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Posted on 19 April 2023

6 Common Mistakes of Employee Recognition Programmes

3 minute read

Whilst many businesses may think they have effective measures in place to ensure their people feel valued, common approaches to employee recognition programmes are often outdated and inconsistent, resulting in poor impact. Occasional shoutouts in company emails or pats-on-the-back during annual performance reviews are no longer meeting the mark for employees who, just like customers, are seeking a world-class experience from the organisation.   

Businesses must now crucially adapt their offer in line with shifting employee priorities. Inadequate recognition is now considerably damaging workforce productivity and retention, with nearly half (44%) of employees leaving their current role due to this. Employee recognition programmes must no longer be seen as a ‘nice to have’ but a fundamental engagement tool – HR teams need to urgently refresh their approach.   

However, to deliver meaningful recognition, employers need to look beyond exceeded KPIs and holistically celebrate all corners of performance. This is particularly important for engaging and retaining remote and deskless teams. Our connections with businesses looking to re-examine their recognition strategy often highlight a trend around the frequent mistakes HR teams are making.   

So, where are businesses going wrong? From global organisations to growing start-ups, the six factors of ineffective, low-impact employee recognition programmes are:  

1. Inconsistent.

To maximise impact, recognition must be delivered frequently and consistently. Traditional approaches are often ad-hoc, where a privileged few are recognised sporadically. Inconsistent programme frameworks not only result in minimal impact but quickly lose buy-in from both managers and employees, leading to poor engagement.  

2. Manual.

Whilst some organisations have great recognition programmes in place, delivering these manually places significant demand on already stretched teams which presents a major barrier for programme success. By adopting a recognition platform, these manual and time-consuming processes are removed and a consistent experience can be delivered. 

3. Misaligned.

To maximise team performance and promote an authentic workplace culture, recognition must align closely with department KPIs and business objectives, as well as company values. This gives purpose and direction to recognition and encourages desired behaviour across the whole business. Plus, to effectively deliver on the company mission, teams must be celebrated for how they have contributed to its success.   

 4. Outdated.  

We know the value employees bring to the business goes beyond exceeded KPIs. Yet, this is where traditional recognition stops. To truly value and engage teams, HR leaders must take a more agile, holistic approach and recognise their people for collaboration, innovation, creativity, and championing company values.  

 5. Inaccessible.  

Traditional approaches to recognition are often limited in their scale of impact. With modernised ways of working, businesses must refresh how they recognise and value their remote, deskless and disconnected teams. Recognition must be delivered and accessible to all, via desktop and mobile technology, so every corner of the workforce feels included and valued.   

 6. Separate.   

Another common mistake is delivering recognition separately to other employee engagement tactics. To maximise impact, recognition needs to be embedded within the whole People experience, streamlined into the delivery of internal communications, benefits and reward. Delivering recognition programmes separately often results in poor engagement and team buy-in.  

Want to set your brand apart with exceptional employee recognition?

Check out our latest one-stop-shop guide on the 7 Steps to Build a World-Class Culture of Recognition for how to do just this. 

Or, chat to us about how Rippl can transform your culture and engagement strategy. 

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