Give Your Employee Recognition Program the “Oscar” Treatment

The grand finale of awards season is upon us, The Academy Awards and is an inspiring and exciting time. Moreover, it is a great time to evaluate your employee recognition program with a bit of that Oscar magic!   The International Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is responsible for the Academy Awards, whose purpose is to further improve the film industry. The Academy is a committee of creatives working in the industry, who nominate and vote on award winners for high achievements in film. These awards were formerly known as the Academy Award of Merit but presently called the Oscars. The Academy Awards is the oldest entertainment awards ceremony, and subsequently has shaped the Grammy’s and Emmy’s award ceremonies.   Employee recognition is the acknowledgement of an individual or team’s behavior efforts and accomplishments, which support the organization’s goals and values. Employees know their work is valued and important, when they are recognized for their hard work and achievement. Recognizing employee’s for their contributions also gives them a sense of ownership and belonging. Furthermore, this improves company morale, enhances loyalty, increases motivation, and builds a supportive work environment.   Let’s take a look at what makes The Oscars so successful, impactful and engaging and how to apply those ideas with innovative internal communication technology and employee recognition. Here are a few pointers on how to implement an award-winning employee recognition program:    

  1. Make it visible and public.

Every February the entertainment community and film enthusiasts turn their attention to the Academy Awards. Anticipation builds to a fever pitch leading up to the Oscar telecast. Millions of movie lovers tune in to watch this glamorous ceremony to learn who will receive the highest honors, in filmmaking.   Create a similar environment and buzz for your employees. Be proactive and put it out there, instead of waiting for employees to view it on the intranet. As more people see it, the more anticipated the award or achievement will be.   Utilize your internal communications, digital displays, mobile experience and other digital end points such as the cafeteria or lobby video walls. Ensure that they are front and center and viewable in all gathering areas.   Finally, hold an event to present your awards in front of the greater workforce. Encourage your staff to get excited about the opportunity to be awarded on stage in front of their peers which will help motivate them to strive to win one the following year.    

  1. Implement a peer-to-peer recognition program.

The Academy consists of a group of peers in the film industry that vote for each Oscar winner. Moreover, this peer nominated structure is what makes winning an Oscar such a prestigious achievement.   Peers know what you are doing on a daily basis. When they “thank you” for your efforts the impact is much more meaningful. Peer-to-peer recognition programs help your organization tie business and performance goals into the foundation of your company culture. By providing real-time feedback, you ensure reinforcement of behaviors you value. Make sure that you are sharing the success. Empower your employees to spot good performance and reward accomplishment.   Today’s advanced digital tools can help with peer surveys and digital software helps to collect peer-to-peer feedback in an easier, less intrusive way.    

  1. Base your recognition and achievement awards on your company values.

The Academy recognizes and upholds the values of excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences. This inspires imagination and connects the world through the medium of motion pictures. Thus, they have created these awards to promote these values.   By shaping your recognition and rewards programs around company values, you will help connect employees’ behaviors to the fundamentals of what makes your company strong. This strengthens the brand and voice of your company as a direct effect. Employees see what others are, appreciated for, thanks to the value tags and public recognition that pairs with it. This will inspire them to model these strengths, including the value of appreciating colleagues.     Modern digital engagement tools make it easier to collect, distribute and measure the process of an employee recognition program. Without any doubt, employee recognition helps with employee engagement. However, recognizing and rewarding employees for their outstanding contributions will make them feel like super stars!