Communication is a mainstay to the success of any employee recognition program. Continual dialogue with current employees, proper introduction to new hires and the regular articulation of program highlights to senior leadership should be some of the best practices built into a long-lasting, employee recognition program.
Multi-channel communication should be used to reinforce employee recognition initiatives and show new and long-time employees how they can be rewarded for meeting specific benchmarks and demonstrating core values. Town hall meetings, intranet posts, emails, conference calls, and more can go a long way to communicating the program. A special event, held quarterly or every six months, is a great way to remind employees of the recognition program, its initiatives and how it helps support the company’s overall objectives.
Along with the program elements, benefits and rewards, the company culture needs to be strongly tied to communication of the recognition program. Demonstrating the core values and mission of the company properly sets employee expectations and associated behaviors, e.g., participation in initiatives, work performance and goals, productivity. Why? Engagement levels typically rise when employees are familiar with and can relate to the corporate culture and recognition can play a key role.
Communication of the recognition program during the onboarding process is vital for encouraging early participation. Specific examples showing how current employees have gone above and beyond and been rewarded and recognized can help inspire new employees to partake in the program. This is also an excellent time to open up the manager/employee relationship and set goals and benchmarks. It is also critical that employees understand that even though they are new to the organization they can participate from day one. Managers should be encouraged to motivate employees early on, reinforcing company culture along the way and promoting early employee contributions.
Also don’t forget that buy-in from the senior team is paramount to the livelihood of the recognition program. Senior leaders should be aware of the program’s goals and initiatives so they can reinforce those objectives. If your senior leadership isn’t helping reinforce the culture it will be difficult for others in the organization to motivate employees to participate and reap the benefits of the employee recognition program.