July 10th, 2017 | Sterling

Employee Satisfaction: The Recognition Program for Positive Company Culture

Recognition for Positive Culture

Your employees happiness correlates with their work output and may help determine how likely they are to remain in that position. No wonder, being that most employees spend more time in the office than they do at home. That being said, now more than ever, people will jump from workplace to workplace until they are satisfied with their friendly coworkers, perceived appreciation and sense of pride in their work. In order for employers to hold on to both their bright-eyed young millennials and their senior management, it is vital that their employees feel like an integral part of the team, actively contributing to the company’s success.

Sterling Talent Solutions recently hosted a webinar, Employee Recognition: What an Award Winning Program REALLY Looks Like. Mara Notarfonzo, the Director of HR Operations and Total Rewards for the Canadian Automobile Association, shared the best practices for increasing employee satisfaction. The key, she said, is in rewards and recognition. But we’re not talking a shout out at the team meeting or a “great job!” e-mail; we’re talking an open and collaborative program of recognizing associates who demonstrate corporate beliefs. The result? More widespread participation and engagement *hint hint* higher retention rates, better performance and happier employees.

One CAA employee voiced what recognition in the workplace means to him: “Recognition motivates me to want to do better. It is not about the money, appreciation or public credit. It is about reaffirming that I have made a positive contribution.”

The program is based on a point system – the more good work you do, the more you are recognized and  the more points you get. When enough points are accumulated, employees get to choose from a wide array of options in their company catalogue. The more points accumulated, the better the purchase—a good incentive for many employees. Better yet, for CAA, the recognition program has heightened retention rates and has revolutionized company culture. The program is now highlighted on their career site and has attracted positive attention from other companies and potential candidates.

Luckily, Mara laid out an action plan so we can all get in on this miracle program:

Link Your Recognition Program with Your Company Values

Positive behaviors that drive company culture deserve recognition. If your company’s values are being kind, being collaborative and being innovative, reward employees who demonstrate these values on a daily basis. This provides real life examples of this value and an opportunity to inspire others to model the desired behaviour. Hand in hand, this is an opportunity to move disparate programs into one consolidated program.

Find the Right Vendor

Partner with a vendor whose values are in line with your business’ beliefs and culture. They will know what works and what doesn’t and can guide your new program in the right direction. Choosing the right vendor can help you reflect your company’s values at all levels, make the program user-friendly and interactive.

Survey Your People

Your team may know a lot, but it is always a good idea to verify your assumptions when creating your program. It is important to note that some people prefer private rather than public recognition, or that certain types of recognition like a gift card do not resonate with everyone.

Design Your Program Around Your Company’s Needs

A social news feed on your internal website allows for increased participation from your employees regardless of location or job.  Though sending a quick e-mail is no sweat, employees can acknowledge one of their outstanding coworkers with a shout out on the feed with liking and commenting abilities that update throughout the day, expanding reach from within one department to the whole company. When choosing a vendor, it is important that they have the ability to mark a message private for not only individual’s preference but for when someone deserves recognition during a confidential project.

Company Wide Participation

With HR as an enabler, your program design team should incorporate people from all lines of business. Find people from around the company to work in tandem while developing the program. Your diverse team will act as a sounding board representing various departments and levels’ viewpoints. This will increase interest throughout the program’s creation and boost adoption upon the program’s launch. Once the program is launched, feel free to incentivize some friendly departmental competition to get people involved and earn more recognition points.

Build Buy-In Pre-Launch

Senior management needs more than predictions; they need real facts and numbers. Show your executives the correlation between recognition and performance and how the goals of the program align with business values. Share that this program won’t disrupt your bottom line: it can be a cost-neutral project without being cheap. Look for your company’s hidden cost savings under office supplies or miscellaneous where a lot of money is spent on gift cards or team lunches in HR initiatives. By reallocating these costs and dividing it by the number of your employees you will have more money to spend on this program than you think.

Make Your Recognition Program as Visible as Possible

Roadshows and department meetings are both effective ways to get the word out. Reiterate that this was not an HR project but was created from the ground up by employees throughout the company with everyone’s best interest in mind. Post on your internal website and throughout your office before the launch to increase exposure.

Track Your Progress

Conduct research to determine how your program has been received. For CAA, the program has gained tremendous participation since the first year and continued to grow. By tracking each employee’s connection between recognition and performance, CAA was able to determine a moderately high correlation between participation in the program and increased performance.

Whether your current recognition program has all of your employees excited to show up to work or if your company culture is lacking that extra something, we hope this has given you some insight into the importance of employee recognition and inspired you to make some strategic changes. Going the extra mile for your employees is always worth it. To learn more details about the award-winning employee recognition program, listen to the On-Demand version of the webinar.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.