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The 5 Key Pillars of a Successful Recognition Program

In our previous blog we covered important employee milestones that businesses should be celebrating - now we delve into how. A recent Gallup report has identified the five key elements to ensure a robust employee recognition program.


Gallup defines this first pillar as the fulfillment of the occasion. First you’ll have to ask yourself, is the award appropriate for the accomplishment? A simple shout-out or a card can be great ways to show appreciation, but they won’t be enough for the bigger milestones. Businesses should uplift their employees with awards that match the value of the achievement. If the award is lacking, it could leave the employee feeling undervalued. At Dion, we recognize our employees through our custom-made jewelry when they’re hired, at year one, three, five, ten, fifteen years and so forth. However, we send an anniversary card to our employees at every anniversary date. So for the employees who are not hitting a major milestone in which they will receive a custom jewelry award, they will still be acknowledged and thanked for their service.


Recognition should feel genuine, not obligatory. While this is harder to standardize or quantify, companies should be mindful not to let their recognition programs become cold and empty. When presenting awards, share funny or inspiring anecdotes about the recipient or add other warm personal touches. It may become repetitive, but companies should often express why the award is important and how appreciative they are of the employee. Whenever possible, companies should recognize employees in person, eliminating any digital barriers.


Different people will have different preferences to how they want to receive recognition. For example, one employee may love celebrating their birthday while another may dread it. For some, a pat on the back and a quiet word is enough to make their day. For others, public recognition is more validating. By taking the time to learn their employees’ preferences, companies can form better connections and demonstrate their care for each individual. For more formal recognition, having a personalized award can add a special touch. When working with Dion, engraving the employee’s name, a significant date, or even a significant quote into one of our custom jewelry awards is an easy way to achieve this.


While the award messaging may be personalized, employees should be awarded in a fair and consistent way. Recognition programs are meant to celebrate employee achievements, not play favorites. Having clear criteria for the awards and a timely delivery schedule should keep the program running smoothly.


A culture of recognition should be embedded into the company’s values and daily practices. Creating an environment where people not only appreciate one another, but communicate that appreciation is a sign of a thriving business. There are many ways to integrate appreciation into everyday activities. At Dion, every department has a morning meeting where managers often express gratitude for specific actions. We also have our peer recognition award, the Diamond Award. Anyone can nominate a coworker who they saw going above and beyond. That person then receives a shout out in our internal newsletter, a post on our Diamond Award board, and of course the award itself: a custom sterling silver pin.

Recognition is a crucial element to a successful business. Not only does it boost engagement, lower turnover, and increase productivity, but it creates a more enjoyable work experience for everyone. By adhering to these five pillars, businesses can ensure their recognition programs start strong and stay strong.

With over 50 years of experience, Dion can create the perfect custom awards for any occasion. Get inspired by browsing our gallery of past products, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. give us a call, or message us to get started!