Best practices in Recognizing employees on Workplace by Facebook

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”

– Simon Sinek

Employee recognition and related practices have of late become a case of a classic- a book that everyone praises but no one reads.

Employee Recognition is essential. Everybody gets that part. What goes into making recognition effective, however, is mostly guesswork. And that is not all bad — because there is no template for doing recognition right.

Effective recognition practices vary depending on the size, domain, and demographics. What works for an early tech startup with feisty individuals coding day and night, might not work for an e-commerce giant and definitely not for a civil aviation firm!

Despite the peculiarities that make the choices for recognition exclusive a few broad and core aspects remain a standing ground for formulating effective recognition strategies.

Recognition has no defined premise, from a simple thank you to personalized gifts, there are many ways to acknowledge a job well done. And trust me, a pay raise is never sufficient!
At Kwench we believe that Recognition Delayed = Recognition Denied! An annual recognition or pay raise will not completely acknowledge the brilliance of work done through the year.

Also, for long the onus of employee recognition has been on the HR. Being a central position, the recognition handed is not always in-line with the overall contributions in a department or project.

63 percent of employees around the world feel that they aren’t recognized enough

The fulcrum of employee engagement needs to and has been shifting to line managers. With empowered line managers, recognition is more targeted, frequent and well acknowledged.

Workplace has long been helping teams to communicate, connect and collaborate better. It enables instant recognition and doesn’t restrict it as an obligation of the HR but as an engaging practice primarily handled by Line managers, but open to all employees at certain levels. Further, it provides numerous SaaS integration tools that further augment its outreach and impact.

Let’s quickly dive into some key points for building an engaging recognition culture with Workplace by Facebook -

  • Create a group to provide an instant leader, manager, and peer-to-peer recognition. A dedicated group for recognition provides a center-stage to the outstanding individual or team contributions. 
    You can also announce dedicated awards like Star of the month, Star of the Quarter, etc.
    Tools like Kwench Kudos Bot — an employee reward and recognition platform, integrated with Workplace. It helps amplify recognition culture and organization values within the company, increases the visibility of the recognition program, makes the recognition process highly efficient and effective with digitization and analytics and improves motivation among employees.
  • Define criteria for nominations — It is important to recognize people who have made commendable contributions but telling them and others that it was well earned, is indispensable! Realize an amplification of company culture through recognition by linking to values or behaviors that are in-line with the spirit of your organization. Once you have outlined the values/cultural amplifiers that define your goals as a team, the drive to work upon them would rise tremendously. Reward incentive for the same would be an added encouragement.

It can be done by avoiding vague, cliche and ‘write-once-run-anywhere’ citations. 
Take for example — “Great job Sophie! Keep up :)”, “Great job John, keep it up”, et al.

“Sophie, I would like to call out your contributions in organizing the Annual Sales conference today. Thank you for handling the unforeseen glitches spot on and being an outstanding coordinator, the rapport we have earned will go a long way. Keep up the Passion, Innovation, and Sense of Urgency :)”
No candies for guessing which one’s better!

  • Ask for peer nominations — It can be either for regular shout-outs for a good job done like ‘Win of the week’ or ‘Rockstar Rookie’ and even for more prestigious awards like ‘Employee of the Year’.
  • Participation of the Leadership — To have the leaders actively engaged is a critical success factor for any successful recognition initiative. The top leaders shouldn’t be aloof of this change by treating it as an obligatory feature. Instead, they must realize it as an effective medium to engage effectively. Also, praises sent on a centralized platform like Workplace have a higher visibility and impact. It would also encourage the employees to use the platform for recognition and engagement.
  • Do Workplace live award ceremonies — The Workplace Live feature is indeed one of the most engaging tools on Workplace. It makes sure no one is left out and also ensures a safe record of amazing memories! The likes, reactions, and comments make the entire recognition process more rewarding for winners and their peers alike!
  • Sustained and periodic interventions and live streaming different types of events — No matter the vibrancy and outreach of the recognition program, it is quite natural for people to sway from it after the initial euphoria(very much in tune with the human nature). It is the responsibility of the managers and other stakeholders to keep intervene engagingly for better outcomes. Celebrate events like World Employee Appreciation day(First Friday in March), Innovation week to recognize employees doing grassroots innovation, etc. Further, live streaming the experiences like birthday celebration, a charity event or a fundraiser draws further engagement and enthusiastic participation.
  • Buck up the game with recognition and engagement bots, make the recognition program/framework empowering— It is important to have a recognition program in place but it is equally important for it to hold value. It shouldn’t past as another post on your feed. It can be done by allotting recognition budget to managers and business heads. As noted, the recognition process intrinsically is quite abstract. Employees and managers might fumble for a start. To create a more easy, targeted and comprehensive peer to peer non-monetary recognition mechanism, you can use the Thanks bot that automatically posts your thanks and pings the recipient’s manager at the same time
  • Instant reward redemption — Facilitate Rewards and recognition platforms which enable instant reward points redemption (gift cards/cash). It is great to have a store which offers you a variety of gift experiences (much better than cash rewards which hit payroll at the end of the month and forgotten)
  • Set up company-specific awards — You can engage employees by promoting healthy competition and effective recognition practices. You can have a diverse set with in-time awards like SPOT(Special Praise on Time) for more targeted work recognition, it can be for major bug fix or UI contributions on an existing project and more aspirational awards like — Star of the Month, Star of the Quarter, etc. which are given for brilliant and steady performance over a period. You can add monetary gifts for each and keep a few awards non-monetary, all depending on your choice. 
    Configure a comprehensive set of rewards which would cover all the domains you would want to reward your employees!

*Tip* Try out experiential awards both internally(parking slots, customized workstations for the great work(add on a few stickers like ‘The hacker you need’,’Aces all Day’, etc., lunches with CEO et al) and externally (family dinner, helicopter ride, etc.). Works like a charm!

  • Link recognition profile to continuous feedback systems — To further heighten the importance of the given recognition, companies can link the recognition profile to the periodic feedback programs/systems, i.e. in the periodic employee review/feedback managers should also keep a note of their recognition stats(rewards and recognitions received).
  • Governance through data analytics — Take the recognition program to next level by analyzing and working on the social recognition and other related engagement statistics. Below is one of the numerous snapshots you get with Kwench Rewards and Recognition platform to gain insights into your shortcomings and achievements with respect to the recognition culture.

Ready to revamp your recognition with these points in mind? Tell us how you feel about it and share if you have more thoughts here in comments :)

We, at ‘Kwench have been relishing the shift to engagement systems through Workplace and have further enhanced our workplace productivity in addition to exemplary recognition practices via our exclusive-to-Workplace bots! Check out how we make the offices better for employees all across the globe at Kwench Bots.