by Roy Saunderson | September 10, 2012
The musical, Les Miserables, has a song, “One Day More,” where characters lament how they wish they just had one more day. In our attempts to provide more value through our recognition and rewards programs, we may want to start singing a similar tune, hoping that “one thing more” will elevate the results that we obtain from our programs. 

Here is a list of nine ways, or “one things more,” to make your programs go beyond just a Broadway success.

1. More Functionality
People want more choice and more options with their recognition programs, so give it to them. Managers need greater flexibility across generational needs and workforce trends. Brainstorm ideas, and design recognition programs that address as many identified needs as possible. Modifying programs is an easy solution.

2. More Education
No tool is worth its price if you don’t know how to use it. Provide state-of-the-art e-learning programs, and show and tell your employees and managers the many ways that your recognition program can inspire and celebrate people. Teach them, and count the many ways that they can recognize one another. Give them the why, and then the how.

3. More Mobility
Recognition is fluid and it happens in real time and should not be delayed. Provide more on-the-go recognition giving. Whether from a desktop, a laptop, an iPhone, or an iPad, recognition systems must be integrated. Set up kiosks where employees have little technology access. Recognition should happen with a touch, tap or press of a button.

4. More Connections
Make human resources information systems more integrated so you can pull up any employee by name and picture and recognize them. Use social recognition platforms to feed forward commendations and acknowledgments and share the great things that are happening. Recognition is about connecting people and performance.

5. More Benefits
Recognition programs are a powerful tool in helping managers practice how to give more recognition. What more can managers and employees expect from their recognition programs? Program benefits could include more ease of use, more accessibility, more intuitive initiatives, educational experiences, and, well, fun.

6. More Global
Ensure the ability to reach out to global employees and greet and acknowledge them in their native language. Cultural understanding is even more important than language skills. Programs should flag social norms for effective recognition in different countries and inform on acceptable tangible forms of appreciation.

7. More Data
Give leaders and managers more data from behind the recognition outputs. Look at lines of business numbers and their differences. Where is the most recognition program usage happening, and why? How are individual managers doing with effective recognition giving? Provide “dig deeper data” to achieve solid business results.

8. More Analysis
Look at your recognition data with more detail and compare this with your HR metrics. How does recognition score on your employee engagement surveys? What’s the correlation between recognition and tenure and intent to stay? Look at the practical side of the numbers and gain valuable insights instead of just reports.9.

9. More Impact
The final point is always more to the bottom-line – how has your recognition program made a difference? Could a cost-benefit analysis of a program addressing a human resources issue demonstrate a positive return? Show how strategic directives have progressed since recognition has been aligned with business goals.
Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is author of Giving the Recognition Way and president of the Recognition Management Institute (, which consults companies on improving employee motivation that leads to increased productivity and profit. He can be reached at [email protected]. Also, tune in every Tuesday to his radio show, Real Recognition Radio.