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Recognition@Dow

The Dow Chemical corporate-wide objective was to devise a reward and recognition initiative designed to motivate Dow’s 45,000 person, international workforce while maintaining program consistency on a global scale. Dow needed to address complex economic and cultural issues that included standardizing communications in different languages and accounting for differences between global currencies and the standard of living in each country. Recognition@Dow was implemented in January 2005 to recognize people at Dow that exhibit high performance – behaviors, actions and results – that contributes to the achievements of personal, business function and company goals. All employees of Dow, including those employed at subsidiaries and joint ventures that are 50% or more Dow owned, are eligible to participate in the Recognition@Dow program. They may nominate fellow employees as well as receive recognition awards, themselves. Recognition@Dow guidelines outline the criteria for recognition that are grounded in Dow’s Strategic Plan – encouraging employees to focus their efforts by familiarizing themselves with Dow's corporate goals and recognizing what's important to the company as a whole. Nominators follow the guidelines to decide on appropriate recognition levels, identifying specific employee behaviors and performance that advance the company’s Strategic Plan. In addition to delivering timely and meaningful recognition in the form of awards, Dow also encourages managers to personally recognize outstanding employees or team members at team meetings. Nominators have access to a nomination site where, at any time, they can nominate colleagues to receive awards, regardless of geographic boundaries. This site is geared to peer-to-peer nomination as well as manager-to-subordinate programs that require approval loops to be created, so pre-assigned “Approvers” can view a nomination order and decide to either “approve” or “disapprove” a nomination. Nominators are asked to use the "award wizard" (which is built into the Globoforce platform) to help determine the appropriate award level for the level of contribution. Based on the nominator's responses to questions Dow developed, the tool assesses a nominee's behaviors and recommends an award level appropriate for the behaviors and results. The tool helps make the process easy and removes barriers where the employee and leader might work in different locations by enabling peers or local leaders to submit nominations when they see deserving contributions. With a diverse, global workforce, Recognition@Dow allows for flexibility and accommodates cultural differences by offering personal choice. Language, currencies, and local "shopping" are addressed within the Globoforce platform. By using local gift certificates, employees can shop in their local market place for their local brands. To assure the program’s success, Dow developed a comprehensive communications plan to raise awareness of Recognition@Dow, increase participation, boost performance, and most importantly, help to build an appreciation culture. The majority of the launch activities focused on generating content and communicating program messages through existing communications channels such as the Dow Intranet, corporate newsletter and HR website. In addition, training workshops were developed for leaders (managers) to generate program awareness and encourage participation. The first 11 months demonstrated on target usage for the program, with over 93,000 recognition events passing through the system. Dow saw 100% of eligible participants participate in the program. Dow conducted a Leader Satisfaction Survey, which, in Q3 of 2005, found over 80% of leaders to be “extremely pleased” or “very pleased” with the Recognition@Dow program. These results align with the customer satisfaction goals Dow set when the program was launched.

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