Employee appreciation and recognition are key drivers to creating a successful workplace culture. However, the size of a company can be a challenge. It can be overwhelming to try and provide a great employee experience for companies with a large number of employees, especially while work experiences are in flux. So how do large companies appreciate their employees and connect people to their culture when employees are apart? These five employee recognition ideas are a great place to start.
Want to improve employee engagement? Then help your people feel connected. While employees may have been sitting in the same office before, they are likely now working across the globe or navigating a new workplace environment. More than ever, ensuring each individual is connected to not only your company’s purpose, but also to each other, is crucial. Things like in-person happy hours, breaks together at a nearby coffee shop, or a fun lunch time field trip to help employees connect can’t happen like they have in the past.
And as employee morale might be suffering due to the ongoing isolation and burnout brought on by the pandemic, you can help your people focus and feel part of something bigger. Don’t let your organization’s purpose get lost in the shuffle of work; connect everything your employees do to your purpose and your people can’t help but remember it:
• Connect employees’ specific, individual work to your organization’s purpose in recognition moments, whether they are in-person or on Zoom. How did their contributions further your purpose?
• Use your company’s internal and external social media to highlight your team members’ great work and allow peers to comment and leave notes of congratulations.
• Create a virtual, visual campaign to keep purpose and employee recognition top of mind.
• Send out push notifications to remind teams how they can act on company values and recognize one another when they see the values being exemplified.
Typically, the larger the organization, the more locations and business units or departments they have, and the harder it is to have one consistent recognition strategy or experience. Some areas may only give gift cards for recognition, while others might have an annual awards ceremony. Others might take their employees out to lunch to show appreciation, or use thank you notes and personal gifts to say “good job.” Different departments may use different ways to show their teams appreciation, but ultimately this type of disparate recognition is hard to track, hard to budget for, and creates inconsistent recognition experiences for staff and leaders alike.
The best way to ensure all employees have a similar recognition experience when they do a great job, no matter where in your organization they are, is to:
• Have one company-wide platform, where employees give and receive recognition in a streamlined way. O.C. Tanner’s Culture Cloud provides large companies with an easy to use app that help employees across the globe feel appreciated, connected, and thrive at work.
• Provide training to leaders on what to recognize and how to give employee recognition in a consistent, meaningful, and personal way.
• Be sure recognition is inclusive of all employees in all areas of the company and all employees can find, access, and use the program easily.
• Encourage cross-functional, peer-to-peer recognition that builds collaboration and connection.
In larger companies it’s difficult to ensure every employee is recognized and feels appreciated. Chances are the back-office heroes and quiet workers may be overlooked. So build in company-wide recognition moments that include everyone, so no one is left behind.
Find easy ways to show appreciation on a large scale, whether it’s a simple personal email from senior executives or a special gift created especially for the occasion, like O.C. Tanner’s beautiful custom awards. If you have a recognition platform that uses points, a company-wide points deposit is a simple, quick way to let employees pick a gift or award of their choice.
Here are some examples of achievements to recognize as a company, so each one of your people feel seen and valued:
• Company milestones (company birthdays, important anniversaries or events in your company’s history)
• Big company achievements (major sales wins, retaining a big client, ranking on a list like Best Companies to Work, winning an industry award, etc.)
• Completing a major innovation or goal
• New product launches
Along with cheering on the daily victories and major company moments, celebrating years of service is equally important in ensuring all employees in large organizations feel valued. Recognizing during the early years (1, 3, 5) is especially crucial in helping to keep new employees engaged and wanting to stay, as it may take longer for newer employees to feel a sense of belonging in larger organizations.
Some ways large companies can show appreciation for career achievements:
• Leverage technology to gather and collect comments and photos from peers and leaders across the organization.
• Include meaningful awards that will connect employees back to their career accomplishments and your organization.
• Create a recognition moment with their team. Not all employees may want a huge, public recognition event, but most would like to be honored in front of their teams. So schedule time to celebrate the employee’s career together, whether it’s with their immediate team only or a larger group of peers and leaders.
While many companies try and build their own employee recognition programs, for large organizations, this can be a daunting task. So find a partner who knows how to handle companies of your size; one who can navigate a diverse set of employees, in multiple locations, in multiple countries. One who understands the complexities of large organizations, who offers both online and offline solutions, and one who will listen to your unique needs and goals.
Dow Chemical has over 50,000 employees in over 180 countries. They wanted a global employee recognition strategy, with the flexibility of local implementation to meet the needs of local cultures. O.C. Tanner helped Dow create a recognition solution that was flexible, accessible, and customized to their unique culture. This has led to more collaboration, innovation, and engagement.
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