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Help! No One is Using the Recognition Program!

Does this sound like your company? You spent months finding a recognition and rewards solution and vendor, then planning and building a program and website for your company. When it launched initially everyone was logging into the site to check it out, but since then it seems it has been all but forgotten.

Here are some ways to ensure that this does not happen to your program—and if it already has, how you can correct it:

Communicate with employees about your recognition program.

Communication is the number one most important tool you have at your disposal in order to ensure participation in your program. Your employees should understand what your recognition program is, why it’s important, and how they can participate. Remind them to log in periodically with promotional emails; promote achievements recognized through the program in your company newsletter; and be sure the program is mentioned by management at company-wide meetings.

Get management involved.

If you do not have the buy-in of your executive team and top managers, the program is likely to fail. The program should reward those who live your company’s core values and work toward its goals. If your executive team doesn’t see the value of reinforcing these desired behaviors, then a culture of recognition is not likely to develop. Even with the executives on board, you’ll also need to make sure your line managers realize that using the system is part of their jobs and monitor their participation.

Make it easy.

If most of your awards have more than one level of approval, you might be unnecessarily gumming up the works. Run reports periodically to see how long it’s taking approvers to review awards, and how many are stuck in the queue. If it’s more than a handful, then it might be time to re-visit your rule structure. Do not require approvals for non-monetary employee rewards—it adds an unnecessary layer of oversight.


No successful website stays the same forever. Add some new design elements, features, rewards, or award types at least once a year to keep the program fresh. Perhaps you can host a wellness challenge or implement a recognition “score” that encompasses both rewarding others and being rewarded in order to get people competing to be best at recognition! Update admin-created content such as company news or announcements at least once per week so participants don’t feel that the site is stale.

Look at the rewards selection.

If no one is striving to earn rewards, perhaps it’s because they’re not interested in what you are offering. Or maybe much of it is out of their reach given the amount of rewards they are eligible to earn. Make sure you offer rewards of all denominations that appeal to a wide range of people so they’ll be motivated to earn more!

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