The objective of this exercise is to gather leader expectations for your new employee recognition program. By doing this exercise, we can ensure that the program aligns with leadership goals. A well-designed employee recognition program can increase employee engagement, motivation, and productivity, which can lead to improved organizational performance and success. This is why it’s crucial to have leadership buy-in across the organization, and one way to achieve that is to ensure you are meeting leader expectations with your strategy.
- Schedule a meeting with leaders from various departments across the organization. It is essential to include leaders from different departments and areas of the business because they may have different expectations and perspectives on what the employee recognition program should achieve.
- Pitch the new employee recognition program to them and explain its purpose. Provide a brief overview of the program's objectives, benefits, and how it aligns with the organization's goals and values. Ensure that the leaders understand the new program's importance and why their participation is crucial to adoption. Also assure them that your team will incorporate their feedback into the strategy and provide the necessary training to use the new platform and send meaningful recognition.
- Ask each leader to share their expectations for the program. Specifically, ask them:
- What types of employee behavior should be recognized? The recognition program should reinforce the organization's desired behaviors, values, and goals. Leaders should provide examples of behaviors they expect the program to recognize and any differences in expectations should be addressed so that the organization can maintain consistency.
- How often should recognition be given? Recognition should be frequent enough to keep employees motivated but not so frequent that it loses its meaning. Leaders should share their preferences on how often employees should be recognized, and your team should share best practices and set expectations with leaders on participation. Frequent and timely recognition will ensure that your programs keep up the momentum.
- What forms of recognition are most meaningful to employees? Different employees may prefer different forms of recognition. Leaders should provide insight into what types of recognition they find are most appreciated and valued by employees in their department. This feedback will inform the Badge strategy and may even shift the Rewards strategy.
- How can recognition be tied to the organization's goals and values? The recognition program should support the organization's goals and values. Leaders should provide input on how the recognition program can be aligned with the organization's objectives and values. This discussion will also further drive home the point that recognition is a means to encourage behaviors you want to see repeated.
- Have your team take notes on each leader's responses. It is essential to document the leaders' expectations and suggestions to create a comprehensive overview of the program's design requirements. Otherwise, you may wind up with a program that leaders won’t adopt.
- Use the notes to develop a set of guidelines for the employee recognition program that aligns with the expectations of the organization's leaders. Use the information gathered in the meeting to create a clear, concise, and actionable list of guidelines for the employee recognition program and its various pieces. Ensure that the guidelines reflect the leaders' expectations and suggestions and align with the organization's goals and core values.
A well-designed employee recognition program can significantly impact employee motivation, engagement, and productivity. By gathering leader expectations, we can ensure that the program aligns with those who will be charged with setting the example, ultimately setting the tone for the role leaders will play, and ensuring optimal impact.