If you’ve ever planned a fun Friday activity with snacks and games only to see a handful of employees turn up, you will have learned the importance of communication!
It’s the same with your employee recognition program. Don’t bring the ship to shore only to see it crash on the rocks! Months of strategizing, budgeting, and setting up the perfect tool will come to naught if your employees are mostly left in the dark due to the lack of proper communication.
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” - George Bernard Shaw
To see the maximum return on your program investment (with widespread implementation and adoption), you need a proper communication plan along with a launch checklist to ensure that every employee:
The goal is to ‘market’ the value of your recognition program to your employees.
To drive a recognition-rich culture in your organization and increase overall productivity, you’ve created a comprehensive recognition program that motivates your employees at every step of their journey with the company.
💡 ‘Work becomes more meaningful when people know that their actions are noticed and appreciated.’ (Source: McKinsey)
But it’s not enough to simply invest in the program if your employees are confused about its objectives and benefits.
Get your employees’ buy-in by creating a buzz around the program through a well-planned communication campaign with the launch at its center.
🏆 When General Motors promoted their new recognition program, they amped up on their communication efforts by reaching out to their employees using a multichannel approach (targeted emails, training videos, newsletters, and intranet posts). This ultimately resulted in a 97% participation and adoption rate for the new recognition program.
While the program applies equally to regular employees and manager-level employees, your communication plan has to be tailored to each group.
As the target group for the recognition program, your communication efforts should concentrate on the goals and objectives behind the program, the details of the process, the tools to be used, and the program's short- and long-term benefits for employees.
If possible, select a few key players to champion the program. Spread the word to your employees through meetings, onboarding materials, intranet, social posts, notes on the bulletin board, emails, and more.
As critical stakeholders in the recognition program, managers and supervisors must be made aware of the rationale behind the program. As the ones responsible for initiating the recognition and fielding questions from their teams, they must comprehend the process, the technology, and the workings of the tool/platform.
Stakeholder meetings, training sessions, Q&A packets, and emails would help bring the mid-level executives up to speed and help them get familiarized with the program.
From launch emails to posters, campaigns, town hall meetings, intranet popups, there are several ways in which you can build excitement around the launch.
HR should initiate the first communication a few weeks before the actual launch; this gives employees time to understand the program, its value, the rewards on offer, and how it will improve their overall career development.
These companies have made a name for themselves not just for their recognition programs but for the way they launched their R&R program and the fanfare around it.
➡ Heineken repackaged and relaunched its R&R program with all the bells and whistles. The run-up to the launch included omnichannel communications through emails, daily social media posts, standees and posters, SMS to employees, PC screensavers, and more.
➡ Cox Communications planned a week-long launch festival with full-fledged activities around its Spark R&R platform. They turned it into an annual event that starts with a fun, company-wide themed email announcing the Spark Week festivities.
‘The means of telling employees “who” is receiving recognition and “why” depends on the organization's culture.’ - SHRM
A quick checklist will help you solidify your launch strategy and ensure that your communication plan for launching your employee recognition and rewards program is ready to roll.
Since it’s easy for the excitement to fizzle out, keep the buzz going with follow-up emails, surveys, quizzes, and even feedback focus groups.
Open your communication channels and encourage company-wide usage to ensure a successful implementation, post-launch adoption, and lasting engagement with your employee recognition program.
Concurrently, communicate the success metrics of the program, which includes factors such as:
Ensure regular updates about version changes, structural changes, modifications, and interesting statistics of the program's stakeholders and employees.
Ensure that the top management is also in on the game by frequently communicating with their teams and recognizing achievers and winners.
This will breed trust and show the employees that the company is not just investing in a tool, it strongly believes in the overall program.