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How to Increase Initiative Engagement Using Awards

By Erika Rahman
Illustration of Carl the yeti holding a trophy next to a graph trending upwards.

Getting engagement on company initiatives is no easy feat. Oftentimes, you might feel like the goals, projects, and initiatives you worked so hard on fall by the wayside or get lost in the day-to-day shuffle.

Or, much to your dismay, a year-long effort turns into a three-month sprint at the end of the year to say “we did it.”

Either way, getting engagement on company initiatives has historically been full of nagging and prodding to get employees to participate. This means the time HR and leadership should be spending on other things gets eaten up by begging the team to join the effort.

But, that doesn’t have to be the reality. We’re going to teach you how to automate your company initiatives and get the engagement of your dreams...all through easy-to-manage employee awards. Pretty cool, huh?

Let’s jump right in.

What Are Company Initiatives?

Company and HR initiatives are strategies used to solve an organization’s problems or level up their team with people-focused solutions.

We believe that almost all initiatives can be broken down into three categories:

  1. Employee Experience
  2. Employee Engagement
  3. Performance
image with text - Types of HR Initiatives: employee experience, employee engagement, & performance.

Deloitte’s Being Human in Times of Uncertainty study analyzed significant behavioral and emotional shifts across 28,000 participants due to the pandemic and national unrest. The study analyzed methods to convert the employee experience into a human experience inlight of these challenges. They found that today’s humans need three things the most: trust, safety, and connection.

While Employee Experience and Employee Engagement seem similar (and they are!), they both carry different functions. Employee Experience is related to anything that might improve or detract from an employee’s experience from start to finish with your company. Employee Engagement includes all those activities that might affect how engaged each team member is in their work, your organization, and the people around them.

Employee Experience initiatives can include things like remote work, employee policies, onboarding, health and wellness, and more. You can also include training and development in some cases under Employee Experience.

Employee Engagement initiatives might look something like this: developing company culture, compensation planning, recognition and rewards, retention and turnover, and so many other things that contribute to engaged employees.

Performance initiatives include any and all things related to employee and company performance. Things like performance management, remote work, succession planning, organizational structure, and more can all contribute to the success of your team (and your company!).

What are Employee Awards?

image with text - Employee awards are a great way to acknowledge the hard work your employees are doing.

Employee awards are a great way to acknowledge the hard work your employees are doing. When it comes to helping with initiatives, we will get more into that a little bit later.

At Motivosity, we divide awards into two primary categories: Recognition Awards and Achievement Awards.

Recognition Awards are commonly given unprompted or for some sort of team nomination. These include things like Employee of the Month, Team Player awards, and more.

Achievement Awards are action-based. Did you have an employee complete a steps challenge? Or finish the yearly security training? They can submit for the award with proof of completion and an award will be sent their way.

For more information on the best way to track and administer awards or ideas for initiative-less awards, check out this quick guide!

How Awards Help With Initiatives

You might be thinking “Awards and initiatives are both great...but what do they have to do together?!” Well, well, well. Let us tell you!

Using awards is a great way to motivate your employees to take part in something. Whether you tie a few dollars to it or not, people love feeling like their hard work is recognized and appreciated.

image with text - When planning your initiatives, create defined, actionable goals for your employees to take part.

When planning your initiatives, create defined, actionable goals for your employees to take part in – and offer an award upon completion! Your team will have a good time completing the tasks and raking in the award badges, and you will have more time on your hands to focus on the important things, rather than nagging your team to complete their yearly training videos.

With Motivosity, we love to make this easy for our customers. Because awards are built into the platform, you can track and administer awards, and get a ton of great reports about employee engagement in regard to your initiatives. And because our users experience an average 96% usage rate across the board, putting your yearly initiatives in a place where your employees are already interacting makes it that much easier.

Here Are Some Examples of Awards-Based Initiatives

We don’t just want to tell you how you can make your initiatives better…we want to help you get there! Here are some of the most common initiatives that HR and leadership teams are investing in for 2023 and ideas about how you can use awards to get the most out of your team.

Employee Health & Wellness

  • 10,000 Steps: Using a step challenge is a great way to get your team up and moving every single day. Employees can use a step counter, a smartwatch, or any other step-counting device to track their progress.
  • Gym Reimbursement: One of the more uncommon ways you can use awards is to reimburse gym membership fees. When your employees are attending their gym at least 3 days a week (or whatever your baseline might be), recognize their hard work and help them on their path to wellness with gym membership reimbursement.

Training & Development

  • Security Training: It can feel like you’re pulling your hair out trying to get employees to complete the security training. Gamify the process by offering an achievement award when they finish their training/certification.
  • Certification Collector: If part of your employee development initiative includes certifications and learning, then this is the perfect award. Set an achievable goal for a number of certifications completed throughout the year or each quarter. For every employee that meets the goal, send them an award and recognize their new-found knowledge.

Employee Performance

  • Employee of the Month: This is a modern take on a traditional award. Instead of hanging a picture on the wall each month, recognize your top-performing employees within Motivosity where they can collect award badges, save up their rewards, and more.
  • Customer Reviews: This is a great award to help your team work toward better customer service and also start to rack up positive reviews for your organization. Encourage employees through an award to have better interactions with your customers and also ask for reviews and referrals. Award those team members that are specifically named in a positive review.

Company Culture Development

  • Book Club: A great way to work on team building, better culture, and even some learning and development is to start a book club. Use a company award to recognize those folks on your team that put in the time and effort to read the content and took part in meaningful conversations.
  • Cross-Department Interaction: We use an award like this at Motivosity! One of the keys to better culture is interdepartmental relationships. Encourage team members to go to lunch with coworkers or do something outside of the office. Give them an award when they do!

There are so many ways you can use awards to automate and increase engagement in your yearly initiatives. Take some time to create actionable goals for your employees to take part in—and then make sure you award their participation!

We’re so excited to hear all about how you use awards to boost your initiatives over the next year. Tag us on LinkedIn or give us a call to tell us your stories. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up in a shout out!