by Roy Saunderson | January 10, 2017
To get your recognition programs functioning properly you need to align them better across your organization. Your job is to make the proper adjustments so your programs run smoothly. This requires agreement and cooperation from your leadership team so everyone is on the same page. Audit your recognition programs against these top 10 ways to better align your recognition programs.

1. Purpose alignment.
 Is the purpose of your recognition programs aligned with your organizational or business purpose? Recognition and reward programs will help you reinforce the company direction if the programs are designed to accomplish this objective.

2. Values alignment.
 Values, or the statements of beliefs your organization aspires to, will always drive recognition practices and the effective use of your recognition programs. Are your recognition programs designed to help you recognize people who exemplify and demonstrate and exemplify living of your values?

3. Strategic alignment.
 Do you have alignment and synchronization of your recognition program data with the performance metrics ensuring strategic connection? Human Resources leaders must better understand and align the business strategy and leadership direction with all of their recognition programs.

4. Relational alignment.
 Give your leaders and managers the training and development they need to build positive relationships with employees. Is there awareness that recognition starts with positive relationships and builds positive bonds between managers and employees?

5. Developmental alignment.
 There is an increasing need to create individual development plans in order to retain employees. Learn to value employees who do good work or reach aspects of their development plans. Are your recognition programs used to informally or formally acknowledge achievements?

6. Talent alignment.
 It's time to integrate talent management into your recognition programs. Work with your HR business partners to incorporate the targeted behaviors aligned with the right talent and skills your company needs. Is your recognition data used to identify people recognized for doing the right things?

7. User alignment.
 How are you leveraging video micro-learning or screen capture to demonstrate your recognition programs? Resolve employee and program administrator's issues with recognition programs by putting your Frequently Asked Question on steroids using video instead of text-based content only.

8. Service alignment.
 How accessible are program customer service personnel for solving issues in seconds? Co-browse with your employees to guide them in touring the recognition program. Engage employees with reports on your program users along with a monthly roundup of customer support interactions and metrics.

9. Efficiency alignment.
 Are your goals and expectations for what should be recognized simple and clear? Programs can be updated on a regular or quarterly basis with new themes, badges, messages, e-cards and certificates that are associated with any revised business goals.

10. Offerings alignment.
 Identify which programs provide the greatest impact for the strategic initiatives you are shooting for. Will social recognition be better for achieving greater employee and customer engagement? Do you need an improved level based rewards program for more sales and productivity?

Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson, MA, CRP, is author of Giving the Real Recognition Way and is the Chief Learning Officer of Rideau Recognition Solutions' Recognition Management Institute, a consulting and training company which helps leaders and managers get recognition right. He can be reached at [email protected]. Also, check out the library of Real Recognition Radio shows.