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Is Your Recognition Program Boring?

It’s important to make sure that your recognition program promotes and reinforces your company values, calling out and rewarding actions that you’d like to encourage. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Your recognition program should match your company culture, brand, and the spirit of your employees so that it’s actually enjoyable to participate in. For example-

  • One of our customers, a large online insurance provider, has a recognition program called “Mad Props” with reward types called things like, “If Thanking You is Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right.” Their whole program shows their sense of humor and reflects their fun and irreverent brand.
  • Here at NYC-based WorkStride we have a New York/hip-hop themed recognition website, with a graffiti-style logo and badges. (This matches well with our conference rooms, which are named after famous 90s rappers.)

Not every company culture lends itself to these types of themes, but there are other ways to inject some life into the program.

  • Use artistic graphics or custom badges that reflect your brand, not generic stock images.
  • Make sure the site’s language is accessible and conversational (even humorous if possible), not stiff and formal.
  • Implement a fun non-monetary contest apart from the awards, such as “best office photo of the week” or “most company spirit” and let employees vote.
  • Add a simple game element, such as a quarterly lottery based on number of logins, or a quiz.
  • Have an administrator highlight the best recognition comment of the month or quarter, which will encourage people to be thoughtful and creative with their posts.

Your recognition provider should be able to offer guidance in making your program fun and compelling for your employees. While the program should be serving a business purpose, it will not be successful if employees do not visit the site regularly.

So before you go another quarter with the “Great Job” award or “Thumbs Up,” consider your recognition program website from the point of view of your employees and inject some new life into it!

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