Congrats! You've made the decision to design and implement an employee recognition program. In that case, you probably don't need to be sold on the many benefits a well-designed program will bring to your team. But, your recognition program is just like a beautifully-designed product: if nobody knows about it, it will languish in obscurity.
So, you'll need to market it, promote it, and nurture buy-in across the organization. In order to do that you'll need a stellar recognition program communication plan and you'll need to execute that plan using the right tools for the job.
Just as your company has its own individual culture, your company will want to use a unique mix of communication tools based on that culture. What works for you may not gel with another company and vice versa. Let's take a look at a handful of communication tools and vehicles you should consider:
- Employee Handbook
- Internal Newsletter
- Town Halls
- Stand-ups and Team Meetings
- Chat App
If you have an intranet, it likely serves as Grand Central Station for your employees to store important information, communicate with one another, streamline standard processes, and encourage engagement.
Leverage that visibility to share the core tenets of your recognition program! Make sure your mission, vision, and values are reinforced every time an employee visits your hub for any reason.
Create a section on the intranet to encourage peer-to-peer recognition, celebrate recent accomplishments, and recognize years of service. Every opportunity you have to make your program visible will result in buy-in, participation, and contribute to success.
Almost every new team member will get a walkthrough of the employee handbook during their onboarding and training process. Be sure to include information about your employee recognition program in your handbook to get new hires off on the right foot.
Make engagement with your recognition platform a step in the onboarding process itself. Consider having a "Welcome to the Team!" message waiting for the new hire from their boss on the platform to set the right tone and to give them a chance to see a piece of your recognition program in action!
Whether your company still produces a print version of an internal newsletter or it's purely digital and shared via email or an intranet, capture some of that space each week, month, or quarter to spotlight components of your employee recognition program:
- Highlight birthday’s
- Congratulate service anniversaries
- Feature stories on employees who live your values
- Conduct a survey or poll
- Announce special programs and events
Take it a step further and brand your newsletter in a way that reinforces your mission, vision, and values!
Stand-ups and Team Meetings
"Don't tell me. Show me."
Morning stand-ups and regular team meetings are the perfect venue to communicate the value of your recognition program by putting it into practice.
If someone did a great job, celebrate it! Model peer-to-peer recognition to show members of the team how it works. To ensure it's being practiced across the organization, provide managers with a few simple examples or scripts to help them get moving.
Again, your organization's culture is important to consider here as well as how comfortable employees and managers are with public recognition. In some cases, nothing could be more meaningful than an acknowledgement by the CEO in front of the entire company, and in others, nothing could be more terrifying.
But, when an individual or team has made a monumental contribution to the organization, don't waste the opportunity to shine some light on them during a town hall. Not only does it show those employees how much they're valued, it shows everyone in attendance that your organization is a place where contributions are recognized and celebrated!
Whether your company uses Slack, Teams, or another real-time chat application, find a few ways to integrate your recognition program and your culture of recognition into the app.
Create a #celebrate channel to share peer-to-peer and service recognition milestones. Allow team members to pat each other on the back and share their wins.
Be sure to pin a link to your employee handbook or a page on your intranet with more details about your employee recognition program to make it easy for team members to learn more.