I have judged nominations submitted to Recognition Professionals International (RPI) to merit their Best Practices Awards for the last 15 years. You learn a great deal when you see what organizations are doing to comply with RPI’s seven best-practice standards.
Lately, I have observed that leaders are getting more involved with their organization’s recognition strategies. They recommend various recognition program frameworks, or models, to ensure their recognition programs are successful.
Let me explain what a recognition program framework could look like.
Understanding Recognition Frameworks
A Recognition Program Framework is a basic structure, plan, or system outlining the various recognition programs present in an organization. Companies align their organizational culture people and strategic business goals with these recognition frameworks.
RPI has a basic recognition framework with its Three-Tiered Pyramid Model, with a foundation of Day-to-Day Recognition, Informal Recognition in the middle, and Formal Recognition at the very top. The number of employees potentially affected and the frequency of occurrence of recognition, is higher at the bottom and reduces in percentages as you move upward.
Remember that a framework is a skeletal structure that supports the overall recognition strategy. It often depicts the Recognition Program Frameworks in various model formats or shapes. Other times, they are simply linear steps.
Benefits of Recognition Frameworks
Having a framework allows you to identify and assign all of your programs to a specific area within the framework. You can use this to communicate to others what types of programs you have, the reach they likely will have, and how often recognition is expected to happen. In each framework section, you can also describe the purpose and cultural beliefs driving programs.
Frameworks allow you to design your recognition programs in organizational, operational, and functional reference points. They can help you incorporate and align your recognition programs with your organizational culture and your goals, processes, tasks, and eventual results.
You can also integrate some recognition framework models into a total rewards framework. You might see other layouts that combine maturity models or even balanced scorecards. Laid out in these tabled, flowing, designed ways, you and your leaders can see the big picture when launching programs. It assists you in showing how you will develop and improve your programs and visually shows leaders what needs to be done next.
I am seeing is that senior and executive leadership teams gravitate to using frameworks and models for employee recognition practices and programs. Some models I have seen include:
- Graphically designed Greek-looking temples with their values engraved on pillars standing on the foundation of recognition programs, which hold up the organizational strategic objectives.
- Models address aligning their performance-based results and values-based behaviors they want to recognize.
- A tiered recognition framework allows you to identify where your existing recognition programs fit in and whether anything is missing.
- A colorful table format to outline their recognition priorities.
Leaders can use these models when presenting and reviewing the existing and proposed new recognition programs and are referenced in holding all leaders accountable for recognition giving.
These examples can help explain recognition in your organization when onboarding new staff. You’ll find them very helpful when conducting leadership development programs. And they’ll put you into the realm of best practice organizations simply by creating a recognition framework that fits your organization.