Recognition – An Analysis Part 2


The first article on Monday, looked at what a recognition programme is and why you should have one in your organisation. Today we look at the success factors of the programme.

Recognition should be given frequently and on a timely basis

People like to be recognised. Employees who are recognised will be inspired to higher achievement thereby assisting the organisation to achieve its goals

Praise is a very effective tool and should be used extensively. Recognition must be immediate. Late recognition can be interpreted as a sign that the contribution, and the person who made the contribution, are not valued by the organisation.

Recognition should not be reserved solely for exceptional achievements

What is recognised will be repeated. Giving recognition only for exceptional results or achievements limits the value that recognition can have in an organisation. Exceptional achievements are often the result of skilled or experienced people who have learned and developed the skills. Recognition will facilitate this learning curve if it is given to people who display effort and behaviour that the organisation values. Employees should be recognised for their efforts and behaviours as well as for the result of their work.

All employees should be eligible for recognition.

All employees, regardless of where they are in the organisation, are critical to the success of the organisation. Making everyone eligible for recognition, and granting it to everyone allows an organisation to motivate, support and encourage everyone.

Recognition should be given to individuals and teams for accomplishments on and off the job.

Individuals and teams are important to an organisation. Some achievements will always be the result of the work and effort of an individual, and other achievements due to the work of teams. The contributions of both should be recognised.

Employee’s achievements outside of the work environment can be important to the organisation. Developing skills, gaining qualifications or undertaking community activities can enhance the organisation, and its contribution to the community. Consideration should therefore be given to including such achievements in the recognition programme.

Recognition should be meaningful and sincere.

Recipient’s preferences should be considered when selecting awards or arranging award ceremonies. Awards presentations should be personalised with the presenter having a clear understanding of the recipient’s achievement, why it merits recognition and how it relates to the organisation’s goals.

Recognition should be granted publicity where appropriate.

For recognition programmes to have impact and value and to ensure equity and transparency the presentation of awards should be well publicised. Honouring champions and celebrating successes builds morale and motivation. It also increases the number of occasions when organisations can demonstrate the value of employee participation.

The value of recognition diminishes if non-performance issues are not addressed

Through a recognition programme an organisation demonstrates its commitment to encouraging employees to attain performance excellence. Therefore if the organisation does not address the issue of non-performance employees can loose confidence in the process, or worse in the organisation.

Critical Success Factors.

Mobilise commitment and support from everyone in the organisation.

Ask employees and management at all levels what they want to recognise and how they want this to be done. Don’t expect to get total agreement and support. The main objective is to gain a consensus on what should happen, then ensure that it does.

Ensure management and employee support, ownership and accountability

Design recognition programmes that are visible, funded, and transparent and sustainable. Balance the interests of all stakeholders, employees, managers and customers. Train managers and employees to use the recognition programme.

Involve all management levels in the recognition programme. Create activities and programmes that even front line supervisors can use. Create awards that managers can receive. Celebrate managers who receive customer thanks or letters of appreciation. Emphasise the importance of recognition by asking managers to report on recognition activities during management meetings. Recognise managers who support and practice recognition activities.

Recognition should be timely.

Recognition should be timely and relevent

Involve employees in recognition. Include them in activities to set award criteria. Create activities and awards in which employees can nominate and select recipients individually or with colleagues and managers. Ask employees who win awards to help select other award winners. Invite employees who have been recognised frequently to be more involved in the recognition programme.

Next time we will look at the types of programmes that can be developed.

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