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Topic: Appreciation

7 essential improvements for your homegrown recognition program

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Employee recognition is essential if you want to build a workplace culture that attracts, engages, and inspires employees to stay with the organization and contribute to its success.

Research shows frequent employee recognition leads to a:

• 20-point increase in sense of purpose
• 22-point increase in sense of success
• 23-point increase in sense of leadership
• 24-point increase in sense of opportunity

Many organizations pursue recognition by creating their own homegrown recognition programs. Small and medium organizations often rely on an internal team for creation, delivery, and execution to save money. Some larger companies that could afford to hire outside experts choose to go homegrown anyway in the belief that by doing so the solution will better reflect their unique culture. Using internal resources can be an easy, budget-friendly way to make recognition happen.

However, as with any initiative, homegrown recognition programs require a lot of work. Implementation often falls to an already busy HR department that doesn’t have the time to create a robust program. They may not have time to gather industry insights and best practices. They may lack the budget, tools, and expertise to make a program as meaningful and effective as possible.

Depending on the size of the organization, a homegrown approach to recognition may work well for a few years, until you outgrow it. But flying without a vendor makes it extra important to find and follow best practices in order to achieve recognition success.

No two organizations are alike. And while there are many different needs and approaches to consider, here are seven common ways you can improve any homegrown recognition program.

1) Connect your recognition strategy to your company values and purpose.

Employees want to do work that matters. Recognition is a powerful way to connect an employee’s work to something bigger—to show employees how their work makes a difference to the organization and to the world. As you identify what to recognize, think about the connections your employees can make to company values and your organization’s purpose.

An organic culture of appreciation happens when you align employee recognition to your organization’s purpose, values, and key objectives. Appreciate the team as well as the individual. Appreciate everyday wins, as well as monumental achievements. Create a strategy that allows managers and employees alike to recognize significant effort, meaningful results, career milestones, and company anniversaries.

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