So, you did all the legwork to make the business case for an employee recognition platform, got the thumbs-up from C-suite and signed on the dotted line with your preferred provider.Now all you need to do is launch your employee recognition platform in a way that entices your team to hop on your awesome bandwagon and get with the program (literally and figuratively).
How hard could that be?
Well, actually, it can be a tougher nut to crack than you might imagine. The modern workspace is crammed to the rafters with all sorts of digital platforms that need tending and employees can often be less than enthused about the notion of adding yet another set of blinking lights and notification bleeps to the existing line-up.
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Fortunately, there are a few fool-proof strategies that will help to smooth the way for fuss-free, and perhaps even enthusiastic adoption of your shiny new employee recognition platform. Here you go!
1. Make a great first impression
Before launching your program, give it an identity. Brief your design studio to create a name and logo that are relevant, distinctive and clearly aligned with your company's strategic goals and values.
There are a couple of important considerations when establishing the brand identity of a recognition program. First, the program name should align with its strategic goals. In other words, it should echo and reinforce the intentions of the program. With this in mind, your program name could represent a behaviour or action that, when practiced by everyone in the company, will lead to the achievement of strategic goals.
E.g. If the goal of your program is to create and maintain a culture of recognition, you want to encourage staff to observe and encourage their co-workers when they live the company values. In this case, a suitable program name could include words that describe the process of seeing or observing.
Secondly, the graphic treatment of your program name should resemble your company's existing CI, but not so closely that it could get lost in corporate literature. It should be able to stand on its own as a refreshing and exciting brand. Remember, you want people to want to use your program.
2. Plan to make a splash
Now that your program has a brand identity, it's time to think about the weeks leading up to your launch. During this time, you'll need to meet with your recognition task team on a regular basis.
Together you will decide on key dates, times, venues, attendance, communication and catering. You'll also need to agree on roles and responsibilities, and decide on the best way to launch your plan across multiple business locations.
It is important to realise that the risk of an underplayed program launch is that you might not capture the attention of your audience. This means that your program will struggle to gain traction. Perhaps the biggest problem, though, is that you won't ever get a second chance to launch. As such, it's really important to do it right the first time.
This doesn't mean that you need to plan something big and flashy, but the launch does need to be thorough and memorable.
3. Build anticipation and interest
While these planning activities are underway, start building anticipation and interest throughout the organisation. Think of this as the drum roll before the main event. A pre-launch communication plan is a great way to do this. Send out a series of teasers that share just enough information to make people want to know more.
Pre-launch activities should also include manager training, so that managers are ready to drive program engagement within their teams once the program launches.
4. Use the launch to answer the main questions
After pre-launch activities comes the main event. This is the moment that everyone has been waiting for. Your launch should aim to answer three important questions, namely:
- What is the purpose of the program?
- How does the program support our goals and values?
- How does the program work?
Ask a senior leader to deliver a short but punchy talk about the purpose of the program. Either broadcast this talk to employees in other locations, or share a link with them to view it as a video online. It is essential for staff to see that the program has the endorsement and backing of top management.
Next, explain the relationship between the program and the organisation's goals and values. There are many fun ways to do this, e.g. interactive PDFs and videos. Think outside the box; the options here are endless. Just make sure to pick an approach that suits your company size, culture, and resources.
Finally, explain how the program works. Send employees a quick demo to show them how easy it is to thank, nominate, and appreciate a colleague, as well as linking every recognition with a goal or value.
You'll know that the launch has been successful when you can safely say that everyone knows that that the program is launched, how it works, how they can participate, the values they should live and recognise, and what is in it for them. Of course, a successful launch will also make employees excited to participate.
5. Set the stage for future engagement as well
Remember that your launch activities will provide a lot of information in a short time. As such, it is unlikely that people will remember it all the first time around. Provide employees with an outline of your program rules, rewards and milestones for them to refer back to as needed. Your communication plan should neatly dovetail with your launch, and support program uptake and engagement.
Also remember that new employees will be joining the organisation at various stages of your program. Develop an onboarding program for new recruits as they will have missed the big bang launch.
There you have it - employing these tried-and-tested tactics when you roll out your new employee recognition platform is sure to increase employee uptake right from the get-go. Check back soon for more helpful advice on leveraging HR tech for sustainable business growth.
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