by Brian Dodds, CRP | November 04, 2013
Brian Dodds_Ask_the_Experts
Brian Dodds

Every week, we feature a piece of expert advice from a certified recognition professional (CRP) from Recognition Professionals International, an industry association dedicated solely to understanding, improving, and advancing employee recognition & rewards in the workplace.

Q: Do participation rates really gauge the success of a program?

A: For years, the recognition industry has been using program participation as a proxy for program success and trying to link that to return on investment (ROI) on programs. However, usage doesn’t tell the whole story. There are plenty of recognition and reward programs out there with tons of people logging in and looking around, and the business success is flat or trending down; so, activity doesn’t mean success. 

We have to look deeper and start finding places where program usage correlates to changes in key performance indicators (KPIs) in the program. If engagement scores are a KPI, look to see if program usage in areas of the company show any change in those scores. Look at before/after measures of engagement and satisfaction to see if system usage correlates to success. But you have to be brutally honest and really look for the answer — not just look for the answer you like.

About Our Expert: Brian Dodds, CRP is president of Recognition Professionals International (RPI) and is vice president at Symbolist. Relying on infectious curiosity and a background in both philosophy and psychology, Dodds develops reward, recognition, incentive, and influence programs that are highly customized for each individual client. Dodds was recognized with the 2012 Howell Excellence in Education Award and the 2011 RPI Spotlight Award. While helping clients is No. 1 on his to-do list, a close second is giving back to the industry and helping a much larger audience who are interested in the best way to influence and engage their employees, channel partners, and consumers. Dodd speaks regularly to associations and has facilitated recognition training for a wide variety of companies.

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