Premier Farnell Tells Their Story of Successful, Strategic Recognition

Recognize This! – Incorporating the 10 Tenets of strategic recognition is critical for success.

Just before the holidays, our client Premier Farnell joined us for a webinar: “Making the Most of Recognition: Premier Farnell’s Recognition Journey.” Located in 35 countries with headquarters in London, critical to Premier Farnell’s recognition journey was multi-lingual, global expertise in recognition and rewards that are appropriate and meaningful for a global audience of employees.

Amy Montefinese, VP of global total rewards and HR operations for Premier Farnell, shared an excellent story of what the firm was able to accomplish through their iCAN recognition program. By happenstance, Amy directly spoke to several of the 10 tenets for a successful strategic employee recognition program (as explained in detail in Winning with a Culture of Recognition). Below are just a few with quotations from Amy and my comments on importance.. The entire webinar is also available here or via the video below:

The Tempo Starts at the Top

“Our CEO is a big champion of the program, which has really helped our recognition program be successful. He really gets it. He knows how important recognition can be, and in fact has been one of the top 5 nominators in the program since it launched… He set the tone and really made recognition a priority for the organization.”

By his or her actions, your CEO signals to all employees very clearly what matters most. Securing CEO sponsorship – visibly and consistently – is the top tenet for successful strategic recognition.

Base Recognition on Your Values and Objectives

“Currently, we are in a brand transition, which includes ‘Our Elements’ showing who we are and what we value as an organization. This is a very critical ingredient we use in our recognition program as we link these values to every recognition moment to help us embed them in the organization as we go through change.  So, for example, our award reasons of Passion, Simple Structures & Systems, Flawless Execution, Totally Reliable and Resourceful, come straight from Our Elements.”

Whether your organization is in transition or not, linking employee recognition to what matters most to your organization (your values and objectives) is the most powerful way to bring these ideas to life for all employees.

Involve Program Participants and Invite Their Input

“We had a cross functional global team on this. I brought together stakeholders from across the globe, from line managers as well. We had definite buy-in at launch. This was a very important contributor to our success. This helped with line sponsorship and the program not being viewed as an ‘HR thing’ because we had input from across the organization.”

A culture of recognition is owned by all employees, not just HR or the recognition program champion. To get to a true culture of recognition, it’s critical to involve people from across the organization in program design and implementation.

Call All Managers to Training/Promote It or Perish

“As a partner, Globoforce brought in their expertise and their knowledge of implementing programs. Communication and training was big and I didn’t have a huge team to help me. So we leveraged the Globoforce team to help us develop a presentation that we used for a series of global webexes. We also recorded an on-demand training session available through the intranet. This really was key to a successful roll-out and implementation.”

To reach program adoption goals quickly, you must not only communicate the program through various vehicles, but train employees on why this new approach to recognition is critical to company and individual success. Use the resources available to you, and don’t shirk this critical tenet.

Touch as Many People as Possible, as Often as Possible

“In the environment today where organizations are hamstrung by sluggish sales and the need for efficiency gains, employees really are motivated by recognition. Feedback from a manager for doing a great job really does go a long way… Every quarter our team produces an HR dashboard and recognition metrics are highlighted. Employee reach is a big one – what percentage of employees in which groups were recognized. Our target this year is 80%. At the end of Q3 several divisions have already reached their goal and the rest are on track.”

Not only do you need a goal of 80-90% program participation, you need an easy yet detailed mechanism for measurement and metrics accumulation and reporting.

I encourage you to watch the full webinar, then come back and tell me what lessons you can apply in your own organization.

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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