How to Make Your Recognition Program Stand Out

Today’s business world is more competitive than ever. Attracting the divided attention of customers and talent alike can be challenging, and your marketing strategy has to find new ways to mark your brand as “special” somehow. A thoughtful, creative recognition program could be one of the most effective ways to stand out because it focuses on something that people always want: to feel appreciated.

Recognition Programs Help Achieve Your Goals

Any corporate strategy must include something direct at loyalty and satisfaction. Without happy customers and dedicated employees, no organization can succeed. When they feel appreciated, they’re more likely to stick around, make purchases or excel in their jobs, and recommend your brand to others. If your goals include things like reducing turnover, increasing loyalty, and improving productivity, recognition programs should be part of your strategy.

Several studies have shown the remarkable effectiveness of recognition programs:

  • Companies with effective recognition programs see 31% lower voluntary turnover than companies without recognition programs. (Bersin by Deloitte, 2012)
  • 53% of employees reported that they would choose to stay employed longer at their companies if they feel appreciated. (Glassdoor, 2013)
  • 72% of companies say that recognition has the highest positive impact on engagement. (Harvard Business Review, 2013)
  • Organizations with recognition programs report 14% higher employee productivity, performance, and engagement, compared to companies without those programs. (Deloitte, 2020)
  • An effective recognition program can lead to a rise in employee performance, on average increasing 11.1%. (Gartner, 2020)

Recognition programs can be equally effective on the customer-facing side. Research from Coresight found the following:

  • 80% of companies report improved relationships with employees and/or with customers after implementing a recognition program
  • 48% say those benefits are “substantial”
  • 45% reported that a recognition program made recipients feel substantially more valued
  • 43% saw a direct correlation between recognition programs and increased customer loyalty.

Designing Your Recognition Program

When creating your recognition program, start with the simplest question that drives all the other decisions: who is your program for – employees, customers, or both? Many organizations will build recognition programs to reward both customer loyalty and employee achievement, although the programs may look quite different.

Internal recognition programs usually are targeted at employee milestones (like anniversaries), holidays, or special achievements. While some gifts are given based on calendar dates, like holidays, most are “earned” by virtue of a certain length of time or a certain action. On the other hand, external, customer-facing recognition programs may also have both “automatic” and “earned” rewards. An automatic reward might come for a holiday or an anniversary, while customers might earn recognition by reaching a certain purchase threshold or making a particular type of purchase. Both types of programs, however, operate on the same assumption: people are happier and more loyal when they feel like the company truly appreciates their contributions.

Recognition programs can be divided into two types of recognition: personal and gift. “Personal” recognition is more about acknowledging an achievement and highlighting it externally and internally. This could be an item in the company newsletter, sharing it on social media, displaying it in office spaces, spotlighting achievements in a display or e-blast, and so on. Typically, this kind of recognition also involves a formal “award,” like a certificate or letter.

Companies also are increasingly recognizing the value of a full-fledged corporate gifting program. As the name suggests, these programs go beyond an announcement and a certificate to actually give gifts to accompany the praise. Many gifting programs will present recipients with personalized and branded items like apparel, electronics, office gear, and more. Others might prefer something simpler, like a gift card. The key is making sure the gift fits the occasion and is truly useful to the recipient.

Whichever item or items are chosen for your recognition program, the priority should always be making sure that the recipient feels truly celebrated. Allied can help your team create a program that fits your needs, goals, and budget, all while making sure your appreciation for your customers and employees shines through.

If you are interested in learning more about how to design a recognition program for your business please contact us.

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