your how to guide for effective global employee recognition
Appreciation | December 4, 2014
Our recent HRCI certified webinar featured Stephanie Hendrickson, Director of International Operations, and Christina Chau, Manager of Global Research Services at O.C. Tanner. During the event, Stephanie and Christina discussed how to launch, sustain, and measure a global recognition strategy. Below are highlights from the webinar including the 8 best practices for making your global recognition program a success. You can also download the free recording.
1) Design from the outside in. Global strategies work best when they are NOT just U.S. programs that are rolled out internationally. To be successful, a global recognition program needs to include buy-in and input from the people in the various locations. This includes asking global executives and local HR leaders for their and feedback as you plan your strategy.
2) Do your homework. Again, you can’t design a global program in the U.S. and expect it to work everywhere else. Get feedback from other countries—what are they struggling with? What recognition programs do they already have in place? What types of tools, processes, and awards will work and what won’t work? Understanding cultural nuances, potential pitfalls and tips for success in each individual area will help unsure your solutions are effective.
3) Find the right people. In addition to including local executives and HR leaders, identify and reach out to the recognition champions or ambassadors who can help ensure your solutions are successful. If you are using the help of a recognition provider, make sure they understand the nuances of going global and who should be involved. If you need help finding the right partner, take a look at this helpful Checklist—the first in our series of Global Recognition Insights.
4) Take the time to get it right. Many companies think they can implement a global recognition solution in 7 days, or 2 weeks, and have it work. Implementing a global program of any kind takes time—to get buy in, to understand what will work, to incorporate local cultural nuances and programs, to translate materials, to ensure that awards are appropriate and meaningful in each country. Rushing through program design and launch only guarantees confusion and low adoption.
5) Incorporate local nuances. We’ve traveled to over a dozen countries and personally talked to employees all over Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. Trust us, when we say what works in Germany may not necessarily work in Brazil, we know what we’re talking about. How Chinese employees want to be recognized can be vastly different than how Australian employees want to be recognized. So make sure to research and include local customs, traditions, and programs into your global solution so that it feels personalized and meaningful.
6) Have a deployment strategy. This cannot be said enough. If you have not planned for things like data needs, training, system access, translations, communication, etc., you will not have a successful launch. Make sure you have a strategy for how you will tackle each detail of your new program, answer all possible questions, and identify all possible pitfalls BEFORE launch.
7) Have a sustainment strategy. Global programs that have a great launch but no sustainment strategy will ultimately fizzle out. Don’t let this become another “flavor of the month” program. Have a strategy on how to keep your new program top of mind, how to engage local champions or ambassadors, how to make recognition everyone’s responsibility, and how to measure, get feedback, and assess ROI along the way.
8) Determine what success looks like. Speaking of measuring the getting feedback along the way – determine what success metrics you want to look at and how you want to measure them. Share ROI results with leaders and employees to encourage continued buy in, budget, and use of the program. Use feedback to continuously refresh and update your programs.
Rolling out a global recognition program doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take planning. By following the 8 best practices above, you’ll be on your way to creating a meaningful and impactful recognition strategy for your global organization that effectively appreciates and motivates employees all around the world – from Sydney to Munich to Rio.