April 26, 2024
March 1, 2024

Spot Recognition, Spot Rewards, and How to Nail Both

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Have you ever been surprised by a spur-of-the-moment compliment or gift? That’s spot recognition. Otherwise known as a spot reward, this type of recognition is given on-the-spot (get it?) for recent actions or behaviors.

Spot recognition isn’t necessarily instant—you don’t need to follow your employees around with a gift basket, just waiting for someone to do something good enough to earn it. However, it should be timely and genuine, truly recognizing the value employees bring within a day or two.

With organized spot recognition programs, you can be sure that every employee is noticed, recognized, and rewarded for their hard work, no matter when it happens.

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Examples of Spot Recognition Programs

Here are some examples of spot recognition that you can integrate into your culture without much fuss:

  • Peer-to-peer recognition. Implement a recognition platform that allows peers to recognize each other. This takes some responsibility off leaders’ shoulders and allows peers to celebrate each others’ accomplishments quicker than leaders would be able to.
  • Manager-to-report recognition. Along those same lines, use a platform that allows managers to quickly and easily recognize their employees, and train managers to use it frequently.
  • Company shoutout. Have company leaders get up during a weekly meeting to shout out a few employees who went above and beyond that week. Make sure to ask those employees if they’re comfortable being mentioned in front of the group.
  • Social media callout. Praise your people on your company social media platforms. This ensures that the shoutout is spread far and wide and also shows potential employees that you value your people.
  • Rotating trophy. Allow teams or individuals to compete for a trophy that rotates on a regular cadence. 
  • Handwritten notes. Set up a note-writing station in your office (or a digital one for remote workers), and let people write notes of gratitude to employees who have helped them or gone above and beyond.

The key for spot recognition programs is to make them timely and frequent so that employees feel recognized for the effort they put in as soon as possible.

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A Real-World Example

ClickUp, an Awardco client, had a goal to increase employee engagement while also cutting down on the time their admins spent administering their outdated recognition platform.

After switching to Awardco, they built out an impressive peer-to-peer recognition program that gives every single employee a budget of points to use when recognizing and rewarding each other. This spot recognition program has made a huge difference in their culture and saved their HR team time and effort.

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When Should You Recognize Employees?

Spot recognition shouldn’t be given out to anyone and everyone at all times—otherwise, it won’t be special. So when should you give out spot awards?

  • Performance. Award exceptional performance when someone goes above and beyond and really knocks their work out of the park.
  • Innovation. Express gratitude for new ideas and innovative solutions to drive more innovative behaviors.
  • Collaboration. Reward collaboration and teamwork when someone goes out of their way to help someone else.
  • Cultural improvements. Show appreciation when employees embrace and personify your company culture, especially if they personify your core values.
  • Customer satisfaction. Give recognition to those who go out of their way to make customers or clients happy.
  • Initiative. Show gratitude to anyone who voluntarily takes the lead on a project, jumps in to help without being asked, or tries to improve processes of their own accord.

Spot recognition is all about showing employees that even their smallest efforts are seen and appreciated. It’s also a tool to drive positive behaviors because 92% of employees are more likely to repeat a behavior after being recognized for it.

So if you want employees to be more innovative, productive, or collaborative, recognize those behaviors as often as possible!

Other Spot Recognition Program Best Practices

Now that you know when to recognize employees on the spot, let’s look at some of the best practices to keep in mind when building out your spot recognition program:

  1. Establish clear criteria. For certain programs, such as the rotating trophy or the company shoutout, make sure employees know how they can achieve the recognition. This way, the awards won’t feel haphazard or random.
  2. Decide on monetary or non-monetary rewards. Not all spot recognition needs a monetary reward. Sometimes company swag, a handwritten note, a treat, or an extra day of PTO are good enough. Heck, even the compliment itself is often a sufficient reward. 
  3. Set up communication channels. A wall of fame, bulletin board, or Slack channel are great examples of communication channels where you can post spot recognition. You could even put recent recognition winners in your company newsletter.
  4. Train managers to utilize the program. Managers have a huge impact on their employees’ engagement and satisfaction, so make sure they know how to recognize frequently and meaningfully.
  5. Use technology to spread the recognition. A digital recognition platform will make recognizing, rewarding, tracking, and reporting much easier for everyone. Plus, you’ll be able to easily scale up as you build your recognition program or grow your company.

A Real World Example

Another Awardco client, Ultradent, is a global dental equipment manufacturer. Spreading appreciation to all of their employees was a challenge, especially those on the manufacturing floor. 

However, using Awardco, they’ve built out spot recognition and rewards programs that effectively reach all of their global locations. They also tie their spot recognition program into their core values, which has reinforced desired behaviors and helped them build their culture.

Benefits of Spot Recognition

Besides reinforcing and driving positive behaviors, recognizing employees on the spot brings a host of other benefits. Regular recognition can:

  • Lower your turnover by 31%
  • Increase productivity by 14%
  • Increases engagement by 43%
  • Increases employee loyalty by 3X
  • Makes employees 56% less likely to look for a new job

When done right, spot recognition is one of your greatest tools for building a culture of appreciation for your employees because it’s frequent, meaningful, and comes from all directions.

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Enjoy Simple On-the-Spot Rewards and Recognition

Employees frequently do great work that deserves to be recognized—make sure their efforts are noticed and appreciated with spot recognition programs. Not only will you help these employees feel more loyal, productive, and engaged, you’ll also make them much more likely to repeat the great work they were recognized for.

If you want to build a spot recognition program that makes it easy to recognize and reward anyone at any time, contact us here at Awardco.