Answers to Your Top 5 Recognition Questions

July 18, 2017 Sarah Payne

As a follow-up to WorkHuman 2017, we hosted a webinar a few weeks ago around 5 Tips for Launching a Social Recognition Program. Derek Irvine, vice president, client strategy and consulting, and Lynette Silva, senior recognition strategist, led the discussion, which generated a ton of great questions from listeners.

Lynette graciously offered to answer five of those questions below on budgeting for recognition, the science of turnover, “non-wired” workers, and setting up your program for long-term success.

We hope these answers are helpful as you think about how recognition could be positioned more strategically in your organization.

Q: In what ways have experts been able to convince organizations to move to the 1% of budget, especially in an environment of cutting costs?

Many companies are spending a great deal on employee recognition activities today, but these efforts are often unaccounted for, not fully understood, or misaligned to larger organizational goals. Uncovering these recognition efforts and consolidating into a single strategic program can often result in a net-neutral result. Another method to achieve investment of 1% of base pay for budget for social recognition is to look at your annual bonus pool. Shaving just a small percentage of investment in the annual bonus and applying to social recognition lets you distribute that annual bonus amount throughout the year, much more closely tied to the events or outcomes being recognized. This helps sustain the employee engagement boost throughout the year instead of limiting that positive effect to the 4 to 6 weeks following the bonus distribution.

Q: How are you getting the numbers behind probability of leaving?

This question was in reference to the below information shared from the results of a Globoforce customer. The Globoforce WorkHuman Research Institute® partners with our customers to help them understand the impact of recognition activity on key business goals. The probability of leaving in this case was based on provided voluntary turnover data correlated to recognition activity. Stay tuned for a full post on this from Chris French, vice president, customer success, who will share more on our data journey with customers.

Q: Social recognition is often tied to a technology. How do we integrate social recognition into the lives of our “non-wired” workforce who do not have regular access to computers, tablets, phones, etc.?

Recognition is for everyone, and recognition systems need to support all employees in creating and actively participating in a culture of recognition in the organization. Globoforce offers a free, fully integrated native mobile app for people to access the full social recognition experience via their personal devices as well. Kiosk computers offering system access in breakrooms or on manufacturing floors also offer easy access for employees. Additionally, paper-based nomination processes can facilitate the actual nomination process, and presentations of certificates with all relevant information can be provided to those employees who are “non-wired” or work fully offline.

For all employees, regardless of how they work, integrating more recognition activity into daily activities – 1:1 meetings, start-of-shift meetings, team meetings, etc. – is critical to creating a culture of recognition. The system itself quickly becomes a terrific repository of actions, behaviors, and outcomes worthy of recognition. Pull those stories out of the system and share them verbally. Post certificates to breakroom bulletin boards and celebrate in that way.

Q: How do you sustain a program after excitement of newness wears off? Do programs have a shelf life?

Social recognition is highly self-sustaining in that it creates a “virtuous circle” of people noticing, celebrating, and appreciating the great work in others when they are themselves recognized, too. System-based push communications – targeted based on recognition received by your friends and colleagues – draws people back into the system to congratulate their friends and recognize others, too. With Globoforce, our success relies on your success. We are committed to a partner relationship with our customers to ensure programs sustain excitement and use over time.

Q: Very basically, how do we start this? We have very one-way thinking directors. Do we just make the plan and implement as other directors get on board?  Just not sure how to “make it happen.”

Building a strong business case for recognition is a good place to start. Understand the business goals or pain points for your directors and show them how strategic, social recognition can support them in achieving these goals, including examples of ROI realized by similar organizations in achieving similar goals. Uncover existing recognition efforts in the organization and demonstrate the savings that can be achieved through consolidation, governance, and oversight. If necessary, yes, begin with committed groups in the organization, which will let you quickly demonstrate ROI and success to bring on laggard groups.

Do you have other questions on how to launch a recognition program? Leave a comment below – we’d be happy to discuss more!

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