Recognition Award Criteria

We have a reward and recognition program which includes a nomination form completed by managers based on our organisational values. We are finding the same employees are being rewarded and often viewed by their colleagues for ‘just doing their job’. Can anyone share any ideas for criteria or other ideas that may help to refresh the program. We are a small organisation with small budget. Thanks!

Welcome to People Geek Answers. This is a really interesting question @skilling. I look forward to reading what the community comes up with.

The suggestion that comes to mind for me, is perhaps to apply a criteria that Managers can not nominate their own people and that the nominations have more weight if the person is nominated by someone from a different team altogether?
Let the colleagues decide what is “over and above” and it will usually not have a lot to do with their position description and a lot more around how they went about helping out.
Hope this helps!

Something we’ve used that has worked really well is peer recognition of values. We have a lot of savvy tech users in our company so wanted to create something that taps into what they already know and use every day. So we created a publicly visible Slack channel (our internal messaging board) and anyone can post callouts to other people they have spotted living our values. There aren’t any financial rewards, the recognition is purely in the peer acknowledgement. After several months, when the number of posts dropped to hardly anything, we invigorated it again by getting an ‘Instragam Selfie’ frame printed with our values in a fun way. When giving a shout out to a peer, you hand them the frame and take a photo of them standing with it. Because the frame is large, it draws attention from the people sitting near the area so creates extra buzz when its used.

Opening up nominations to everyone to use minimises the chances that only certain managers will give the recognition, and it empowers everyone in the company to ‘own’ the values and makes it less of a management initiative.

If you’re worried about recognising appropriate behaviours not purely people turning up, then maybe you can build in a validation step where someone from the People team or Senior Management have to approve the recognition before it goes public?

Hope that helps

Thanks Deb, excited to join this community of like minded people!

We use for peer recognition, and it is one of our most enjoyed perks. Anyone can nominate anyone and use his or her 100-point monthly allotment any way he or she wishes. This past month we got 70% participation, recognizing 90% of the company. Accumulated points may be used for low-value gift cards, charity donations, or – with enough points – an extra day off.

The effectiveness of the program is based on two things, I think. First, everyone participates (although few people use up their entire budget each month). Second, people are required to write down HOW someone exhibited a company value. It reminds people of our values, and allows people to give more than the tip of a hat to co-workers. has an algorithm that prevents people from colluding (“you give me all your points this month, and I’ll give you all mine next month”), but we’ve never had it triggered. All around top notch.

Thanks all, some great ideas and inspiration which I look forward to checking out.

Many thanks and for the great welcome!