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The Recognize Book

Getting Everyone on Board

Change is inevitable in any organization, but it continues to plague organizations and torment staff. While some thrive with change, most do not. The status quo, when interrupted, requires organizations to adapt to sometimes unexpected economic and political changes.

Especially when, in your company culture, change is perceived as negative. This can be caused by the botched execution of previous downsizing or scaling. Nevertheless, adapting to change is a crucial skill for organizations to master to achieve long-term growth and success. Just always have values to fall back on, as outlined in the book Core Value Equation.

Keys to Successful Change Management 

Clearly Outline the Benefits

Before approaching leadership, ensure you have a clear and compelling case for the change. Outline the benefits, such as increased productivity, cost savings, improved customer satisfaction, and any other key metrics that will demonstrate the value of the change.

Communicate Effectively

Clear and consistent communication is key to ensuring employees understand the reasoning behind the change and their role in the process. This can include regular meetings, updates, and feedback sessions.

Involve Employees in the Process

Giving employees a sense of ownership and responsibility in the new program can help to increase buy-in and engagement. This can include involving employees in the planning and implementing of a recognition program and providing opportunities for them to share their thoughts and ideas.

Provide Training and Support

Change can be difficult, and employees may need additional support to adapt to the new way. This can include providing training, resources, and support to help employees understand the change and how to navigate the new recognition program.

Be Transparent and Honest

Be open and honest with employees about the change, including any potential challenges or risks. This can help build trust and credibility with employees and make it easier for them to accept the change.

Celebrate Successes

Acknowledge and celebrate small wins along the way to help employees see progress and keep them motivated.

Monitor Progress and Make Adjustments

Regularly monitor the progress of the change and make adjustments as needed. This can include gathering feedback from employees and using it to refine the change process.

Successfully managing change can be challenging for any organization, but incorporating recognition into each step can make the transition smoother and more rewarding. By recognizing and rewarding employees who embrace and lead change, you can create a culture of innovation and adaptability. From defining the purpose of the change to providing ongoing support and feedback, recognizing employees for their contributions can help make the change process more meaningful and engaging for everyone involved. Thriving in today’s fast-paced world means making recognition a key component of your change management strategy.

Selling Ideas in the Workplace as an Employee

Imagine a workplace where every idea is heard and given a fair chance, innovation flourishes, and progress is made at every turn. It takes a combination of persuasive communication, data-driven evidence, and a clear understanding of the organization’s goals and objectives to win over the hearts and minds of leadership. In this section, we will discuss the key strategies to effectively sell your ideas to leadership in the workplace and drive real change. From building a compelling case to understanding the decision-making process, we will explore the key elements to help you turn your ideas into reality. 

So, whether you’re a new employee looking to make your mark or an experienced leader seeking to drive change, this is for you. Are you ready to take your ideas to the next level? Let’s dive in.

What Does it Mean to Sell an Idea?

If your organization doesn’t give employee recognition often or fairly, you might need to educate your leaders about the importance of recognition. To do this, show them how an employee recognition program can help them achieve their values, overcome challenges, and reach their goals. Use data to back up your arguments and make it easy for them to understand. 

Fortunately, there’s an abundance of that:

  • In 2016, Gallup found that people who don’t feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to quit.
  • Aon Hewitt found that turnover was reduced by 31% at companies with a strong culture of employee appreciation compared to businesses with weaker recognition programs.
  • In a recent study we conducted, 64.4% of people agreed that they feel less burned out when they are recognized.

Tips to Sell an Idea

Research and Prepare

Before presenting your idea for staff recognition awards to leadership, research and gather all the necessary information and data to support your proposal. This can include market research on the effectiveness of recognition programs, financial projections on the awards’ potential return on investment (ROI), and statistics on the benefits to employee engagement and retention. Look at your own employee happiness survey or lack thereof. 

By having a solid understanding of the potential impact of the recognition awards, you will effectively communicate the benefits to leadership and increase the chances of gaining their support. Additionally, it is important to understand the costs associated with the awards, including budget considerations and how the program will be implemented and administered. This will demonstrate to leadership that you have thoughtfully considered the program’s feasibility and are prepared to take the necessary steps to make it a success. Recognize has resources on its website that can simplify the process.

Tailor Your Approach

It’s important to tailor your approach when selling an idea to leadership, as different leaders may have different preferences and communication styles. For example, if the idea is related to staff recognition programs, focusing on the potential benefits for employee morale and retention may be beneficial. 

If you do not have concrete numbers and Gallup reporting isn’t convincing for your leadership, focus on the reach of a recognition program. Recognition programs done online can reach all staff no matter where they are. This can include highlighting how the program can increase employee engagement, motivation, and productivity.

Key Statistics on the Impact of Recognition on Employee Engagement

The correlation between employee engagement and recognition is evident, as most employees have reported that receiving recognition for their performance significantly impacts their level of engagement.

  • 79% of workers say an increase in recognition rewards would make them more loyal to their employer.
    • Recognition is a two-way street, and when organizations take the time to recognize and appreciate their employees, it can lead to a mutual sense of respect and value.
  • Companies with a highly engaged workforce are 21% more profitable.
    • Companies with engaged employees make more money. When employees are engaged, they are happier, more productive, and more likely to stay with the company.
  • 69% of employees say recognition and rewards would keep them in their current job.
    • On the other hand, when employees feel undervalued and under-appreciated, they may become disengaged and start looking for other job opportunities.

It may also be helpful to provide examples of similar programs that have been successful in other organizations and their positive impact on their employees. A good example is Cisco, a Digital Communications company. Cisco’s “Connected Recognition” program allows employees to send e-cards to their colleagues to recognize their accomplishments. The program has successfully promoted a culture of appreciation and recognition within the organization. Google also has a peer-to-peer recognition program called “gThanks” that allows employees to recognize their colleagues for their contributions

To convince the leadership team of the importance of employee recognition, it is important to show how it can solve the problems they are currently facing. While their focus is on operational and financial aspects of the business, highlighting how recognition can improve employee retention, morale, and productivity can help to get their attention. By tailoring your approach to the specific needs and interests of leadership, you can connect your case for recognition to their priorities and challenges. You can make a strong case that will resonate with their goals and interests.

Communicate Clearly

Clear and consistent communication is key to ensuring that leadership understands the reasoning behind your proposal and their role in the process. This can include regular meetings, updates, and feedback sessions where you discuss the benefits of the recognition program. However, setting regular meetings and having feedback sessions would mean having a committee.  We’ll delve into the specifics of setting up a committee in the next section.

Recognition Cheat Sheet

Here are some steps to help you create a successful program:

Make Your Vision Clear

The success of a recognition program comes from a clear vision. To develop this, align your company values and goals with the recognition program’s structure. In the below points, we’ll go over questions to consider. These will help you develop your recognition roadmap.

You can also consider the following questions during your brainstorming sessions:

  • What are the core values and goals of your organization that you want to emphasize through the recognition program?
  • What challenges and pain points are your employees facing that you want to address through the recognition program?
  • What benefits do you want to offer to employees who participate in the recognition program?

By answering these questions, you can create a meaningful and relevant vision for your employees. You can then use this vision to guide the development of your recognition program, from selecting rewards and recognition activities to designing the program’s structure and rules. By having a clear vision, you can create a program that truly resonates with your employees and drives positive outcomes for your organization.

Include Everyone

To have a successful employee recognition program, it’s important to include everyone. When employees feel they have a fair chance of being recognized, they are more likely to engage and participate in the program. Recognize employees for various achievements, like meeting goals or showing teamwork, to ensure everyone has a fair chance at recognition.

Recognize includes an Employee Incentive Program that allows admins to add challenges to their employee programs by assigning tasks to themselves or others.

This approach helps ensure that no one is overlooked and provides multiple opportunities for employees to be recognized. 

Reach Staff on Mobile

Additionally, it’s important to create a recognition program accessible to all employees, regardless of their position or department.  Recognize allows employees to nominate their peers and for leaders to review and approve awards from anywhere. This makes it easy for employees to stay connected and engaged, even in remote or distributed teams. The user-friendly interface and intuitive design streamline the recognition process and ensure deserving employees receive recognition promptly and efficiently.

For frontline employees, or those who do not have a work email, here are the options:

  • Use SMS or messaging apps
  • Use social media portals like Workplace by Meta to engage with workers.
  • Provide physical recognition like badges or certificates.
  • Use digital recognition tools like Recognize to reward workers.
  • Host regular check-ins to provide feedback and recognition.

Craft Out a Budget

Healthy budgets for employee recognition programs, particularly for companies with a few hundred people, will cost around $10,000 for rewards alone, but it is worth it. Increases in productivity and peer engagement are just two benefits. To create an effective employee recognition program, you need to figure out the costs involved. Try reviewing your own out budget with the Recognize easy calculator. Plus there’s more! The budget should consider the cost of awards, certificates, and other expenses. Once you have calculated the costs, review and adjust them if necessary to ensure the program is sustainable. The Recognize Team, or your partner of choice, can help set up a budget with swag and rewards.

Test Groups First are Okay

To ensure your employee recognition program is effective and well-liked, you can test it with a small group of diverse employees from different departments and levels of the organization. This can help you identify and fix any problems before launching the program to everyone. Don’t forget to ask for feedback from the test group and make any necessary changes before the official launch. This will ensure the program is successful and keeps employees motivated and engaged.

Create a Committee

Creating a committee is one way to ensure an employee recognition program works well. The committee can ensure that the program meets the needs of everyone involved, like employees, managers, and leaders.

To create a fair and inclusive recognition program, it’s a good idea to have a committee that includes a diverse, cross-functional group of employees and managers from different departments and levels of the organization. This group can work together to create and implement the program, as well as regularly review and update the program to meet the organization’s changing needs. See below for more on committees.

Specify Particular Qualities

When creating an employee recognition program, you should choose specific actions or qualities you want to reward. This could include meeting or exceeding sales goals, going above and beyond in customer service, or being a good team player. Doing this lets your employees know exactly what they need to do to succeed.

Track and Measure the Results

Recognize app provides a reporting feature that allows administrators to track and measure the usage and effectiveness of the app. The reports can provide insights into various metrics, such as the number of nominations submitted, the awards given, and the most frequently recognized employees.

By leveraging the insights provided by the reporting feature, organizations can make data-driven decisions and continuously improve their recognition programs to meet the needs of their employees better.

Proper Survey Systems for Effective Recognition

An employee survey system is a structured process for collecting and analyzing feedback from employees on their work, manager, and the overall organization. This system may include regular surveys, eNPS, one-on-one meetings, and performance evaluations. The goal of an employee feedback system is to improve communication, increase employee engagement, and foster a positive work environment. It can also provide valuable insights for leadership to make informed decisions about the company, employee satisfaction, and areas for improvement. 

Implementing an Employee Survey System

The implementation of an employee feedback system can be daunting, but with careful planning and execution, it can have a major impact on the success of a business. Here are the steps to follow to implement an effective employee feedback system:

Define Your Objectives

Identify the goals you want to achieve through the feedback system and determine how you will measure success.

58% of professionals say they wish their employer surveyed more.


Communicate With Employees

Let employees know you are implementing a feedback system and explain why it is important. Encourage employees to participate by answering questions and providing constructive feedback.

Gather Results

Collect data from employees regularly, either through an online survey, one-on-one meetings, or group discussions. Ensure the feedback process is anonymous and that employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions.

Analyze and Act on the Data

Review the feedback data and identify trends or patterns. Use the information to make informed decisions and to create action plans for improvement.

Provide Follow-up

After collecting feedback, follow up with employees and let them know how their feedback was used. The follow-up process can be done through one-on-one meetings, company-wide updates, or newsletters. This step is critical. If nothing is done after the survey, you cannot do another survey the next year. If you do repeated surveys with no change, staff lose trust.

Best Practices for Employee Recognition

Resources on Changing Admins or Team Members

When managing an employee recognition program, it’s important to have a plan in case of personnel changes that could affect the program’s effectiveness. To ensure a smooth transition, have training materials, presentations, and videos that explain the program’s goals and how to use it. Check out Powerpoint templates and Canva, or check the Recognize communication resources. Also, have backup resources, like templates and guidelines, to keep the program running smoothly. 

Keep Managers Involved

To have a successful employee recognition program, managers are mission critical. They must observe and acknowledge employee efforts to ensure the recognition process is consistent with the company goals. When managers are involved in the recognition program, it promotes a culture of appreciation and motivation at work. They are to set an example.

The Recognize app has a Direct Report feature that lets managers view and track the recognition activity of their team members and send personalized messages. This feature helps managers stay informed and provide regular feedback and support to their employees.

Maintain Relevance

Ensuring your employee recognition program stays relevant and up-to-date is essential for its success. This means regularly evaluating the program and making changes or adjustments to align with the changing needs of employees and the company as a whole. Keeping the program relevant will help ensure that employees continue to see the value and importance of being recognized and remain engaged and motivated. To maintain relevance, consider the following best practices: regularly gather feedback from employees, stay up-to-date with industry trends and developments, and regularly review and assess the program’s success.

Ensure it’s in Line With Company Values

The program should reflect the company’s mission, vision, and culture. Aligning the recognition program with the company’s values helps to create a consistent message and reinforces the importance of employee recognition.  Recognize allows organizations to customize their recognition awards to reflect the company’s values, goals, and culture. This ensures that the recognition program is aligned with the company’s overall mission and vision.

Start Early, Start Small, and Learn as You Go

Begin with a simple, straightforward program; you can avoid overwhelming employees and costly mistakes while demonstrating a commitment to employee well-being and recognition. For example, recognizing a random peer-to-peer winner each month with a gift card and mention in the company newsletter is a great start.

Starting small also provides opportunities for feedback and improvement and allows for gradually introducing new elements or features as the program grows. This helps keep the program fresh and engaging for employees while ensuring its long-term success by making tweaks and improvements.

Lastly, starting small allows you to grow the budget over time. Start without any rewards or points. This allows you to learn from the badging and encourage people to recognize with intrinsic motivation – they just want to say thanks. Then, over time add to the budget. Add features and awards. Know where you want to go and start small.

Do it Every Day

Practicing employee recognition daily is one way to build a habit of recognition in your company. This could mean setting up a daily for employees to recognize someone who has helped them during the week using the task assignment feature on our platform. When it posts to Microsoft Teams or Slack, staff see it every day, making it part of your organization’s DNA.

Make it Specific and Timely

When managers take a long time to recognize employees, it communicates the manager has devalued the process. It’s important for managers to appreciate employees quickly and have a system in place to do this. Company Admins need systems in place to enable managers within a tap or a click to send a recognition from their main tools. By doing this, admins are sure the recognitions from managers are occurring on the spot.

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