stories:

Pretty crazy right? It is sad to say that these stories are true, and you may have even experienced something similar yourself. There are plenty of these stories and similar mistakes around – ask yourself – what could’ve been done differently? 

Why should you build an employee recognition program?

There are plenty of benefits to an effective employee recognition program. Meaningful and relevant employee recognition increases retention of talent and reduces turnover. According to recent SHRM polls regarding Employee Recognition for Generation Z and Millennials in the workforce:

79 percent [of survey participants] said that an increase in recognition… would make them more loyal to their employer.”

Another benefit is related to talent acquisition. When you have a company culture that is geared towards proactive means of appreciation and affirmation, your company is much more attractive to potential talent and new hires. 

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How can you build an effective recognition program?

The short answer is to discover what is valuable to your team, get to know your employees and be consistent with your efforts.

Get to know your team

Ask yourself – how well do you know your team? Their likes/dislikes, their favorite candy or if they even eat candy? What motivates them? Do they like being publicly acknowledged by leadership for their hard work? Or does the thought of a shout-out in front of X-amount of people send them into shock?

When you know this information, would you ever want to place your employees into situations where the recognition is actually having the exact opposite effect? Of course not! This is why uncovering how/what your employees need is so important to creating a culture where people feel connected at work.

Personalize the Recognition

Imagine a world where we don’t all receive company socks or a bottle of wine (not that there’s anything wrong with a nice fluffy pair of socks or a bottle of Pinot Noir!), but instead, the people who wanted socks got socks, and the people who wanted something completely different got that instead?

When we begin to realize that employees are different and they subsequently have different wants and needs in the ways they receive recognition, we can begin to create an engaging and meaningful employee recognition program that actively shifts your company’s culture.

Consistency is key

An effective employee recognition program takes into account what/how/when the employee wants or needs the recognition from the company. It doesn’t just have to be corporate gifting which can sometimes be very expensive, but can be as simple as booking that dedicated 1:1 time or even sending a collaborative eCard.

This means it doesn’t just have to be a company-wide event every quarter, but instead, it could be a weekly call or shout-out in a daily standup with the team. Consistency goes a long way.

What can I do to know my employees better?

If we understand that making the recognition tailored to the individual is one of the more important aspects of an effective employee recognition program, integrating ways to learn more about your team is a fantastic place to begin. So – what are some ways you can get to know your employees?

  • Learn their recognitionDNA workplace personality. Not only does this showcase different recognition languages, it can also speak to potential blind spots for each individual
  • Ask good questions, and make space to listen. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn when you ask what matters most to them
  • View their care preferences in Caroo. Once they have filled out their profile, you’re able to see likes/dislikes and other super helpful information, completely personalized to the person!

If you’re looking for a more detailed guide – be sure to check out our Employee Recognition Guide here!

When we make the time and effort to incorporate these things into the employees and companies processes, we begin to create a real shift in the company culture towards recognition.

Welcome to the new Caroo. We’re here to transform how you care for your employees and create deep connection at work.

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