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Dec 21'

5 Steps to Securing Management Buy-in for a Rewards and Recognition Program

Working in the world of HR, there’s no doubt that you’ve already uncovered the many positive ways in which a rewards and recognition program can benefit your workforce and build a strong company culture. If your organization still doesn’t have a program in place, it might be time to approach management with a proposal for making a monetary investment in a program. This negotiation can feel a little scary at first, but with the right strategy and some smart persuasion tactics in place, chances are they’ll be more than willing to bring your program to life.

Here are 5 steps to securing management buy-in for your rewards and recognition program.

1. Arm yourself with data on employee recognition programs and rewards 

rewards and recognition program

First thing’s first, do your research! If you’re going to ask management to make an investment, you need a good argument for why it will pay off. Take some time to gather some stats around how rewards and recognition programs are helping leading companies. All of our blogs are loaded with stats you can use, or you can access some of our favourite stats all in one place here

Another thing you can do to make your argument is look up some success stories of familiar companies who have benefited greatly from making the same kind of investment.

Gathering research over the internet is a great starting point, but an even better approach you can take here is to gather feedback from your employees. Spend time conducting a simple survey to assess how your staff is doing, measure their engagement, and uncover whether this is something your staff actually wants. The more you can show leadership that a rewards and recognition program is something your own team both needs and wants, the better your case will be. 

2. Explain how your rewards and recognition program will help meet company-wide objectives

Implementing a rewards and recognition program might be a game changer for helping your HR department achieve its own goals, but if you’re looking to get buy-in from company executives like your CEO you’re going to have to think about the bigger picture. To convince senior leadership of what’s in it for them, you’ll need to do a good job at explaining how your program will be a catalyst to achieving company objectives.

Be prepared to discuss how your program will:

  • • Benefit all departments, not just your own, i.e How will this help IT, customer service, and marketing? 
  • • Help the company meet important KPIs like employee retention rates, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and cost savings
  • • Impact company productivity and company performance as a whole
  • • Help the company meet its mission and vision as an organization 
  • • Improve employee relationships and build a rewarding work culture 
  • • Tie into your existing company core values

Of all the steps for getting management buy-in, this step is perhaps the most important for securing their investment. 

3. Present your suggestions for an employee recognition program 

employee recognition

It’s a lot harder to sell your team on general rewards and recognition ideas than it will be on a concrete plan of action. The next thing you need to do is show management that you’ve done your homework to design your own rewards program or source appropriate software vendors. 

If your goal is to get buy-in for investing in rewards and recognition software, approach management with a shortlist of potential vendors that you think best fit your type of company culture. Remember that you’re probably the one who knows what to look for in a program and that executives might not have heard of these platforms yet. It’s on you to guide them through your options by explaining:  

What unique features the tool offers

  • • Does the employee recognition software integrate with tools your team members already use like Slack, Gmail, or MS Office?
  • • Will it allow you to customize unique rewards for your company like a safety award, innovation award, employee of the month award, or another achievement that’s fun and quirky?
  • • Will the tool give employees the freedom to collect points and choose from rewards that suit them best like a bonus day off work, gift cards, or the opportunity to donate to charities?
  • • Does the recognition platform allow for peer recognition, public recognition, or private recognition?
  • • Is the platform suitable for a multigenerational workforce

What the benefits of those features are

To really sell executives on the return on investment of a rewards and recognition program or tool, focus on the benefits the tool will bring.

In your proposal or conversations with leadership, highlight how the software will:

  • • Help streamline communications and break down departmental silos by having everyone connected on the same platform.
  • • Encourage more collaboration between employees and other departments.
  • • Help your HR team save time by automating recognition for recurring events like birthdays and work anniversaries
  • • Help maximize occurrences of recognition by making the process of giving praise easy peasy. 

How much the software or program will cost 

It’s all about the numbers at the end of the day. Always present the costs along with the expected ROI since no one at the top is going to invest in your program without feeling confident in its ROI. It’s a good idea to present this pricing along with an ROI spreadsheet that outlines how the benefits of the program will offset the price. You can use stats on turnover, absenteeism, and productivity from Step #1 here to make your case for how much the company can save and what it can look forward to gaining from this investment. 

4. Share your program launch plan 

To impress leadership even more, tell them how and when you intend to roll out the program. You might choose to line it up with the start of a new year or new quarter. Perhaps you choose to do this over existing company communications, or by dedicating a company-wide town hall to your launch so that you have plenty of time to explain how the program works and answer any questions. 

It’s also a good idea to communicate your plan for maximizing engagement with your new program. Since participation from leadership will be key to making the program work, you might want to host a few training sessions for leaders before the program is rolled out to all levels of staff. You can use this time to share best practices for giving and receiving praise to rest assured they’ll set the example for the rest of your staff to follow once your program goes live. 

5. Determine how you’ll measure the success of your program

rewards and recognition

Senior executives want to be sure that whatever they invest their resources in is working. To wrap this process up, let them know how you intend to track the success of the program. Set up KPIs around turnover, absenteeism, productivity, and employee engagement and share how often you’ll be tracking these metrics to review the success of your program. 

A rewards and recognition program can work wonders for keeping employees engaged and maximizing productivity. Getting management buy-in isn’t just about the money, but getting complete involvement in your program. We hope these 5-steps helped you develop your strategy for getting that buy-in. Get ready to enjoy the next step of watching your ideas come to life! 

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