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Microsoft® a worldwide leader in employee recognition efforts

Posted By Kathie Pugaczewski, RPI, Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Debra Garcia

The chances are, if you're reading this on a computer, Microsoft® has played some role in that effort.The Seattle-based computer software giant is renowned not just for its role in worldwide information technology, but for making Bill Gates one of the best-known humans on the planet. As RPI member Microsoft® Program Manager Debra Garcia shares, Microsoft also makes an impressive investment in ensuring their best employees know they are valued.

"The overall mission of the Microsoft® Rewards and Recognition program is to honor employees through world-class award programs. The purpose is to motivate exceptional performance and collaboration to support and advance the business. The objective is to ensure consistency and equity across segment/geography, enable regional variation and complement existing compensation strategies." says Debra.

Microsoft® Champion Award Program

The Microsoft® Champion Award program recognizes individuals and teams who are competing with a growth mindset, winning transformational deals as One Microsoft®, and focusing on customer and partner obsession. The program supports over 53,000 worldwide sales, marketing and services employees.

Informal recognition includes:

  • E-medallions available for LinkedIn and Outlook signature profiles.
  • Thrive Kudos – internal Microsoft® tool that can be used by any employee to send congratulatory emails to individual winners and copying their manager. The feedback is embedded into the employee's personal site which can be viewed by peers, management, etc.
  • Yammer Praise – an employee can send an internal praise to an award winner. A copy of the email is sent to the recipient's manager and added to their Yammer feed and any other Yammer feeds that are tagged.
  • Highlight and recognize winners at local team meetings.
  • PowerPoint presentations of winners with their achievements, organization, job title, etc. – local award managers can export a custom PPT from the winner showcase and display on office video screens, at team meetings, and more.

Formal recognition includes:

  • A winner announcement email from leadership
  • An executive letter portfolio
  • An invitation to the annual winner celebration reception
  • Award site and winner showcase

Nomination Tool

  • To track nominations and manage the selection process, Microsoft® created a nomination tool using an Azure database backend with winner data from 2004 to current.
  • The tool consists of a nomination form and user dashboards to manage the different user workflows - nominator, reviewer, award manager and program manager. 
  • Anyone at Microsoft® can nominate individuals or teams. 
  • Upon submission, the tool sends an email from the Champion award email alias to the nominee's direct manager with a request to approve or decline the nomination. If declined, the manager must provide a brief explanation. If approved, the nomination continues to move up the management chain until it reaches the final decision maker. At that time, a winner selection committee votes on the nominations and the award manager marks the final winners in the tool.
  • There is rich reporting via Word and Excel.

As one would expect from one of the world's foremost names in communication technology, Microsoft's recognition content is structured for clear and concise messaging, aligned with key company objectives and consistent across all communication platforms. To ensure messaging and branding are consistent, email templates are created for executive and quarterly announcements. The use of templates makes it easy and efficient for award managers to simply add in winners and personalize from the executives prior to sending.

For more information about Microsoft's mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more please visit their website: www.microsoft.com.

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