How to Get Nominations Right in 2022

Recognition

August 16, 2022

Marco Palomino

X min

5 min

At Kudos, we believe that recognition is the key to a happy team and stronger workplace culture. So, why is it important to consider a nominations program in 2022?

Woman feels happy, raising hands celebrating a work milestone. She is nominated for her work using a top employee recognition software.
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Table of Contents

Let’s get this question out of the way: Who doesn’t love having options? More importantly, what’s worth understanding is that people have different tastes and opinions. After all, what you like or enjoy might be the opposite of the person sitting next to you. This is especially true when it comes to recognition. Authors Gary Chapman and Paul White spoke to this in their book, 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.

At Kudos, we believe that recognition is the key to a happy team and stronger workplace culture. And while we are passionate about regular, meaningful peer-to-peer recognition, we also know people might prefer a more extensive celebration for their hard work and accomplishments. Let’s go back to the beginning: Who doesn’t love having options?

Recognition can take many different forms and being able to recognize your team in a variety of ways is what we’re all about.  

Employee Nominations

Employee Nominations allow leadership and peers to identify a colleague who meets specific criteria. After a reviewing process, a significant reward is granted.

Now, as you probably already know, nominations are a small piece to a bigger solution. At Kudos, we’d like to think of nominations as an added feature to your recognition strategy and not as a one-size-fits-all.

So, why is it important to consider a nominations program in 2022? If you like history as much as I do, this next section is for you.

Scientific Management Theory

During the American industrial revolution, plenty of innovative ideas to improve productivity and efficiency were introduced. One of those innovative ideas came from Frederick W. Taylor, who created Scientific Management Theory. Taylor spent many years figuring out a way to keep productivity levels high.

By watching his employees very closely and taking notes, Taylor would then analyse and remove any unnecessary steps to their workflow, making their job more straightforward. His idea was simple but significant - overworked employees won’t perform as well. 

Additionally, Taylor realized the simple promise that his best employees would have a job the following day wasn’t enough to keep them motivated. So, after a close review, Taylor would categorize the type of work his employees were doing, he then selected the top performers and rewarded them with higher salaries. This selection process can be considered the first nominations flow to ever exist in a work environment. Taylor understood very early that the cost of hiring a new employee would impact the productivity and overall prosperity of his organization’s culture.

Although nowadays we know that money isn’t a long-term solution to keep employees motivated, Taylor’s innovative approach to an employee’s experience, showed us that being able to meet the demand of top performers can lead to better retention and help increase your organization’s productivity. And that, has not changed.

Top Performer Awards

With Taylor’s approach in place, methods to keep employees motivated became more prevalent. Programs such as Employee of the Month (EOTM) and President’s Club are clear examples of that. Employees who have received this recognition in the past still rank it as some of the most memorable recognition they’ve ever received.

Why? Because it’s exclusive, appreciates their hard work and commitment to the organization, and singles them out as a high performer.

However, years of learning about what makes a healthy work-environment tells us that a solo nomination program for the Presidents Club or EOTM can often be seen as “out of reach” and doesn’t motivate employees to strive for this recognition. Kudos has lots of ideas to support you here, and when it comes to nominations, we recommend creating a diverse nomination strategy. After all, Taylor observed his employees and top performers, plural. Nothing stops you from creating nomination programs, plural, that highlights the multiple types of behaviours and skills that drives your success.  

Here are some points we recommend when creating your diverse nomination strategy:  

  1. Criteria: First things first, without comprehensive criteria for employee nominations, employees won’t know how to be nominated or why they received the recognition. Not only that, but this is also the opportunity for the organization to articulate what behaviours and skills are important to them and their collective success. Organizations that don’t make the criteria visible or easily accessible will see their employee nominations program underused or mismanaged with subjective nominations.
  • Tip: Today’s top recognition platforms, like Kudos, have a nomination feature built-in, making the process much easier. With Kudos, you can include the businesses’ criteria right in your description for a user to read when they select the nomination. You can also setup specific questions to gather clear and specific details about the nominee to make the submissions clear and fair.
  1. Description: The nomination description is the first place to articulate what the criteria are for that nomination, but it is also important to articulate why it matters to your organization. Why this program? Why these criteria? Why this timing? The more why you can answer in your description, the more buy-in and participation your nomination will receive.
  • Tip: Many organizations will find the part-or-all of the answer to “why this nomination” rooted in the explanations behind their core values. Consider the definitions connected to your core values to help you craft your description and know that recognition platforms like Kudos require a nomination submission to connect back to your values. With 19% of employees reportedly unaware of their organization’s core values, this connection is sure to bring value to your culture.
  1. Timing: Deciding your nomination window is key. Will you have a monthly, quarterly, or annual program? Additionally, employer branding could be affected if your timing isn’t right. Timing is everything. So, relying on a recognition platform that allows you to personalize your own timing is a must.
  • Tip: We recommend at least having one nomination program that is always on, so your employees never miss the opportunity to be nominated. With Kudos, you’re always in the driver’s seat on timing – it’s completely up to you – and we provide the tools to enable you to send reminders to your employees when adoption is low, or when it’s coming close to your review/approval cycle to increase your submissions.
  1. Create Multiple Nomination Programs: As you consider your criteria, description and timing are you overlooking other important skills and behaviours that you want to reinforce to support your company’s success?
  • Tip: Gather multiple stakeholders’ feedback on what criteria they think are important to your success. Some of these may already exist in your values, or mission/purpose of the company – perhaps you would like to have a nomination program around those items to reinforce their importance. Or maybe there is something that is so big in your President Club Annual Nominations, that you want to break down the characteristics into a lighter, quarterly program.

Looking ahead 

Having a consistent and diverse recognition program in your organization is a solid strategy to improve employee productivity and retention – giving your organization a competitive edge. Adding a nomination program or two is just one of the ways you can strengthen your strategy and Kudos is here to help you.

About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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