by Alex Palmer | October 01, 2012
To encourage managers and co-workers to recognize employees for accomplishments as they happen, incentive company TharpeRobbins has launched a new on-the-spot e-card program, The Power of You. It enables individuals to reward a co-worker or manager for performance that supports the company values with an e-card that is emailed to the awardee's inbox within 24 hours.

"We're trying to freshen up the concept of recognition, utilizing both offline and online apps to put it out there," says Michael Schroeer, vice president of strategic accounts and solution management, TharpeRobbins. "It's really addressing the day-to-day, informal, and formal recognition."

The program is run through an online platform whereby individuals can nominate someone to be recognized for a particular  performance or behavior, assigning them between 300 and 1,200 points, called amps, jolts, and surges. After management approves the nomination, the recipient is sent an e-card award, and he or she can redeem the points for merchandise awards that range in value from $25 to $1,500 in the company catalog.

The program also replaces a standard Employee-of-the-Month award with Megawatts, which can be awarded throughout the month to several different employees. Instead of Employee-of-the-Year awards, TharpeRobbins has introduced Luminaries. Megawatts and Luminaries are selective, and give recipients the opportunity to earn as many as 12,000 points.

TharpeRobbins rolled out the program internally and enjoyed a strong response so far, with a 77 percent participation rate within the first few days of launch. That has since risen to 99 percent. Schroeer believes this speaks to the greater interest in a program that offers recognition in a range of levels.

"It leverages different environments, different ways to make whatever that behavior was, so when people see great things being done they can recognize it quickly," says Schroeer. "We're trying to make it as close to real-time as possible, so when it happens is when to recognize, not having it pile up on your desk."