A fun, well-planned short term promotion can energize (or re-energize) your recognition program.
Whether you’re in the planning stage for a new recognition program or trying to bring back the excitement for an existing one, marketing, promoting and communicating is the spark for your program to catch fire with your employees.
While having a well thought-out communication plan is one of the key elements of a successful program, it is also just as important to constantly and consistently market the program to the people you want to use it – your employees.
This is where a short term promotion can be a huge help. Short term promotions can be critical to re-engage employees, drive usage or elevate program awareness. This short spike can be the foundation on which you can grow your entire program over the long term.
Here are some ideas for where to start in creating a promotional campaign:
- Set specific goals and objectives.
What are you trying to achieve and how will you define success? How will you measure an increase in participation? Promotions are designed to reach something real, measurable and specific.
- Make a finite plan.
The most important question – how long will the promotion last? What is the budget? Who will be the champion for the promotion? (This should be a key influencer within your organization).
What will your messaging look like and how frequent will it be? You should always use your program’s branding to give it a consistent look.
- Choose your team.
Who will be on your promotion team? It’s a good idea to have a good mix of people from different departments in your organization, as well as managers who have influence and are empowered to implement the plan. Upper management buy-in is critical.
- Think strategies and tactics.
Program elements. What tools will you use to drive the campaign? Create a theme. Create a message. You may want to use a combination of social media, printed materials, contests, celebrations, formal and informal company-wide events and promotional giveaways of program-branded items and swag. If possible, create a video to build excitement about your promotion. Then plan a formal and fun kickoff event.
- Think measurement.
Measure and analyze as frequently as you can. Do they match your initial goals to see if it was successful. What worked, and what should be done differently next time. A survey of your employees can give you a lot of constructive feedback.
- Keep it going.
Your promotion may have only lasted a couple weeks or a month, but you may look at using regular monthly or bi-monthly marketing through communications or events to continue to keep the recognition program top of mind. Keep monitoring and measuring participation. It may make sense to increase marketing periodically throughout the year.
In planning your promotion activities, remember that the overarching purpose of a recognition program to create and perpetuate a culture in which employees feel appreciated and engaged.
Great marketing and promotions activities will help drive greater participation and excitement about the program, which will in turn lead to greater employee retention and productivity, making your company a better place to work.