Applauz Blog

8 Simple Tips To Boost Your Applauz Program’s Adoption Rate

Published: November 16, 2021

Last Updated: January 24, 2022

  7 min read

By: Michelle Cadieux

Are some employees slow to adopt Applauz? Don't worry. Here are some proven tips to help boost adoption and get people excited about recognition!

People are creatures of habit. New tools or expectations may cause friction in their workflows. As a result, the Applauz admin's goal should be to remove as much friction as possible, so using Applauz for recognition will feel natural, almost like second nature.

That said, if your goal is to improve adoption, it’s helpful to first understand why some employees may be reluctant to get onboard:

For example:

  • They don’t know about the program!
  • They don’t understand the value of the program.
  • They are not sure what actions to recognize.
  • They are not sure what to say or how often.

If any of these ring true or if your employees or managers are resistant to change -- don't worry!

It's actually quite common to have some slow adopters.

Fortunately, there are several ways for you to increase adoption and get the most out of your new recognition program.

In this article, we'll look at tips and strategies to improve adoption rates. With these tactics, you can ensure maximum participation and have as many people as possible experience the benefits of greater recognition at work.

Simple Tips To Boost Your Applauz Recognition Program’s Adoption Rate

1 - Send a reminder (and make it fun)!

We all know that emails from HR can often go unseen. If you notice your adoption rate is low, we suggest sending a follow-up email. This should always be your first go-to tactic. 

Your adoption rate might be low simply because not enough people are not aware of the program. And even those who are aware may simply need a nudge to get on board.

Bottom line: a follow-up email is always a good idea. 

We also recommend that you remind managers to speak to their teams directly about the program. This way, managers can make that crucial in-person reminder on your HR team’s behalf. Any in-person reminder is an effective way to reinforce the message and keep the program top of mind. 

On a final note, make sure to add some spice to your announcement. A recognition program is a fun initiative! This isn’t a call to fill out dreaded performance evaluations. So remember to add a little personality with images, GIFs, emojis, or any fun images. 

Note: Our Launch Media Kit contains premade graphics you can use for your announcement!  

2 - Be very specific about what actions participants should take

We are all busy -- overloaded with hundreds of micro-decisions to make a day. It can be exhausting. As such, it's important to be VERY specific about what action employees need to take after initially hearing about a new program. 

In short, remove the burden of them having to figure out what they need to do next. If you clearly state the next steps, they'll be more likely to take the desired action.

For example, in our program launch template, we list 4 concrete "next steps" for employees and managers like logging into the platform, uploading a profile photo, saying hello on the Newsfeed etc. 

These steps seem really obvious and simple. But you would be amazed how small nudges can have a dramatic effect on people's behaviour. 

Bottom line: Don’t just announce the program. Take it a step further and clearly spell out the "next step." This is a critical element of a successful announcement. It creates a sense of accountability and ensures that everyone is crystal clear on what is expected of them.

3 - Identify your least active managers

Using Applauz, you can see who is participating and who is not. These reporting tools are essential to help administrators increase adoption. That said, managers are critical to the success of the program. They are the initiators of recognition, and as such, you must maximize manager adoption above all else. 

If your adoption score is low, you likely have a few key managers who are lagging. This hesitance, in turn, is trickling down to their teams. As such, an important tactic to boost adoption is to identify your least active managers. In return, you can create a more concrete plan to help them overcome the barriers to adoption. Once that's done, you can move forward with the next step.

4 - Speak directly to slow adopting managers 

Once you’ve identified your least active manager, we suggest a brief conversation with them. This may occur in a group setting or one-on-one. The purpose of the meeting is first to simply understand why adoption is lagging. What’s holding them back from getting onboard? And second, an in-person meeting serves as a reminder of the importance of the initiative. 

After a meeting, you should have a deeper understanding of why certain managers are slow to adopt.

Common examples you might hear:

  • Not enough time.
  • Not sure what to say.
  • Don’t understand the benefits.

Each of these “ issues” has a complementary solution. It is important to educate those managers or offer them tips on how to remove the common barriers to giving recognition. More on that below!

5 - Get senior leadership on board

When managers and leadership get on board, there is an instant boost in participation and adoption.

As we explained before, managers are critical to the success of your program. But so are any senior leaders or executives of the company. In the eyes of employees, leadership opinions and actions matter a lot. If they participate in recognition or posting on the Newsfeed, it becomes much more likely that employees will follow suit.

Applauz's CEO, for example, recognizes teams and individuals periodically. Its only takes a few minutes to get involved, and it's a powerful way to build culture and get the recognition ball rolling. Top-down support is needed to maximize the impact of any cultural initiative.

6 - Educate managers on when to give recognition

Peer recognition platforms such as Applauz allow organizations to recognize employees for both large and small achievements.

Continuous recognition is a great thing. However, it's a broad request, as such, many managers get stuck. They are unsure what types of actions constitute "small wins" versus "big wins" or what deserves recognition to begin with. This is a common issue with managers who are reluctant to get on board.

Pro Tip: Here is a list of some of our best tips on giving recognition using a recognition platform

7 - Establish a recognition roadmap

Recognition is often hampered by not knowing what actions to recognize. In addition, some managers might worry about provoking favouritism or a sense of unfairness. They don't want employees complaining, "why did they get recognition and not me." 

Educating these managers on which actions warrant recognition is helpful, but it might not be sufficient. That said, overcoming this issue is simple.

Start with small steps. Make a simple request that any manager (no matter how busy)  can easily accomplish. 

A great place to start is to focus recognition efforts on hard performance or output objectives that are expected every week, month, or quarter. 

For example:

  • Editorial teams that are required to output a certain number of articles per month. Or to reach a certain amount of page views per month.
  • Manufacturing workers that have a certain output rate they have to maintain per month.
  • A customer service team that has a weekly team goal to maintain a customer satisfaction score greater than X percentage. 
  • A marketing team that has a quarterly objective to attain a certain amount of marketing qualified leads.  

Most workers have official, concrete goals they need to achieve.

Sticking to recognizing the attainment of these specific, recurring performance goals makes it dead simple for managers to understand what to recognize. 

In short, having a recognition framework provides structure and reduces uncertainty. We recommend applying a framework like these to all managers if they find it helpful! 

In addition, a framework is a great way to ease people into the practice of continuous recognition. And, over time, they will grow more comfortable giving spontaneous recognition. Furthermore, it's important to note that recognizing team achievements at first may help avoid any perceived favouritism that certain managers may be concerned about.

8 - Help managers with message templates and examples

It is sometimes difficult to find the right words. In short, even if managers are aware of what actions deserve recognition, they may not know what to say. As recognition becomes more frequent and a daily habit, "finding the right words" will become less and less challenging. However, it is still a common barrier in the early stages.

Additionally, we have a guide on how to provide powerful employee recognition. The purpose of this article is to provide key best practices for giving effective employee recognition. 

9 - Kickstart social initiatives on Applauz 

Remember: Applauz isn't just for recognition. Although its primary function is to share recognition, it can also be used as a social feed to create a sense of community and even launch virtual activities.

For example, at Applauz, all our employees work remotely. And wellness initiatives are a way for our teams to stay connected. 

The CEO of the company will announce a new initiative on the Newsfeed. Here is an example below of our most recent "gratitude" initiative. This is a great example of how company culture is built from the top down.


The following are some other monthly wellness initiatives we've launched:

  • Wellness scavenger hunt: Employees are encouraged to partake in any wellness activity (running, hiking, reading, etc.) and post photo "proof" to the Newsfeed. Each activity earns Points. The participants with the most points win at the end of the month.
  • Run a marathon challenge: The company was challenged to run a collective marathon in a month. When participants ran any distance, they posted photo "proof" to the Newsfeed. Those who participated won Points at the end of the challenge.
  • Share a message of positivity: Employees were encouraged to share any of their favourite quotes or positive moments to the Newsfeed. 
  • Gratitude sharing: Employees were encouraged to share what they were grateful for over the month.

Your ideas may differ based on the interests and demographics of your employees. But the core message remains the same. Create initiatives that help people share and get to know each other more personally. By doing so, you are helping people get on the platform. But most importantly, you will be creating a sense of community and cultivating your company's culture.

10 - Use Applauz for sharing life updates (great for remote teams)

Social initiatives as described above are a great way to make your program more fun and engaging. Another simple and effective way to boost participation is to use the Applauz Newsfeed to share life updates.

At  Applauz, we saw that it only takes a few people to kick things off.

For example, Applauz employees from all departments often share news and updates about their families, pets, and personal successes, such as completing a race.  

Sharing is not a requirement; only for those who wish to do so. Nonetheless, once the trend begins, it has a way of continuing organically, without intervention. 

In short, we noticed employees have a genuine interest in keeping each other updated! Ultimately, the act of sharing small glimpses into each other's lives is a great way to preserve a sense of community and also encourage more people to use the platform. It's a win-win.

Everything You Need to Know

Hopefully, after reading this, you have some concrete tactics in mind to help you get started. One main point you should take away: boosting participation requires buy-in from the top.

In short, your leader's and manager's participation is critical.

They are the ones that set the example for the whole organization. If they are participating, employees will naturally follow in their footsteps. Whether for a recognition message or a social initiative on the Newsfeed. Ensure leadership understands the importance of recognition, is equipped with best practices and is ready to participate.

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