15 Best Practices for Recognition Programs

February 13, 2013 Darcy Jacobsen

In the recognition business we talk a lot about best practices. But it isn’t always clear what those best practices are or where they come from.

I’m happy to report that we’ve just put the finishing touches on our Recognition Blueprint, which is a best practices guide we’ve compiled with the help of our Insight Consulting team and a great deal of input from third party studies. No marketing hype, just a brass-tacks list of 15 best practices that can help you design a world-class recognition program.

Please do note that we know not every one of these practices is going to be achievable from the get go. Some of them take time and persistence to implement in different organizations. Nor is it an exhaustive list. As we move into detailed program design there are additional best practices to consider. But our years of experience with our clients has certainly shown that making the effort to incorporate these top level practices into your long term plan is worth it.  Every one of them has yielded phenomenal results in real world environments.

If you’re interested in downloading a copy of the Recognition Blueprint, click here.

Here are the 15 best practices we highlight in the guide:

  1. Create one universal program.
  2. Level the recognition field.
  3. Offer a broad winners’ circle.
  4. Give timely, specific recognition.
  5. Link to company core values & objectives.
  6. Gain support of senior level executive champions.
  7. Invest 1% or more of payroll.
  8. Put the recognition in the palms of their hands.
  9. Provide proportionate, local awards for all regions.
  10. Brand your culture.
  11. Leave cash off the table.
  12. Communicate and train your people.
  13. Make it social. Make it peer-to-peer.
  14. Monitor and measure.
  15. Leverage your crowdsourced data.
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