Communication and training are key in employee recognition programs
Manager training program launch
If you’re launching an employee recognition program, when it comes to effective communication plans, you’ll need to have separate meetings with managers versus employees.
For the managers, you’ll need to go more into the mechanics of how the employee recognition program will operate, how employees will be nominated or how they’ll receive their awards. You’ll need to do that with the employees as well but it won’t be to the same level as obviously the level of detail you’ll need to go in with the managers.
Meanwhile, have your team do the training session for the managers. Don’t make that just you. It will be a great exposure for your team members to executive management as well as to the whole company, really. It also doesn’t entirely fall on your plate, which is most definitely a good thing.
Employee Recognition Programs re-launch
This is really the same with a re-launch strategy really, although you’ll focus on what’s new and improved if you’re re-launching your employee recognition program. Your communication plan in that instance should cover how employee rewards will be announced.
You know, again, back to your plan that you really need to think this all the way through from an employer nominating someone to an employee being told to the whole company.
Please do not let that be a once a year award ceremony on how you communicate to the employees. Remember, people fall asleep a quarter of the way through award shows. It’s no different in real life as it is at the Oscars or the Emmys. And remember, it needs to be timely. So how do you go about doing that? That needs to be factored in to your employee recognition and rewards plan.
Now, this last bullet point is an interesting one. I’ve not worked at a company that had this employee nomination program. But I’ve spoken with several HR professionals who run employee nomination programs and they speak very highly of those programs.
This is a system whereby employees actually nominate great performance not just the employee’s direct manager. The HR folks I’ve spoken with said it helped to get sort of deadbeat managers on the ball because it looked bad if all nominations for a specific department come from employees versus the manager. How interesting, I thought.
In addition, it also allowed for there to be a lot of buy-in from the whole company because the whole company felt like it was their program, not just something that belonged to management. I would say that this is definitely a goal of mine to roll out this program somewhere in my career so I’ll throw it out to you as well.
Lead by example with employee recognition
So the last step, the last step in our blue print, leading by management example. Now, I am guessing that I’m sort of singing to the choir to this group when I say that the ultimate success of your program hinges significantly on senior management’s commitment to your program.
If you don’t have senior level buy-in, you need to start there before rolling out a program. I hate to say it but without buy-in, it’s really a pretty frugal effort. We’ll talk later about how to get buy-in but definitely, this needs to be managed if it’s not there yet.
First, involve employees, form your team. Next, focus on defining the goals of your employee recognition program and how those goals for your program tie in to the company goals. Next, develop the criteria on how to measure if someone achieves the reward. Next, focus on the communication plan from an employee level to managers, to how awards are announced throughout your company. Finally, get management commitment and have them lead by example meaning have them use the program.
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