Employee Engagement Employee Recognition Employee Rewards

6 Expert tips for implementing your company’s employee recognition program

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Getting ready to implement an employee recognition program for your company? Oh, good stuff! Good on you.

We hope you’re ready for some awesome engagement levels, employee satisfaction, customer retention, improved talent acquisition, and a whole bunch of other good stuff. You won’t even believe what a difference it makes when you start giving credit where credit is due.

Pheeuw. Okay. Let’s put the pom-poms away for the moment (but just a short while, mind, we’re still mighty amped) and talk brass tacks. 

Before you implement your recognition program successfully there are a few elements that you need to consider that will make it more effective. By ticking off the following actionable items, you will be able to align your employees to your strategic objectives, drive core values among your employees, and cultivate a positive company culture based on social recognition. 

Check out our YouTube channel for awesome videos on everything from the science of employee recognition to creating an internal communications strategy for enhanced engagement.


You are going to need a comprehensive approach to measuring your program in order to prove the ROI of your recognition efforts in the long run. This will also allow you to measure the program uptake and implementation efforts, and enable you to identify and address any obstacles early on. 

Here is a list of data points you can consider for inclusion: 


Performance indicators

  • Nomination incidences
  • Recognition participant reach (percentage of total)
  • Recognition manager reach (percentage of total) 

Program results indicator

  • Monetary points issued (total points)
  • Productivity/quality measures
  • Safety measures
  • Employee satisfaction index
  • Customer satisfaction index
  • Employee retention rate/attrition rate
  • Increase of financial turnover, sales, gross profit


Service measurements

Internal communication

  • Effectiveness
  • Impact
  • Frequency
  • Reach

Employee participation

  • Number of nominations
  • Percent attendance at recognition events
  • Intra-company relationships


Launching your program properly is very important if you want to boost your employee uptake rate of the new platform.

Here are a few things you need to bear in mind in this regard. 



  • Do you have an online and printed version of your participant database ready to go? 
  • What will your registration period be before and after the launch? 


  • Have you sent out digital and tangible event teasers? 
  • Have you sent out digital and tangible event invitations? 


Launch event

  • Transportation and accommodation
  • Venue
  • Theme
  • Entertainment
  • Catering
  • Presenter/host/master of ceremonies
  • Keynote speakers
  • Multimedia content
  • Presentation of platform and rules 
  • Recording of the event
  • Podcast photographer/photos to go on the website
  • Giveaways/lucky draws
  • Social media 


Program launch collateral

  • Program rules brochure
  • Digital and printed registration forms
  • Digital and printed catalogues
  • Premium gifts
  • Training material
  • Delivery mechanism (box, bag, etc.)


Strategically communicating and positioning your program towards your participants can sometimes present a bit of a challenge.

Your communication strategy should be based on rolling out the program clearly so they know exactly what to expect.

See the list below to determine which channels will work best for your company: 


Face-to-face group facilitation

  • Focus groups
  • Personal interviews
  • Videography of launch event


  • Statements
  • Brochures
  • Postcards
  • Novelty mailers
  • Posters
  • Personalised letters
  • Program branded packaging


Information & communications technology

  • Website
  • Industry portal
  • Mobi site
  • Competition site
  • Catalogue site

Interactive media

  • Web videos
  • Blogs
  • Vlogs
  • Website forums
  • YouTube
  • Podcast
  • Social media image sharing & hashtag competition
  • Newsletters
  • Case studies
  • Emails
  • Surveys
  • Digital recognition certificate

Social media build-up

  • Relevant internal hashtags
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • WhatsApp
  • Slack 
  • Facebook Messenger


The training and learning elements of your employee recognition program should be supported by the right kind of resources.

Here are a few options to consider


Management training workshops

  • Venues
  • Facilitators
  • Catering

Training collateral

  • Training content files
  • Course content
  • Training aids

Distance learning

  • Email
  • Printed and mailed course material
  • Learning management system 
  • Webinars
  • Podcasting
  • Blogs, forums and online chat
  • Electronic games
  • Online activities
  • Interactive surveys
  • Assessments (e.g. multiple choice)


One of the best parts of setting up an employee recognition program is to select the rewards that will be at play. The recognition vehicles you choose can be as creative as you want it to be.

Remember to give yourself enough scope so your team will be able to personalise the recognition experience for each employee.

Here are a few kinds of rewards to consider: 



  • Digital and hand-written thank you notes from management
  • Verbal praise
  • Token gifts
  • Peer-to-peer 


  • Celebration events
  • Branded trophies
  • Newsletters with accolades


  • Recognition nominations
  • Recognition selections
  • Top events


  • Courses
  • e-Learning

Travel - Incentive

  • Edu-travel
  • Team recognition travel
  • Participant and spouse luxury trip
  • Conferences

Travel - individual

  • Local
  • Regional
  • International
  • Experience


  • Customisable online catalogue (product, price, brand)
  • Available shopping divisions (e.g. adventure and travel, books, gifts and vouchers, electronics, fashion, garden and DIY, health and beauty, house and home, kids and games, etc.)


Employee feedback should be a key consideration for every recognition program facilitator. Having access to the thoughts and concerns of the people who use the program will allow you to make changes if need be.

Here are a few of the feedback systems and structures you could consider for your program:



  • Employee satisfaction index
  • Customer satisfaction index
  • Attrition
  • Productivity
  • Morale
  • Return on investment


  • Effectiveness
  • Impact
  • Frequency
  • Reach
  • Expenditure per participant


Employee participation

  • Number of nominations (incidences, reach, behaviour categories)
  • Types of nominations
  • Organisational reach
  • Management participation
  • Monetary value distribution
  • Event attendance

There you have it - six aspects of implementing an employee recognition program you need to bear in mind if you want to achieve maximum results.

Check back soon for more insider insights that will help you to take employee engagement levels to a whole new level. 

In the meantime, hop on over to our YouTube channel. There’s some short and snappy videos on there that address all sorts of things pertaining to employee recognition - from how to pick your recognition crew, to how you should go about communicating the ins and outs of your program.


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