3 Steps To Effectively Roll Out Your Employee Recognition Program

Summer is in full swing! Days at the lake, ice cream cones, and sweltering heat. The perfect time for exciting new adventures, both in your family life and at work.

Last month, we helped you design your brand new Recognition Program and I just know you can't wait to hit the ground running. I can’t wait either! I can just envision the smiles on your employees’ faces as they experience the magic of all of the personalized moments you have in store for them. 

Now that you have executive buy-in and have designed the program, now comes the fun part; Implementation.

I will outline the necessary steps to take to ensure the roll-out of your Program is successful and that your Executives and Employees are well-equipped and will take full advantage of the many wonderful benefits the Program has to offer.

Are you ready to Rock & Roll?!


Step 1 - Facilitate Internal Communication

Now that you are ready to unleash the glory of your new recognition program, the way you communicate it with your team is crucial to its success. 

So, where to begin?

First, start with Executives and then Managers. You’ve got their buy-in, now build their confidence and commitment with details about the new program so they are well-informed and can answer any questions employees have as they begin utilizing it. When employees, see their manager and executives are all-in, their loyalty will easily follow. 

Second, have an executive introduce the Recognition Program to your employees by sending out company-wide communication introducing and celebrating the Program. We recommend holding a Q&A session to address any questions to build excitement (and include an overview). Always start by explaining the “Why.” Explain the importance of the Program and why it was started in the first place. If your employees know the mission behind the Program, they are more likely to participate in it. And you know they’ll love it, the purpose is to make them feel valued! That will bring a smile to anyone’s face. 

Don’t forget to include a concrete day of launch!

Third, send a follow-up email prior to the launch with any additional details and instructions for the launch (e.g., Taking the Onboarding Survey). Sending this message right before launch and reminding managers will ensure it is top of mind for your team and will keep the enthusiasm fresh!


Step 2 - Find Your Champions

Implementation is going to be a team effort; for this reason; it is important to pay attention to the members of your organization who are passionate about this new initiative. This is your team of Champions. Allow me to explain.

Have you ever considered the importance of the captain and co-captain roles on a sports team? These people have a deep understanding of the game and are invested in the success of the players. They are there to encourage and help you along the way and want to see the best possible outcome.

This paints a picture of the importance of having a team of champions during this process. Selecting members of your organization who are excited about the implementation of the recognition programs and who will serve as leads on the team makes a world of difference. These people are instrumental in rallying the rest of the team and encouraging greater user adoption. Make sure these champions are selected from every area of the organization, with different backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. Diversity is key!

Fun Fact: This is also an amazing recognition opportunity for someone to be selected for this new role! 


Step 3 - Train Management

This is an often overlooked area but one that we place a major emphasis on.

If you don’t properly train management on the platform, user adoption will fall flat.

It’s that simple.

How can you expect your employees to understand how and why they should be using the platform if their leaders cannot explain it themselves?

Now, we understand that many organizations do not have a How-To guide for effective recognition. We do however know a recognition program is necessary. In fact, 90% Of HR Professionals believe an effective program drives business results. So why aren’t we seeing more results?

Where’s the disconnect?

Leaders WANT to change their workplace culture for the better but are often ill-prepared. A dynamic recognition program takes the legwork off your plate so you can focus on the fun part: taking full advantage of all of the easy-to-use tools and seeing the smiles on your employees’ faces.

Embrace a culture of recognition! A recognition program will help you personalize your approach to each person but it’s important to weave it into your day-to-day lives as well, and don’t forget the 3 ingredients needed for effective recognition:

  • The Right Time
  • The Right Way
  • The Right Reward

Want to see real-life stories of the recognition moments that capture these 3 elements?

Tune in for our Sparck Stories every week with Joe Champion! Effective recognition moments leave a lasting impact and knowing just how to personalize your approach makes a difference.  As soon as they hear about the lasting impact true recognition has left on these employees, your leadership team will be racing to create similar moments.

Another way to help your leadership team understand the importance of personalization is by seeing how unique each person on the team truly is. The Sparck Appreciation Style Quiz effectively pinpoints how each person feels most appreciated. Being equipped with this information helps leaders make the best choices in the recognition they give to each individual. 

For example, Susie has the Tell Me style. She loves receiving verbal confirmation that she is on the right track and that her contributions are directly impacting the organization’s mission. If her manager Ted knew this, he could avoid giving her a gift card to a restaurant she doesn’t even enjoy. He will know exactly which recognition will have the most impact on Susie. (He can save that gift card for Billy, whose Appreciation Style is Show Me).


Are You Ready To See Results?

Your workplace is about to change. Can you feel the electricity, the *sparck* in the air?!

A personalized recognition approach is necessary for employee retention. No ifs, ands, or buts. It is the ONLY way your organization will stay ahead of the competition and keep a leg-up in this employee’s market.

Now that you have the practical tools necessary to implement your new recognition program, don’t forget the heart of why you are doing this. Last month, we explained the difference between recognition and appreciation. While similar, appreciation is more of the “attitude of gratitude” and tends to be more informal. Recognition is often tied to a specific achievement. Both are so important as you begin to create an amazing organizational culture.

Discover Your Sparck Appreciation Style

You are quickly going to see the changes within your employees when you begin to recognize them in meaningful ways. Don’t forget to share their Sparck Stories with us along the way! 


Do you know what your employees really want? We do!

Find out today with our FREE statistically valid #BeHeard Engagement Survey. Click below to see how engaged and equipped your employees are today.

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