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8 Ways to Streamline Your Employee Recognition Program

By Erika Miller
Image grid with headshots of the various contributors to the blog post.

What is one way companies can effectively streamline their employee recognition to keep employees happy in their work?

To help you recognize employee achievements, we asked HR and recruiting professionals and business leaders this question for their best insights. From scheduling it to fostering peer recognition, there are several ideas that may help you more efficiently plan employee recognition for optimal workplace satisfaction.

Here are nine ways to streamline your employee recognition program:

  • Use Automation Tools
  • Give Weekly Shout Outs in Zoom and Slack
  • Foster Peer Recognition
  • Keep It Timely, Appropriate and Public
  • Schedule It
  • Start a Recognition Team
  • Implement an Employee Engagement Platform
  • Celebrate Employees on Social Media
  • Align Recognition to Core Values

Use Automation Tools

We are exploring ways to automate our employee recognition and reward programs as soon as possible. Doing it all manually often leads to employee contributions failing to be appropriately recognized and rewarded, which negatively affects morale.

HR managers will appreciate technologically-enhanced rewards programs and digital nomination forms, since automating these administrative tasks frees up time for other duties — and, employees will appreciate receiving regular statements clearly showing the rewards they’ve earned.

Gwen North, Lake Rabun Hotel

Give Weekly Shout Outs in Zoom and Slack

If your employees do a good job, they want to be recognized for it. Be it a shout out in a weekly Zoom meeting or a comment on a company or team Slack channel, your employees need to see that their contributions are being recognized on a regular basis.

Your best bet is to use modern tools to get employee recognition out there and seen by as many people as possible as often as possible. You’ll find the end result is a happier, more motivated workforce.

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie

Foster Peer Recognition

A simple way to streamline employee recognition is to foster peer recognition and get the whole team involved. This takes no additional effort from HR and goes straight from the source to the intended person.

We accomplish this through an active Slack channel and morning team huddles where we specifically call out great work. This feels authentic and arguably the best way to recognize the work being done. I also encourage the team to keep track of their wins on a win-board to talk about during monthly reviews.

Jenn Christie, Markitors

Keep It Timely, Appropriate and Public

Train all middle and senior managers to recognize their team efforts in a timely, appropriate and public manner.

Timely: The recognition should happen immediately after the achievement of success, and not be reliant on quarterly or yearly appraisals.

Appropriate: Let leaders decide if a simple email is enough or whether financial benefit or bonus is warranted, or any other non-monetary benefit is applicable as per the achievement.

Public: Ideally, the recognition should be done publicly in front of other team members.

Joe Flanagan, VelvetJobs

Schedule It

I see this mistake all the time: Managers and business owners say, "When there is time, I should really celebrate my team more."

Here’s a tip: there will never be time. You have to schedule it. The old saying goes: "What gets scheduled gets done."

Some ways we schedule employee recognition are:

  • Scheduling annual calendar invites for birthdays. (They get a paid day off!)
  • Schedule a reminder for two weeks before to mail them something.
  • Point out big wins and make them public! We have big wins Monday where people point out their (or their teammates’) big wins.
  • Track when they fix something and listen to feedback. We need to recognize when employees work on their development and fix it.
  • CC them when clients love their work. Get them involved in the big picture!

Trevor Rappleye,

Implement an Employee Engagement Platform

Recognition helps to keep employees happy and committed to their work, but recognition doesn't just have to come from the top-down. Develop a culture where all of your employees, not just managers, are encouraged to express their appreciation for the help they receive and the otherwise outstanding work they observe in their coworkers.

Shelby Hiter, TechnologyAdvice

Celebrate Employees on Social Media

Companies can effectively give recognition to their employees by publishing accomplishments on social media and internal platforms as well as verbal appreciation in the office.

Exceeding sales goals or completing a campaign is a great opportunity for employers to celebrate their staff. Not only will they feel valued, but will also motivate employees to consistently work hard.

Corey Walters, Here

Align Recognition to Core Values

What gets recognized, gets repeated. Align your recognition program to living the values so that people are encouraged to think about how they show up at work and they're recognized for living the behaviors that lead to success.

Nicole Fernanandes, Blu Ivy Group

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