by Roy Saunderson, MA, CRP | February 15, 2018

Though Valentine's Day has passed, it's a good time to look at how we sometimes need to fall back in love with our recognition and reward programs. Take time to talk about the goals for your recognition program, what makes you happy about it, and things that need to improve. Pick and choose any of the following Top 10 Ways to Fall in Love Again With Your Recognition Program. Communicate and plan how you will make your program the very best.

1. Consider rebranding your program. Think about how long your program has existed as it is now. Does it need a refresh in colors, program name and overall purpose, and perhaps a totally revitalized branding strategy?

2. Say it differently. Select new items for people to give as tokens of appreciation. Why not have arrangements with a florist so people can send flowers? Or perhaps there is a nearby chocolatier to send something sweet.

3. Revitalize recognition resources. Set up some great recognition learning resources for managers and employees. Produce content that shows people why recognition is important and how to give it the right way.

4. Capture candid videos. Assign a team of recognition ambassadors to video record spontaneous recognition messages from one employee to another. Post one or two a day on the program site to cause a recognition buzz. 

5. Record a message. Have your CEO and senior leaders record a weekly audio or video message of appreciation to employees. Cascade out recognition messages via emails along with the embedded recordings.

6. Launch a competition. Call upon your employees to rename your recognition program. Ask your creative employees to send in new graphic designs or photographs to use for your printed note cards and e-cards.

7. Random recognition surprises. Counteract transactional and routine recognition and reward programs by throwing a surprise. Ask your CEO to give a special, weekly recognition gift to randomly selected employee(s).

8. Install social badges. Have designers, IT folks or vendor, make up some clever recognition badges as a new way to acknowledge people. Watch employees get excited about the badges earned for values or focus areas.

9. Spark fun notifications. Stop sending some of the repeated and oft-read email recognition notifications. Spice things up and create a variety of optional messages to remind, encourage, and spur on recognition giving. 

10. Create recognition memories. Programs generate hundreds of recognition moments from peers and managers. Design a forum-like page and invite everyone to submit their most memorable recognition experience.

Incentive columnist Roy Saunderson is the author of Giving the Real Recognition Way.The Vistance Institute chief learning officer at Rideau Inc., Saunderson provides consulting, learning, and thought leadership services focused on helping leaders and managers give real recognition the right way. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter (@RoySaunderson) and at his blog.