4 measures for an effective recognition program

By in Appreciation
LinkedIn Pinterest Google Plus

Mary launched a corporate-wide recognition program with great success. Within a few weeks, recognition activity was high and most people were using the system to recognize others. When their annual employee survey came back, however, they found that they had a low engagement challenge within one of their manufacturing facilities.

With a few quick clicks, Mary could see that the same facility had only 5% adoption and almost no activity in their recognition program. With this information, Mary could implement additional training and communication strategies to reach this department and encourage participation. Mary’s data helped her to understand who to target and why. This enabled specificity in her response thereby increasing the effectiveness of her efforts greatly.

With any important corporate initiative, data is generated and used to inform decision-making. But not all data is created equally. Data that doesn’t provide you with any actionable insights will not lead to better decisions. You need data that helps you to understand why thing are happening so you can make smart decisions that will drive your initiatives forward. Beyond the numbers generated as system data points, to make sense, data needs to be gathered and mined to tell an effective story. A program’s real impact is measured by setting objectives, tracking the associated activity and interpreting the outcomes.  These insights and learnings are gathered and shared as a story to illustrate the desired impact.  Sometimes the data story becomes immediately obvious, and other times the story is a bit more nuanced. Since most of program managers aren’t data scientist, it is important that they carefully consider the technology that will be available to them. The best technology will help to craft the data story.

Program managers of employee recognition solutions are successful when they can show that the solution is making a difference within their organization.  Realizing the positive impact of recognition, they want the program to improve employee satisfaction scores, engage their workforce and scale for each employee regardless of location or job role.  Recognition and Reward programs have proven to positively impact employees across the globe; but as a program manager how do you demonstrate the impact of your strategy at your company?

Here are the four essential measurements to know if your recognition program is making a difference in your organization:

Recognition activity

Be it award nominations or ecards, managers need to see the total recognition activity being given and received across the organization so that they can know where to offer encouragement or further training. 100% of employees receiving non-monetary recognition is not an unreasonable goal.

Budget spent

Each year, monetary resources are allocated to grow or bolster and sustain a program.  Managers need to see in real time how their actual budget spend is tracking to their year-end projection. You don’t want leaders spending their entire budget in the 1st quarter, nor do you want them to wait until year-end. Great work is happening every day; celebrate it as it occurs.

Points summary

Points have been given, but are they being redeemed? Part of completing the recognition experience is ordering an award that acts as a keepsake for their efforts.


If people are not adopting the program, your recognition activity will suffer, your budgets will not be spent and nobody will be reaping the benefit of ordering a keepsake award. Adoption is the critical first-step and your data dashboard should make it easy to see where you are succeeding or where you may have gaps.

At O.C. Tanner, we’ve introduced a state-of-the art reporting tool to help managers know that their program is making a difference and to adjust when optimization needs to occur.  Powered by Tableau, a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms for the fifth consecutive year, these industry leading data visualizations give our clients the information they need.

Like Mary, using O.C. Tanner’s reporting tool will put you in the driver’s seat to optimize and demonstrate the impact of your recognition solution.  Learn more here.

By o.c. tanner
View Profile
Comments (Leave a Comment)
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *