Home Articles Five key principals for establishing a successful recognition program

Five key principals for establishing a successful recognition program


I recently met with a company that had attempted to deliver a reward and recognition program.

Despite their best efforts and intentions, it failed to inspire staff. When we dug a little deeper, it soon became clear why.

Want to avoid making the same mistakes in your business? Here’s how:

Step one: Promote your program

Maximise the effect of the program by announcing the rewards and the criteria for winning them before you start tracking performance. Hold a company meeting to promote the reasons for the program, building enthusiasm and desire to participate.

Step two: Instant recognition

This is crucial. Utilising technology to deliver instant recognition will motivate and inspire your team. The company I spoke to had used a spreadsheet to record behaviours. It was circulated to staff at the end of each month, by which time employees often could not remember what they had done to receive the recognition.

Step three: Make the rewards achievable

For the team to be motivated by the rewards, all participants must believe they have a fair chance of winning. Set the bar too high and you’ll appear out of touch, while your staff, in turn, will be instantly demotivated.

Step four: Celebrate success

The company in question had quietly presented staff with their rewards – big mistake. When an employee receives an award, celebrate their success. This will build enthusiasm among the rest of the team.

Step five: Make the program transparent

There’s no faster way to destroy motivation than to let favouritism creep into a reward program. If your team believes the playing field isn’t even, they’ll quickly lose interest. Make the criteria clear and quantifiable to prevent this.

Your ultimate goal is to have everyone thinking “I can achieve that.”

Tony Delaney is a founder of Brownie Points Pty Ltd, suppliers of reward and recognition software. Tony Delaney has a wealth of management and director level sales and marketing experience with international software and professional services companies.