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Posted on 20 February 2023

6 Elements of an Effective Employee Recognition Scheme

3 minute read

An effective employee recognition scheme is a fundamental tool in boosting workforce engagement, productivity, and retention. But, too often, approaches to recognition are traditional and outdated, resulting in inconsistent and poor impact. In an intense market, recognition schemes must be reimagined to enhance employer brand, employee engagement and the overall bottom-line.

Shifts in employee priorities are now pushing recognition to the top of the agenda. With nearly half (44%) of employees leaving their last role due to inadequate recognition, it’s time HR teams re-examine how they maximise and retain their most critical asset.

But what defines an effective employee recognition scheme? Here, we explore the six fundamental elements.

1. ‘In the moment’ delivery.

‘In the moment’ recognition sends a powerful message enabling employees to feel authentically valued and motivated, which in turn boosts engagement and overall productivity. Recognition technology is key to connecting modern workforces and facilitating this ‘in the moment’ delivery. Not only do recognition platforms enable around-the-clock engagement, but facilitate scalable impact to every corner of the business. Leveraging mobile-accessible platforms are particularly crucial for connecting, engaging and recognising frontline or deskless workers.

2. Agile recognition.

Traditional recognition narrowly focuses on exceeded KPIs, resulting in sporadic impact and damaged team morale. Effective recognition schemes take an agile, holistic approach and celebrate performance, collaboration, creativity, innovation and altruism. Employees are valued across a breadth of talents, rather than job role ‘tick boxing’. When paired with reward, including digital wallet points and discounted vouchers, recognition schemes take the people experience to the next level.

3. Cultural alignment. 

To instil an authentic culture, recognition schemes must closely align to business’ values and objectives. 83% of employees want to feel a stronger sense of belonging and community to their employer – but to do this, they need to truly see and feel the business’ culture. Recognition schemes are not only key for cultivating employee belonging, but are also a crucial tool in empowering teams to deliver on business objectives and, in turn, its core mission.

4. Stakeholder buy-in.

Internal stakeholder buy-in and training are crucial predictors of a successful employee recognition scheme. Senior leaders and line managers must lead by example and make recognition and reward an everyday practice. By setting managerial objectives, recognition can be closely aligned to department KPIs, enhancing team performance and productivity. Plus, when managers deliver diverse and frequent recognition to employees, company culture is further strengthened.

5. The power of peer-to-peer.

Recognition shouldn’t only stem from managerial praise. A key component of an effective recognition scheme is enabling employees at all levels to recognise their peers. From the big to the small wins, this curates supportive and collaborative relationships across the business, boosts engagement and enhances retention. Through personalised peer-to-peer recognitions, every employee can feel like they belong.

6. Measurable objectives.

Defining programme purpose and objectives is key. Then, enter: the power of data. By leveraging a recognition platform, HR teams can transparently assess impact against objectives via live data insights. Increased engagement and retention, as well as improvements in NPS scores and overall employee satisfaction, will demonstrate programme performance, evidence ROI and secure future budget.

To explore how Rippl can deliver a world-class recognition scheme for your people, chat to us or book a free platform demo here.

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