Topic: Employee Recognition


3M: Building Inclusive, Unified Employee Recognition

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of employees have used the program

2 million

recognition moments in 2022

*3M won the 2023 Breakthrough Award for Unified Employee Experience

3M’s purpose is to use science to improve lives and help solve the world’s toughest challenges with products for office, healthcare, electronics, and transportation. With 93,000 employees in 70 locations around the world, they use employee recognition to empower their people to reimagine what’s possible.


3M wanted to recognize their employees beyond annual year-end performance evaluations. Leaders needed to thank and appreciate their people for great work throughout the year.

At the same time, the company was transitioning to more global ways of working. Leaders now had employees located all around the world, making recognition more complex: recognizing great work as it’s happening, shipping awards across countries, keeping recognition equitable, and providing visibility into great work or service anniversaries proved challenging when employees were scattered across the globe. Recognition felt fragmented and 3M knew they needed a more global, centralized, and aligned recognition approach.

Jeff Finley, Total Rewards and Recognition Program Manager, and his team conducted a company-wide recognition assessment and found 285 recognition programs happening across the organization with little tracking of recognition activity and spend. Employee surveys also revealed employees wanted more frequent, equitable recognition.

“Everyday Wins makes recognition inclusive so that everybody feels they are recognized and appreciated with something that they value.” —Jeff Finley, Total Rewards and Recognition Program Manager


Everyday Wins is a peer-to-peer recognition solution that has one centralized platform and budget and creates a unified employee recognition experience for employees. The company incorporated many of their old recognition activities and programs into Everyday Wins to ensure recognition was equitable and inclusive of all employees, including their offline production employees.

A laptop and mobile phone showing 3M's Everyday Wins program on O.C. Tanner's Culture Cloud platform

“We worked hand-in-hand with O.C. Tanner to ensure all employees had access to Everyday Wins, which is often the single biggest barrier. Our office employees had computers, but for many of our production employees we created kiosks so they could access the program,” explains Finley. They also utilized a mobile app and integrated Everyday Wins into Outlook, which production employees use daily.

Finley and his team ensured there was plenty of communication around the new program through physical mailers, emails, employee town halls, employee chat sites, and 3M’s intranet, with an extra focus on production employees. They met with every plant supervisor about the program and provided them with tools for their pre-shift meetings so they could talk to their employees about what was coming. They utilized user guides, FAQs, and videos to generate excitement for program launch and 3M’s CEO sent out a group recognition to all 93,000 employees to introduce the program.

A screenshot of 3M's Everyday Wins Initiatives alongside custom certificates and trophies from O.C. Tanner

Everyday Wins still provides business groups and teams with flexibility to recognize in ways that are meaningful to them. The Initiatives feature allows business groups to recognize goals that are specific to their teams: quality, safety, wellness, innovation, team achievements, excellence, etc. In the first 8 months of 2023, there were already 556 Initiatives created to recognize employees. “We want to keep our production employees engaged and let them know this program is for them. Initiatives help ensure, on a regular basis, that when they go the extra mile they’ll receive the feedback and appreciation,” says Finley.


3M has seen:

  • Close to 2 million recognition moments in 2022 (221 recognition moments per hour)
  • 94% of employees have used the system at least once
  • Recognition scores remain high despite world challenges, and on a recent survey employees mentioned recognition as a highlight of their employee experience

Everyday Wins and the unified employee recognition experience it provides enables employees to feel more connected at work, strengthening community for employees that work remotely or on a hybrid schedule. “Recognition has become so key, and you can reach out and say thank you and have those moments because you don’t always have them in person,” explains Finley. By bringing together hundreds of disparate recognition programs into one unified recognition approach, 3M ensures a future of inclusion and innovation at the company.

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