If you’re reading this blog, it’s very likely because you and your company are currently using Terryberry’s 360 Recognition platform to operate your Employee Recognition program.  360 Recognition is a wonderful online tool that allows employees from all over the globe to connect, interact, and celebrate each other’s achievements.  Sharing your gratitude for a coworker has never been easier.  A well-crafted message of thanks is never more than a few clicks away.

But in this modern world of emails, push notifications, and web conferencing, do you ever miss the “good old days” of face to face conversations and hand-written notes?  If you answered yes, you’re not alone.

At Terryberry, we understand the value of personal communication and that some things are better expressed when they’re said face to face.  When we designed the 360 Recognition platform, it was never our intention to replace those moments and conversations with emails and mobile alerts. That’s why we included a feature that allows you to share recognition with someone offline.

Every time recognition is submitted through 360 Recognition, the site automatically takes the information from that submission and creates a printable .pdf certificate.  All you have to do is click print, and you have a tangible object symbolizing your gratitude to deliver to the person you’ve recognized.

Presenting someone with a certificate does more than simply let them know that they’ve been recognized outside of their email. By taking the time to recognize someone in a face to face situation, you’re letting that person know that you value them and their efforts in a way that surpasses the simplicity of online communication. You’re telling that individual that what they did meant enough to you that they deserved to hear it in person. Face to face conversations do a great deal to strengthen workplace communication and relationships, bolster employee morale, and build trust between coworkers.

Beyond the advantages that delivering recognition in person might have on your team’s morale and communication skills, using certificates as a symbolic reminder of a job well done can also assist in promoting your recognition program. People take great pride in their personal achievements. When they’re given a symbolic reminder of that achievement, such as a trophy, diploma, plaque, badge, or medal, there is an inherent desire to display those symbols.  Certificates of recognition are no different. Employees will display certificates as reminders for themselves and others, that they are a valued and celebrated member of your organization. Publicly displayed certificates can and will serve as reminders to those who see them that they too can send recognition when they witness someone going the extra mile.

But knowing that you can print a certificate and give it to someone is still a long way away from actually doing it.  We want to help you move past the intention to present someone with a certificate, and help you get into the habit of using these offline tools effectively.  Here are three ideas you can implement to increase the offline communication of your program.

1. Present certificates to others when the results of their actions directly impact you.

When someone else’s efforts have personally saved you time and energy, relieved you from a stressful situation, or helped you with a project or task that you couldn’t complete on your own, taking the time to personally thank them with a certificate will be particularly meaningful. If they’re away from their desk, adding a handwritten thank you with your name and leaving it for them to find can work just as well as handing it to them in person.

2. Highlight specific achievements during routine team/shift meetings.

Daily standups and weekly team huddles are becoming more and more popular in today’s workplace culture.  When you have your team together, don’t be afraid to take a few extra minutes to highlight one or two exceptional accomplishments from the week.  Presenting an employee, a certificate and thanking them for their efforts in front of a small group of peers demonstrates your commitment to acknowledging the team’s achievements and your desire to see them succeed. These informal presentations can boost morale, highlight positive behaviors, and create expectations for high performance amongst the team.

3. Make a big deal out of a big deal.

If your program uses multiple award levels to recognize employees for achievements of varying levels of significance (something that applies to nearly all of you reading this), presenting an employee with a certificate is a great way to add to the perceived value of the award they have received.  If an employee was recognized for having one of the biggest impacts on your organization for that month, quarter, or year, don’t be afraid to go the extra mile and present them with a physical reminder of their contribution and success.  The trophy value of a certificate for an exclusive award can go a long way in making an employee feel visible within your organization, valued for their day to day work, and recognized for their success.

Want to learn more about how you can use certificates to better communicate with employees and increase the visibility and impact of your program?  Reach out to your 360 Specialist! They’re more than happy to answer questions you might have.

Is there a topic you’d like us to address on the blog?  Leave us a message in the comments!