recognition is a work in progressLet me start by saying, I am not a runner. I’ve played many sports that required running, but never enjoyed going on a “fun run” (as some friends call it). That being said, last week I started a new hobby, a running program—Couch to 5K– that was developed for those of us lazy folk who have a difficult time getting off the couch and getting exercise.

Things that I love about the program:

-You start small

-You set goals

-The program provides clear direction

So what do these three concepts have to do with recognition programs? Easy, let me tell you.

Start small.   In the first week of the program, you rotate between walking for 90 seconds and running for 60 seconds.  You do not have to jump in feet first and run 3 miles on day one. More like, you test the water, dip your feet in, and walk into it. At your program launch you do not have to have every single key indicator identified and you do not have to use every feature that we offer on your rewards site. Use indicators and features as building blocks to introduce something new every few months to keep employees engaged in the program.

Set goals.   Set objectives that are obtainable and measurable. For example, my goal is just to run a 5K without stopping (with hopes of eventually running a marathon, I’ll let you know how that goes). However, it is important to note that goals aren’t always met using an elevator, but with a staircase…So realize that it might take time for people to start reaching goals – and for you to begin realizing the program ROI.

Provide Direction.   If you need a plan on how to get off the couch and start running a 5K, Couch to 5K is for you! It gives you a breakdown of each day; how long you walk, how long you run, how long you cool down, etc… When planning your recognition program, be sure that you give good direction to your employees on how the program will work. Tell them how they will be able to succeed in the program and what you are hoping the program will accomplish.

Not unlike the training regimen required to build up to marathon distance, recognition programs are a constant work in progress.  Don’t be afraid to start small and add on to your program as you go along. Set goals that take 2 months and some that may take 1 or 2 years to reach. Give clear and concise direction to ensure employees reach their goals. By doing these three things you will surely have an enjoyable and successful program.

Contact us here or call us at 800.621.9745 to find out more.

Alison provides program sponsors and administrators with relevant program data, analysis and insight at QIC. She is also involved in developing program marketing methods and materials. In addition to her account support functions, Alison is involved with QIC’s social media initiatives and external marketing efforts. Alison earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Mississippi College, where she was a member of the equestrian team.

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