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3 Best Practices for Next-Phase Recognition

people looking at program By optimizing your program structure and aligning your recognition ecosystem with best practices, you will ensure you’re getting the biggest return on your investment over the long term.

We’ve developed a three-step process to easily identify some of your opportunities, both in your program design and your surrounding recognition culture.

Practice 1: Update recognition goals and KPIs

Now that you’ve been driving your recognition system for a while, it’s a good time to fine-tune your goals, metrics, and expectations from the platform.

Revisit the KPIs and goals you are tracking to measure your program’s success. Most companies track stats like engagement, turnover, and employee satisfaction concurrently with recognition reach and adoption. Consider mapping recognition efforts to your evolving set of metrics to match business objectives. This will give you a great story to tell and offer more insight into the long-reaching benefits provided by your culture of appreciation.

Here are a few questions worth applying to your data:

Is recognition helping people in your workplace to feel included?

Recognition is an ideal place to find data that reflects your culture in real time. Track important DE&I metrics such as perceptions of belonging, inclusion, and equity against recognition data to measure the broader impact of recognition and gratitude on your employees.

Can recognition help you pursue your environmental, social, and governance goals?

Use data from recognition awards and Community Celebrations® to better gauge your ESG efforts’ success and encourage wider adoption and interest.

Is your recognition program providing a better employee experience?

Align recognition numbers with pulse survey results for a clearer picture of the influence of recognition and appreciation on your overall employee experience.

How can recognition ease post-pandemic organizational change?

If your organization is returning to the workplace or maintaining a long-term dispersed workgroup, recognition can be a way to make that adjustment easier and build stronger dispersed teams. Use awards to ease change and combat isolation, and use recognition data to monitor and measure cultural health.

Can you use recognition to ease upcoming mergers, acquisitions, growth, or other operational or culture goals?

Use recognition, Community Celebrations, and Team Awards to prepare your employees for upcoming company growth or changes. Then assess the impact of those changes by looking at data trends and patterns.

Practice 2: Advanced application for recognition data

Your recognition program delivers a treasure trove of data that is otherwise impossible to get at. How people recognize and congratulate one another tells you how they feel, how they interact, and what they value – incredible insights that cannot be easily obtained from any other sources. Be sure you are getting the maximum return on your investment by leveraging this unique dataset in every way possible.

Export recognition data to add context to people dashboards.

Correlate things like recognition reach, frequency, and patterns with other human resources and operational KPIs to understand the influence of recognition on the metrics your company values most.

Use Workhuman data to track progress and report to stakeholders.

Recognition data is a good way to visualize behavior, relationships, and sentiment, allowing you to quantify data that is otherwise difficult to get, such as belonging, support for core values, and cross-team affinity. This data can be used for reporting to internal and external stakeholders such as your board, new SEC DE&I requirements, and annual reports.

Implement new programs based on recognition data.

Because it is so unique, recognition data can form the basis for entirely new programs or initiatives within your organization. Use peer-to-peer recognition data to identify high-potential employees for development. Use recognition award data to pioneer and track crowdsourced, performance based pay programs. Use recognition data and Community Celebrations to understand the experience of intersectional groups within your company and to better meet their needs. The options here are boundless.

Practice 3: Workhuman as a tool for culture management

A seasoned recognition and appreciation platform is also a nuanced tool for culture management. Here are some ways advanced program managers can link recognition practices and data to outcomes and use the Workhuman Cloud® as a lever for culture change.

Underscore new goals and objectives.

Whatever your company’s trajectory, you can use recognition to emphasize and reinforce critical values and areas of the business. This includes establishing new reward reasons for key company rallying cries, new core values, or shared long-term objectives.

Identify and triage emerging problems.

Recognition can be an early warning sign for cultural rumblings or growing morale issues. It can also help you identify at-risk groups or individuals who are isolated or left out of affinity groups.

Ease change management and growing pains.

The success of change management initiatives often comes down to getting linchpin employees on board. These high-impact employees are influential in many areas of your culture, pulling people together and getting them on board with change. Use recognition data to understand who they are to target them with education on upcoming change initiatives. Then use Team Awards to recognize teams at scale and reinforce these shared experiences.

Deepen organizational loyalty and connection.

Recognition is also a powerful way to boost feelings of corporate affinity and in-group identity. Establish everyone-to everyone recognition to promote inclusion across the organization and see how recognition illuminates strengths and weaknesses in your cultural fabric.

Celebrate lives and reinforce employee connections with Life Events® and Service Milestones® – reinforcing in-group membership at crucial, personal moments of reflection. Consider if you should expand your reward options – a higher degree of choice and customization in rewards can have a more prolonged impact on organizational affinity, as employees feel more “seen” as individuals.