February 12, 2013 / Ask Mariposa / HR / Talent Management

Ask Mariposa: Creating an Employee Recognition Program


Kristine asked:

I’ve been tasked with creating an employee recognition program, whatever that is. Help!

Tawny Lees, COO responded:

Hi Kristine,

How fun! What’s better than helping people recognize and appreciate each other more regularly? Right, now for the hard part – finding a way to create a program so that people will actually participate and value it. First off, you need a plan. At a high level it will probably look something like:

  1. Assess/Scope
  2. Design
  3. Launch
  4. Maintain

During “assess/scope” you will need to get some questions answered to map out the rest of the plan effectively. What’s the impetus for this program? What’s the objective? What’s the budget? Who are the key stakeholders and decision makers? Any time expectations? During “design” you will certainly want to spend time with many employees across the organization to get in their shoes, research, generate ideas, try a prototype and get feedback until you come up with a final program design and approval. See the many resources here on our blog and site about Design Thinking. Within “launch” you’ll want to identify champions in addition to a communication strategy. And then once everything is in place, clear ownership around on-going program maintenance and tweaking is critical. Without on-going ownership, the program will fizzle and could have negative ramifications instead of the positive outcomes you desire. Good luck and have fun with it!

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