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What Are RPI’s 7 Recognition Best Practices? A step by step guide to how to do Recognition right

Posted By David Layman, Monday, September 26, 2016

High performing, engaged employees are vital to an organization’s success. Years of research has proven that employee performance is greatly impacted by employee recognition. Recognition drives engagement and results in more productivity, higher retention and creates a culture where your people support the organization’s goals, mission and vision. It also affects your organization’s ability to attract and recruit the best prospects. Through research, RPI has developed Best Practice Standards that help set up and implement a recognition program that gets results. These best practices work together. Here is an overview of the 7 Best Practice Standards and how they work.

Standard 1: Recognition Strategy

This is the foundation of your recognition program. This standard is about explaining your goals, vision and philosophy behind what your program should accomplish. It also serves to create buy-in for the program, and how it fits with your company’s goals, culture and mission statement. It also sets out how day-to-day, informal and formal recognition will encourage and reward the behaviors that will drive success.

Standard 2: Management Responsibility

This standard establishes who will lead the program, and ensures buy-in from senior leadership and that managers understand the ideas behind recognition, what the outcomes should be and encourage participation. A recognition program is doomed without senior and manager level support. It works best for these leaders to set the example so that all employees recognize the importance of participating in the program. For this reason, senior leaders should also participate in setting up how the program works in terms of policies, procedures and measurement of the program.

Standard 3: Recognition Program Measurement

Constant and consistent measurement of recognition programs is essential to find out if what you are doing is effective. You should measure how well the program is being implemented, what is the level of participation, has the program impacted the level of employee satisfaction and how has the program affected employee productivity and effectiveness.

Standard 4: Recognition Program Communication Plan

You can have the best recognition program in the world, but it will never be successful without a well-planned communications strategy. The communications plan should cover all parts of your recognition strategy, including goals, promotions, events, celebrations and key contacts for the recognition program. The plan should also spell out what tools you will use to communicate program information to participants (employees). These will certainly include emails, videos and other web content, for example on a company intranet site. They also could include more traditional communications such as bulletin boards, posters, letters, flyers, brochures, manager tool kits and employee handbooks.

Standard 5: Recognition Training

To make a recognition program effective, employees need to understand the value and importance of recognition. They also need to know how to give recognition. This is especially important for managers and leadership. Helpful recognition training opportunities could include individual learning, web-based learning modules, e-learning, manager tool kits, printed materials, video presentations and new-employee orientation training. RPI members can participate in Recognition Fundamentals training or take the Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) training. RPI’s Recognition Fundamentals is an overview course of Recognition Best Practices developed from years of implementation and research. This course will help you create awareness and better understand the important role of recognition in the workforce. This online course is an hour long and includes a new Learning Guide for you to implement tools and strategies today. Register here.

Standard 6: Recognition Events and Celebrations

Events and celebrations are not only great opportunities to formally recognize employees, they also help create excitement about your recognition program. These should be fun, unique and meaningful experiences that draw the interest of employees and create a buzz. A great celebration year after year can generate excitement and anticipation before the event and also create an afterglow after the event has passed.

Standard 7: Program Change and Flexibility

Change is the only thing that is constant. Times change, employees change, trends come and go. Every recognition program must have the flexibility to institute changes to maintain effectiveness. Programs can become stale and lose their excitement if they stay the same year in and year out. As you continue to measure and evaluate your program over time, you will find some things that work and others that don’t. Maybe portions of your program need tweaking or some may need to be eliminated entirely.

Organizations also change over time. Make sure your program continues to reflect your company’s culture, values, objectives, needs and goals. Senior leaders should regularly review recognition programs and activities to make sure they still align with the company’s culture and objectives.

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