Employee Recognition * Who Do You Involve?

If you’re intent on creating a successful employee recognition program, then who do you need to involve in the program? The answer is simple – everyone – during the planning of the program and in the program itself.

As Deborah Hildebrand said in The Best Way to Reward Employees:

“Allow employees to participate on the front-end development of the program and the associated rewards. Once the program is ready for implementation, communicate the details to all employees. Involving employees from the start creates buy-in and empowers employees with a sense of control, making it more likely that they will respond positively.”

We strongly recommend companies create a task force representative of employees from all levels across all geographic regions and divisions to ensure every voice is heard. Once the program is launched, you again want to involve 80-90% of employees so you can measure and effect culture change based on what matters to you most – seeing how your employees demonstrate your company values and achieve strategic objectives.

The research supporting this is clear:

• “Invest in the core. The key to driving productivity gains is increasing engagement among core contributors, who represent 60 percent of the typical workforce. Highly engaged employees are already working at or near their peak but are often limited by their less engaged co-workers. Focusing on engaging core contributors can improve both groups’ productivity.” – Watson Wyatt Worldwide, 2008/2009 WorkUSA Report

• “The middle 70 percent are managed differently. This group of people is enormously valuable to any company; you simply cannot function without their skills, energy, and commitment. After all, they are the majority of your employees. But everyone in the middle 70 needs to be motivated, and made to feel as if they truly belong. You do not want to lose the vast majority of your middle 70 – you want to improve them.” – Jack Welch, Winning

Who are you involving in your recognition efforts? Is your program truly strategic, or simply elitist with no true cultural impact? Join the discussion in comments.

Derek Irvine

About Derek Irvine

The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and "Winning with a Culture of Recognition," he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.

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  1. […] do not deserve the accolades your top 10% of high performers typically receive. But many in the middle 80% deserve more recognition than they typically […]

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