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The Business Value of Kellogg’s Recognition Culture

Your people are your competitive advantage.

@criene via Twenty20

Unleash Your People Kellogg shares why and how they deployed a strategic recognition program and what the benefits have been to the business.

The pandemic has turned the world of work upside down, but throughout all the changes, human beings and human needs remain the same. A core human need is the need to feel valued and recognized and during times of uncertainty, having this need fulfilled is even more imperative.   

But for many, the remote world we find ourselves in has made traditional forms of recognition redundant. No longer can we praise colleagues for their work at the water cooler or when we pass by their desk on the way to lunch.   

So what can organizations do to revive their employees and build up their inner resources to feel engaged at work and resilient to any future disruptions? And how do you begin the journey towards a strategic recognition program? 

This was the topic of discussion at a recent UNLEASH webinar held in partnership with Achievers, which brought Kellogg, a world-leading multinational food manufacturing company, to the center stage to share their global recognition journey.  

Why Kellogg decided to invest in recognition

Nadar Salah, the Senior Director of Global Total Awards at Kellogg Company explained how the journey began for Kellogg in 2018 when they first realized it was time to invest in a global recognition platform. He shared the top six reasons the company knew it was time: 

1. Their engagement survey results showed them that people wanted to be recognized more for their contributions.

2. There was a lack of formal peer-to-peer recognition.

3. The vast majority of employees were not receiving any type of monetary recognition outside of annual AIP.

4.The current recognition experiences were varied and inconsistent.

5. Their new CEO and growth strategy held the belief that people must be the competitive advantage.

6. Their previous strategy was top-down and inconsistent with the company objectives of being an inclusive and agile culture.  

choosing the right platform for the business

Salah went on to share why the company decided to partner with Achievers to guide them through their recognition journey.  

“We found them to be incredibly forward-thinking. They were mobile-first in the recognition world and have incredible thought-leadership around the evolution of the platform and embedding it into the company culture,” he commented.  

On top of this, Salah shared how they found the platform to be very intuitive and they liked that there was no catalog-mark-up for employees: 

“We saw other platforms would mark up employee redemptions. And so you’d have to get a lot more points to buy, purchase or redeem something than what it would normally cost if you went out somewhere.” 

Employee experience was their priority alongside global capabilities and advanced real-time analytics, which they felt were provided best by Achievers.  

The results and performance metrics 

We have a 97% adoption rate globally with over 1 million recognition moments since launch

Liz Smith, Senior Manager of Global Total Health and Recognition at Kellogg Company shared some of the impressive results and the impact of the journey on their employees. She was particularly excited to share the global adoption rate of the platform: 

“We have a 97% adoption rate globally with over 1 million recognition moments since launch,” she said.  

Smith also shared how they’ve seen 37% of all recognition on the newsfeed receiving likes and 40% receiving comments from peers. Interestingly they’ve also seen an increase in participation since the pandemic with 70% of all employees now receiving one recognition a month compared with 63% pre-pandemic.  

Lessons learnt and best practices 

Towards the end of the webinar, the experts uncovered some of the lessons learned from their experience of the global recognition journey. They discussed how one of the first steps when launching an online recognition platform is to continuously evolve it and grow it over time. 

“You want to continuously invest in your platform. If you envision your platform having multiple features and components like our stores, Smith advised. “We recommend starting out with the more basic features first, and then adapting and building onto that as you evolve,” she added. 

By launching engagement features strategically and incrementally over time, you will avoid overwhelming your employees and allow for an exciting and creative experience. 

Salah ended with 6 golden nuggets for best practice in strategic recognition: 

1. Points – give all employees points to award, no matter how small.

2. Growth – continuously build upon your platform (engagement hub).

3. Campaigns – hosting fun campaigns keep your platform engaging and innovative.

4. Culture – ensure your executives are supportive and role modeling a culture of recognition.

5. Resources – ensure you have dedicated resources to make your platform successful.

6. Monthly budgets – deadlines drive frequent recognition. 

For more on recognition:

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