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How to Administer an Employee Recognition Program

Even an established employee recognition program doesn’t run itself. You need a capable administrator. If you’re handling your company’s HR function, that point person may well be you. If not, it’s helpful to have one person charged with the administrative and technical duties of running the program. That makes overall administration and troubleshooting that much easier.

One of the key components of sound program administration is communication. Don’t let yours exist in a vacuum. Even the most appealing employee recognition program will prove ineffective if employees don’t know that it’s available. Make sure that your staff members know which programs are in place and what the criteria are for who receives awards. Many firms use company intranets for such news.

The initiative will be more successful if it has support from all levels of management — and employees are made aware of this. Senior management buy-in and joint ownership ensures that the effort doesn’t sit solely — and potentially languish — on one person’s (or department’s) shoulders.

Although recognition can be handled in a personal one-on-one setting, it’s often more effective to make the event public — in a variety of ways. That can help maintain enthusiasm and high levels of participation.

Publicly offering kudos gives employees the recognition they deserve. Consider the following advertising venues for publicizing award recipients:

  • The company website

  • The company intranet

  • The company newsletter

  • The annual report

  • Staff meetings

  • Company-wide e-mails

  • Photo displays in the break room and other high-traffic areas

It’s wonderful if your employees feel great about your program, but you also need to make sure that you’re getting the results you want from it. Measure productivity, retention, and other barometers alongside the implementation of employee recognition programs. If those numbers are up and can be correlated, the plan is paying off.

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