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3 Ways to Recognize Your People Using Employee Spotlight Templates

Nov 22, 2022| Reading time: 9min

BY Kate Super

Content Writer

People-first organizations seek to humanize the employee experience. One way to do so is by using employee spotlights, which publicly recognize your people for their achievements (e.g. personal or professional milestones).

Below we dive into the power of recognition and three ways you can use employee spotlight templates to start your initiatives, today.

The Power of Recognition: Why You Should Shout Out Your Employees

Organizations and data scientists are still studying the power of recognition. What is clear already is that recognition has a long-lasting effect on your people and organization

Below are just some of the benefits companies see when they routinely acknowledge their people’s efforts:

  • Higher retention rates: Recognized employees are 56% less likely to look or watch for job opportunities.
  • Stronger company culture. Recognized employees are five times more likely to feel connected to their workplace culture.
  • Increased engagement: Recognized employees are four times more likely to engage with their work and colleagues.
  • Happier employees. Recognized employees are 44% more likely to “be thriving” in their overall life.

These results, of course, cue a domino effect, since better retention rates, company culture, engagement, and employee well-being all positively affect your bottom line

If you’re ready to increase your employee recognition efforts, read the three strategies below to help spotlight employees and create a stronger employee experience across your organization.

Employee Spotlight Template [ChartHop]

Use our free employee spotlight templates for employee shoutouts. That way, you’ll spend less time creating slides and more time recognizing their efforts.

1. Introduce New Hires

If you’re looking for employee spotlight ideas, start by considering where in the employee lifecycle you can incorporate spotlights. Of course, a good place to start is the beginning by analyzing your onboarding practices. 

It’s no secret that having a robust onboarding strategy is a game-changer for your employee experience. Not only does it establish a sense of belonging and psychological safety for new hires, a strong onboarding process also helps retain your people.

To initiate these benefits, make sure your onboarding also includes employee recognition. Need employee spotlight ideas for new hires? The following is what the People team at ChartHop does to make our newest employees feel welcome:

  • Send new hires an employee spotlight template (with examples) so they can add pictures and facts about themselves.
  • Carve out time at the beginning of All Hands meetings so new hires can introduce themselves to the company. It’s company culture for colleagues to send greetings and call out similarities in the Zoom chat to establish connections and make people feel welcomed.
  • House all employee spotlight slides within the Intranet so people can view these at any time.

2. Encourage Employee Shout Outs

Although most People leaders understand the power of recognition in the workplace, 81% of leaders admit that it’s not a major strategic priority for their organization. 

But according to Dr. Meisha-Ann Martin, Senior Director of People Analytics and Research at WorkHuman, this lack of strategy is short-sighted, especially since gaps in the employee experience create retention issues for organizations. To her, employee recognition programs come down to personally investing in your people, regularly. 

She explains: “Recognition and appreciation are really fundamental to human relationships. It’s me saying to you, ‘I see you for exactly who you are, your particular skills and capabilities. I appreciate that. I appreciate you, and here’s how you make a difference in my life.’”

But to create those positive interactions, and do it well, you need to embed moments of employee recognition regularly. It should be central to your culture and feel specific, personalized, and fair.

When giving employee shoutouts, consider the following:

  • Connect your employee spotlights to specific work. Make recognition more meaningful by giving specific feedback. For example, instead of saying, “Jared did a great job in his first six months,” frame it as, “Jared analyzed our sales assets and made suggestions based on the current economic market.” The latter not only provides detailed feedback to further motivate Jared, but also signals to other employees what you value as a leader.
  • Know how (or if) your people prefer recognition. Some people don’t like being the center of attention. Others crave it. Interestingly enough, studies show that there may be a generational gap when it comes to employee recognition. Therefore, to help plan your recognition efforts, know your employees’ individual preferences by providing “How to Manage Me” questionnaires and other employee tools for more personalized acknowledgment,
  • Make sure employee spotlights are equitable. Employee shout outs create a positive work environment…if they’re done right. To reduce favoritism and bias when it comes to employee recognition, train managers on providing authentic, personalized recognition to all direct reports. Additionally, consider starting a peer-to-peer shout out initiative, such as a new slack channel, so everyone in your organization is empowered to acknowledge others’ wins.

power of recognition - Gallup poll

This poll by Gallup shows that gender, race, and ethnicity may influence employee recognition. Keep this in mind when creating employee spotlights for your organization.

3. Present Value Awards

Another way to use employee spotlights in a meaningful way is to tie them to company values

In fact, programs in which employees are recognized for behavior that’s tied to values are 40% more likely to be adopted and reinforced by your entire organization. 

Values-based awards provide a space to reiterate your company’s core beliefs and celebrate those embodying them.

When building out your quarterly value awards, it’s preferred practice to:

  • Ask managers for nominations. If you’re employing a continuous performance management strategy, managers are conducting regular 1:1s with reports. They therefore have direct insights into the efforts and achievements of their people.
  • Give examples. Managers may be stuck determining what a candidate for your Inclusivity Award looks like. It’s therefore important to provide employee spotlights of past winners as a guide.
  • Provide context and results during your presentation. If you’re only reading off of your employee spotlight slide, your presentation will fall flat. While we’re not here to give lessons on public speaking, it is best practice to move beyond what’s on the slide and speak authentically about the employees’ efforts and the value they bring to the organization.
  • Present them regularly. Over at ChartHop, we give out values-based awards quarterly, which helps reinforce our values and celebrate those embodying them on a regular basis.

Of course, value awards only work if your values are embedded into your company culture. According to Gallup and WorkHuman, embedding recognition into your culture can more than double the impact of your recognition initiatives.

Company values go beyond your initial brainstorming and using them for employee spotlights. To bring them to life, weave your values throughout your entire employee lifecycle, such as in your job descriptions, performance reviews, and DEIB surveys.

Need to create company values you’ll actually use?

Read our guide here 

Employee Spotlights = A Stronger Employee Experience

People like seeing their efforts acknowledged, and the above employee spotlight ideas do just that. By using employee spotlight templates in your onboarding process, embedding shout outs into company culture, and presenting quarterly value awards, you’re signaling to your people that you care about and appreciate their contributions to your organization. 

Simply put, employee spotlight programs are a smart investment for your company and people, as they make immediate and long-lasting impacts to your company culture and employee experience.

Interested in more ways to create community and recognize employees? Read our article on how you can establish a superior remote employee experience through quick shifts and big strategy plays.  

Learn more here

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