The power of recognition and reward

24 March 2021

Recognising and rewarding employee’s efforts are an absolutely essential part of creating a great workplace culture. Research shows that not only does an effective recognition and reward programme make your employees happier, but it also gets them more engaged in their work. Change communications expert Wendy Moir explains how recognition and reward communications is done.

How does recognition benefit the individual or teams?

We’re all a bit like five-year old children when it comes to being rewarded. We need some reassurance and praise when we do something exceptionally well or make improvements. This is the same no matter the age or seniority of people within an organisation. Recognition provides a psychological boost and both encourages and motivates us. In these current times of uncertainty recognition can boost wellbeing and can be incorporated into a range of activities to lift our mood.

How do effective recognition and reward communications benefit major change programmes?

Telling others about individuals and teams who have performed over and above the call of duty is powerful when used within transformation programme communications.  This is a brilliant opportunity to showcase what excellent delivery and behaviours look like; encouraging others taking part or about to take part in the transformation activity to follow suit. For example, those recognised for their role in a pilot provides an example to others about to get involved in the transformation.

Specialist roles can be recognised too, where individuals have performed over and above the call of duty. This can then help to ‘recruit’ others to take on a role as well, for example, change champions, local sponsors and delivery agents.  “Performing well on this transformation could earn me some recognition, build my visibility and help my career…”

How can consistent recognition of living out values, behaviours or good delivery benefit organisations?

There are often numerous opportunities to showcase brilliant examples of core values and behaviours exhibited by colleagues working on the change programme.  So communicators and HR leads working on the transformation can provide a plethora of nominations to build awareness of employees who are exhibiting the right behaviours.

How can professional communicators support great recognition and reward communications?

By working really closely not only with the central programme team but with regional teams as well. Using a range of communication channels different stories of both excellent individuals and teams can be showcased.  This includes events of all types where communicators can gather and articulate great examples to celebrate – and work closely with leaders across all regions to publicly accolade those who deserve it.  As well as helping with words and visual content, communicators can work closely in collaboration with local transformation and HR leads to decide on the most appropriate ways to recognise people.

What about the recognition tools themselves?

You should always utilise all the formal recognition tools that already exist within the company from e-cards to cash awards.  There may be additional opportunities to celebrate and recognise on a local or regional level as well.

What about implementing recognition globally?  What are the things to look out for?

Reward and recognition experts will tell us that there are subtle differences across different regions in terms of what works in-country so it’s best to always check with regional transformation and HR contacts.  However, there will always be things that work across all regions such as e-cards.

How can you get senior leaders to walk the talk on effective recognition?

Communicators can support leaders walking the talk with background information on teams and individuals to recognise verbally through a multitude of opportunities – from classic walking the floor activities to all hands calls and events.  This is so powerful in so many ways. People see the leader not only building awareness, removing barriers and providing general support, but see them building a desire to play their part and do all they can to ensure transformation success.

What are some of the practical challenges associated with recognition?

As always it’s important to make sure that no worthy individuals are missed out of the recognition programme. Communicators can help to spot candidates when undertaking routine contact activities with colleagues across the regions.

Many thanks for your advice Wendy.

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