Types of Recognition
Recognition Professionals International (RPI) defines three types of recognition – formal, informal, and day-to-day. Organizations use all three types of recognition in a recognition strategy.
Formal recognition is a structured program with defined processes that link to organizational goals. It has a nomination process and an awards ceremony. Employees receive public recognition in a formal setting. In most organizations, this type of recognition occurs annually, and only a small number of employees are recognized. Examples include years of service or values champion awards.
Informal recognition is less structured then formal recognition. It is designed for individuals and teams rewarding progress towards a goal. Informal recognition typically includes a low-cost celebration with mementos or refreshments. An example is hosting a department-wide lunch when a major project is complete.
Anyone in the organization can give day-to-day recognition. This includes verbal praise or a thank you note. This type of recognition is designed to recognize behaviors that support the organizational values.
A good recognition program includes rewards, awards, incentives, and celebrations. These terms are defined below:
Reward: An item given to an individual or team for meeting a pre-determined goal and is sometimes cash-based
Award: An item given to an individual or team to commemorate a specified achievement that is typically non-cash
Incentive: A contingent reward based on achievement of pre-determined performance results within a specific time period
Celebration: A planned or spontaneous event in recognition of individual or team achievement
Test Your Knowledge
Below are examples of these key recognition terms. Match the term on the left with its description on the right.
How did you do? Check your answers below.
Reward: B; Celebration: A; Recognition: D; Incentive: E; Award: C
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