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Communication for Successful Employee Rewards and Recognition

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Communication for Successful Employee Rewards and Recognition

One of the key factors for a successful employee rewards and recognition program is a well-designed and executed communication strategy. Lack of proper communication can result in poor traction of the program among the employees and eventually, poor results from the program.

Communication Strategy for a Successful Employee Rewards and Recognition Program

8 Common Traits of Successful Employees in any Organization

The organization should ensure that the communication for a successful employee rewards and recognition program is well-planned and executed.

There is usually pre-launch communication, launch communication, and post-launch follow-up communication.

Let’s take a more detailed look at the communication plan for each of these stages:

Communication Strategy for a Successful Employee Rewards and Recognition Program

1. Pre-launch

Building a Culture of Appreciation through Employee Recognition

The objective of the prelaunch communication is to inform the employees about the upcoming program and to create excitement around it.

The focus of the communication must be on the goals of the program, expected benefits, and the key highlights. It must try to address the question that every employee would have – ‘what’s in it for me?’.

Hence, a significant portion of the communication should be about the benefits for different levels of employees such as monetary rewards and social recognition for individual contributors, greater team motivation and productivity for managers, and the development of a positive culture for the management.


There should be multiple rounds of communication over weeks or months. Each round should focus on one or two key aspects of the program to avoid information overload and to build up excitement.

Another important objective of the prelaunch stage is to communicate with the line managers about the program in detail. They are key stakeholders in the program and need to be taken in confidence about the program launch.

However, this aspect of communication is often ignored by the organization, and line managers remain skeptical and uninvolved in the program, considering it as yet another initiative thrust upon them by the management.

2. Launch

traction for employee recognition programs

Launch communication should be a grand announcement about the program launch and heightening the excitement about the program that has been building up over weeks or months.

The launch communication should also aim to provide all the details required for the employees to start participating in the program like how to log into the rewards and recognition platform.

The launch communication should be crisp and well-planned. Information provided must be brief; with sufficient details and additional resources.

The communication should be exciting and in sync with the theme of the launch event. It should grab the maximum attention of the employees in a short amount of time.

Such high-intensity communication around the launch event makes it a memorable occasion for the employees so that they can understand the importance of the program for the organization.

3. Post-Launch

Virtual Awards Ceremony

Post-launch communication is as critical as the launch communication.

The key objective of this communication is to drive traction among the employees. It should be for clarifying doubts, answering questions, addressing issues, and reiterating the key aspects of the program

This communication also serves as a reminder for employees to use the recognition platform and participate in the program. So, sharing initial usage data, early success stories, and user testimonials are good ways to sustain the momentum and maintain the interest level of the workforce in the program.

All said and done, it is challenging to make any employee-facing initiative a part of the organization’s culture.

Hence, there is no time limit for post-launch communication. It is an ongoing process and important for the continued success of the program.

The constant communication is also necessary as new employees enter the workforce who would not know anything about the program

Also, it is important to do short bursts of higher-intensity communication from time to time.

What are the Best Communication Channels for a Successful Employee Recognition Program?

Organizations need to utilize multiple communication channels to communicate about the employee recognition program to their workforce.

They can use a combination of channels that suit their employee profile and their overall communication strategy.

Here are a few:

Best Communication Channels for a Successful Employee Recognition Program

1. Emails


Email is a flexible and convenient channel for prelaunch, launch, and post-launch communication.

Prelaunch teasers and other communication can be sent through email. The launch communication could be also done over email from the CEO’s desk.

Also, regular newsletters can be sent over email – weekly or monthly; announcing the winners of the previous period and any updates on the program.

Reminders to use the recognition platform and participate in the program can also be sent over email. However, one point to remember is that not all employees might have access to official email in an organization.

2. Intranet

Performance and Productivity of Work from Home Employees

Intranet is another effective communication channel for employee recognition programs.

It can be leveraged right from hosting the prelaunch teasers to creating a microsite about the program with all possible information – program goals, program highlights, platform features, policy documents, platform navigation guides, etc.

It can become the one-stop-shop for all program information – communication sent through other channels can refer to the intranet for detailed information.

3. Recognition Platform


The employee recognition platform itself is one of the best ways to communicate about and promote the program once it is launched.

Hence. notifications, reminders, and alerts about various aspects of the program can be posted on the platform itself.

Whether it is a reminder for employees to recognize or update about a change in the program, the recognition platform can be leveraged effectively.

4. Collaboration Tools

Work from Home

Collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Yammer, etc. can be used effectively as channels to communicate about the program at each stage.

Since employees may be using these tools regularly, the effectiveness of such channels is quite good.

5. Social Media


Facebook, LinkedIn, or WhatsApp groups can also be leveraged for sending out prelaunch, launch, and even post-launch communication.

These channels are particularly suited for a workforce that predominantly has no access to official emails or has low usage of emails.

6. Workplace Signage

Wall of_ Fame

Organizations can use LED displays, posters, standees, tent cards, etc. to highlight the employee rewards and recognition program across the workplace near workstations, lobbies, pantries, canteens, shopfloors, etc.

Signages would work particularly well in manufacturing, or retail environments where the use of emails and computers is on the lower side.

7. Team Meetings and Townhalls

Top Management Role in Employee Rewards and Recognition

While digital and visual communication is critical, the criticality of meetings as a communication channel is also important.

It is important to conduct meetings, whether in-person or virtual, meetings before and after the launch. So, the launch itself can be a grand event in the form of a town hall.

After launch, the organization should conduct town halls, team meetings, and floor huddles to present awards to employees and communicate about the updates in the program.

Also, the presence of the senior leadership in such meetings adds to their impact.

8. New Hire Orientation

Communication for Successful Employee Rewards and Recognition

New hires should get to know about the employee rewards and recognition program during their orientation sessions.

Also, they should get information about the program goals, policies, benefits, and highlights in these sessions.


Whatever the modus operandi, consistent and effective communication is critical to building a successful employee rewards and recognition program. Only then the organization can reap its full benefits in the form of a motivated and committed workforce.

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.