The following are frequently asked questions related to strategic recognition. A download of this article is available at the bottom of the page.
General Strategic Recognition Program Questions
Can strategic recognition help our business, or is it just a “nice to have”?
- Companies that scored in the top 20% for building a “recognition-rich culture” actually had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates.
- Organizations with recognition have 14% better employee engagement, productivity, and customer service than those without. (“Turning Thank You into Performance” - Deloitte)
- 78% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized.
- 82% of employees said being recognized motivates them in their job. (“The Growing Influence of Employee Recognition” - Globoforce)
Why can't I just send a thank-you card or email to someone?
- A face-to-face thank-you is a crucial part of a healthy work culture and should always be encouraged. However, while an in-person thank-you does express appreciation, it doesn’t give others the opportunity to learn from what someone did in the way that strategic recognition shared with the whole company can. Why not thank someone in person and recognize them through the system so that others can benefit? This is the difference between “recognition” and “strategic recognition.”
How much formal recognition should one person do? What should we expect to see?
- A very healthy program would include every employee placing one recognition a month, but as long as the recognition contains specific behaviors and their impact(s), more frequent authors are fine!
How many people can I recognize at a time?
- You can post a recognition for up to five people. Group recognitions are limited to five because as the number of recipients increases, the recognition becomes less strategic, i.e., less specific about what each person did, and more about a group acknowledgement. Also, the larger the group, the longer it takes for the recognition to be reviewed and published because each person’s manager needs to review it individually first.
- We cap it at five because allowing more than five people per recognition can dilute the quality of the recognition and of the overall program. The most valuable recognitions are those that describe how each person contributed to the team’s effort. Large group recognitions typically cannot capture those details.
- Larger group recognitions are important and are more suitable for small gatherings or celebrations, rather than online, strategic recognition.
Why include “doing your job well” (or Setting the Standard) recognition?
- Most of what people do every day is “part of the job.” If you wait for them to do something extraordinary to acknowledge them, you miss an opportunity to engage them with the importance and relevance of their work, and they may feel like it’s not worth it to go above and beyond if no one will notice.
- It may feel like the action being recognized is common sense or a basic part of the job, but ask yourself: “Does everyone really do it?” and “Can others learn from this example?” If yes, it is valuable recognition.
Are people going to plan on recognizing friends or “game the system”?
- Because recognition will go through a manager review process, this doesn’t typically happen. If it does start to happen, program administrators will work with managers to improve their review practices and to set expectations for quality recognitions.
Can inappropriate comments be deleted?
- Employees tend to be careful with comments because of the very public nature of the site and because their name is associated with the comment, but site administrators have access to delete any comment that appears. Additionally, employees can delete their own comments, so if a manager isn’t comfortable with the content, he or she can ask the employee to log on and remove it.
What if my team is not submitting any recognition?
- Managers must model submitting recognition for their team and for others.
- Managers can use the One-minute Reminder tool to review standards, good practices, and encourage employees to notice examples of all levels worthy of recognition. If employees know managers are likely to read and share recognition, they are more likely to take the time to post them.
How can I access the site on my mobile phone or tablet?
- The site is mobile-ready, so you can navigate there on your mobile device’s internet browser. You can also set up a webcon (similar to an app) on the home screen of your device by logging in and then saving the website to your home screen.
Questions Related to Reviewing and Publishing
How will we ensure recognition is truly deserved?
- As the reviewers of recognition, managers are responsible for ensuring that recognition being submitted meets the guidelines of Setting the Standard, Above and Beyond, or a Wow Experience.
- If a manager finds someone is submitting recognition that does not meet these standards, he or she should coach the person to add details that help demonstrate one of the three levels of impact. If the person cannot provide that level of information, the manager can suggest using another type of recognition outside the system (e.g., face-to-face thank-you, a thank-you note, etc.).
What happens if managers don't publish in a timely manner?
- Managers get an email notification and/or text message as soon as recognition is placed for someone on their team with a link to access the recognition online. If a manager doesn’t publish the recognition in three days, the system starts sending reminders.
- Site administrators can also view recognition that is pending review, so they can support managers who may have trouble getting recognition reviewed in a timely way.
If a supervisor submits recognition for his/her own employee, who reviews it?
- The recognition is not reviewed by the manager that submitted it, rather it is bumped up a level and sent to that manager’s reviewer/manager.
How much time will this take for managers?
- Managers should factor in time to place one or two recognitions a month (five minutes each) and to include one minute at the start of every regular team meeting to highlight recognition or the company experience.
- Additionally, managers should be prepared for each member of their team to be recognized monthly. That is an estimate of a very healthy program and is at the high end of time commitment.
How do I use recognition proactively to achieve goals?
- Select the goal you are trying to reach. Determine the actions that your team or others will need to do in order for you to reach this goal. Recognize people who do these actions most consistently as part of regular team meetings. If you do not see people doing these actions yet, share the need for these actions in your regular meetings and then recognize when people start doing them.
What is the purpose of assigning recognition types when reviewing?
- Recognition types help determine how to use the recognition. For example, Setting the Standard recognitions are great training tools for new employees and Wow Experiences may be used as an inspirational start to an annual meeting.
- Recognition types also ensure that when employees really go above and beyond, the effort can be acknowledged by their manager.
- All recognitions are to be celebrated. Keep in mind the impact that an employee can have with Setting the Standard behaviors throughout the year. They may not create a big splash, but they will establish a baseline for the dozens of employees who see them.
What if a poor performer or someone who is on performance review gets recognized?
- It is usually better to proceed with the recognition (unless you are a day or two away from terminating the employee) as the author will be aware if the recognition is never published and may question the reasons.
- It is recommended to review the recognition and include a private comment (or via conversation) a statement to the effect of, “While I am glad to see that your coworkers appreciate how you work on the team, I want to remind you to stay focused on the speed with which you accomplish your work.”
- In the rare event that an employee is having significant enough performance issues that publishing recognition could be problematic and you’d like to completely remove the recognition from the system, you are able to do so.