The food processing industry is unique, not only because is it regulated by OSHA, but it's also regulated by either the FDA or the USDA. Therefore, it is crucial for employees to know and understand what guidelines must be followed in order to run a safe and productive business.

Engage Employees with 7 Key Ingredients

With this in mind, and using Recognition Professionals International (RPI) 7 Best Practice Standards, I have assembled a recipe of success of how to implement an effective employee engagement program that creates a positive atmosphere and aligns with company goals. 

  • Recognition Strategy
  • Management Responsibility
  • Recognition Program Measurement
  • Communication Plan
  • Recognition Training
  • Recognition Events and Celebrations
  • Program Change and Flexibility
Key Ingredients to Employee Engagement

If you will, envision with me that we are creating a delicious, decadent dessert.
Your reward will be sweet and satisfying!

Step 1: The first thing we are going to need to do is create the batter and the foundation of our dessert. Everyone knows that the foundation is the most important part; your food is only as good as your worst ingredient. In our case, the foundation is the employee recognition strategy. How can we modify employee behaviors? The answer is simple - structure our engagement strategy around positive and proactive individual goals.

Step 2: Once we have our foundation or Recognition Strategy formed, let's fold in our other ingredients. To start, we will need a large spoonful of management responsibility. This ingredient is key to making sure the dessert holds together and doesn't crumble after baking. It's imperative that management is on board and fully supports the organizational employee recognition strategy.

Step 3: Next, we are going to have to take a step back and do a quick taste test of the batter to make sure it is on point before we place it into the oven. Every good pastry chef keeps their tasting spoons handy, constantly checking the progression of their batter while preparing a delicious treat. In regards to your employee recognition program, measurement of employee engagement goals is non-negotiable. It is crucial to be able to understand if your new employee engagement program has all the tools in place to be effective. Typically, one full calendar year will tell you where your strengths and weaknesses lie. If the batter passes the pre-bake taste test, we are ready to start the best part!

Step 4: Now that we have created an effective employee engagement strategy, we need to properly communicate the strategy to our employees. Everyone, from executives to front-line managers, needs to be on the same page with the program objectives. At this stage, we can dash in a few communication “spices” such as posters, bulletin boards, and electronic media, to fully communicate the employee engagement program.


Step 5: Even with the best ingredients, sometimes it can be difficult to make your cake rise. By ensuring proper management recognition training, and teaching the importance of formal, informal, and day-to-day recognition your program is sure rise to the occasion and become hugely successful.

Step 6: Now, for the icing on the proverbial cake. Recognizing your employees should be the best and the fun part. Seeing employees achieve the goals that the organization set in place is what it’s all about, right? By icing the recognition cake with employee-centered events & celebrations, we are able to integrate recognition into the culture of the company. This could be something as simple as recognizing them in front of their peers over juice and donuts at a monthly safety meeting, or via Instant Award Cards at the as part of a strategic points-based program.

Step 7: Now, it’s time to serve our dessert! The first question you would ask someone if they had not commented on your dessert is simple, “What do you think?” This same process should be done for your employee recognition strategy, too. In addition to getting employee feedback through surveys, you should also be measuring the company goals that you want to achieve by implementing an employee engagement program. Be flexible and know that sometimes it takes a few tweaks to get the recipe just right. 

Happy Baking!

Total Recognition Request a Consultation

At C. A. Short, we are your partner for increased employee engagement resulting in increased performance outcomes to grow your bottom line. Our process and research-based platform help you engage your team in order to increase your bottom line, motivate your staff to the benefit of the entire organization, and reward your people for the positive changes they make. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here. 

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