Why Your Recognition Training Is Likely Failing

Have you tried to train your people on how to give better recognition and it didn’t work? Were you able to measure the transfer of learning back to the job? What was the business impact of the recognition education delivered? Have employees reported improved recognition?

There are many reasons why educating and training managers and employees on recognition giving can fail. Authors and education experts, Tim Mooney and Robert O. Brinkerhoff, suggest bold actions for achieving business results in their book, Courageous Training. They provide a useful list of eleven possible causes for training failure.

I will unpack each one of these causes and then discuss how it relates specifically to employee recognition training. I want you to overcome the typical problems associated with training people effective recognition skills. (more…)

How Good Is Your Recognition Program Anyway?

Lots of companies think their recognition programs are the very best. Many that I have seen are truly pretty amazing and exemplary. A few think of themselves a little better than they really are. But at least they’re trying.

Since judging the best practices nominations submitted to Recognition Professionals International for the past 11-years, I have seen the overview of nearly a hundred or so recognition programs. Based on the criteria that I had a hand in developing, the other judges and I score each nomination, and also provide helpful, written feedback on their programs.

Often, those who submit their nomination the first time receive a best in class award covering a few of the seven best practice standards. They usually act on the judges’ feedback and resubmit the following year. If companies carry out the recommendations that judges suggested they typically raise the bar and can merit earning the best practices overall award.

How good do you think your recognition programs are? If you submitted a best practices award nomination for your company, would you measure up?

Take a look at RPI’s seven best practice standards below and assess where you think you would stack up on a seven or 10 point scale. (more…)

Why You Should Strategize Your Recognition Practices First!

Whenever leaders and owners of organizational recognition programs think about creating a recognition strategy they tend to think solely on their programs. However, for your recognition programs to be most effective, you need to focus first on getting recognition practices right.

Why should you strategize your recognition practices first and not your programs? How does this approach benefit your recognition programs? What are the short-term and long-term outcomes by taking this route?

Let’s take a look at recognition practices more closely and I will answer these questions and give my rationale for going in this direction. (more…)

Sure Fire Ways To Get Leaders On Board with Recognition

Some leaders get it and some don’t. There are those who have strong people skills and understand the value of giving recognition well. Then are the others who question the purpose of recognition and the expense associated with it.

How can you guarantee getting leadership support and their personal commitment to making recognition happen?

Think about the following ten steps before heading into a meeting with a leader or your senior leadership team. (more…)

Recognition Tip #45: Find out about your employees’ family.

Nothing gets closer to the heart of an employee more often than their family. Know something about each family member and show concern and interest with your asking. Be mindful of your questions in case they should trigger concerns of dysfunctional family dynamics. Express empathy for the employee if there are. Respectfully state why you were asking about their family. Thank them for being candid with you so you at least know.

 

Handle Negativity About Recognition Problems as a Gift

Getting complaints about your recognition programs, or having to listen to the naysayers in the room about employee recognition practices, can be a draining and daunting experience to deal with.

One big secret for dealing with negativity around recognition initiatives is to treat each encounter as a gift. I’ll share with you what I mean by this, shortly.

If you can learn how to handle negative feedback about recognition practices and programs in a positive and productive way, you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way. (more…)

Conscious Awareness of the Importance of Recognition

I am drawing on the principles from Bob Rosen and Emma-Kate Swann’s book Conscious: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life. The opening premise of their book is that being unaware is a big liability.

They highlight some of the observed behaviors that are caused by a lack of conscious awareness. Think about the following actions and see if you’ve experienced any of them too.

  • An unintended (or so they said) offense given to a colleague.
  • Ignoring a customer’s valid complaint about a product.
  • Blindness to the personal needs of a team member.
  • Lack of compassion for a child’s concern shared at home.
  • Uncivil remarks made in a management meeting about a leader.

Research from Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist, indicates that only 10 to 15 percent of us are ever truly self-aware of what we do and our abilities.

Why aren’t we changing with giving people the recognition they deserve? From my observation, a lack of awareness of the importance and value that employee recognition has on people’s lives is a big reason why it doesn’t happen frequently enough. (more…)

Why Recognition Messaging Is So Important

Do your employees know the difference between recognition and rewards? Are managers and supervisors consistently praising and recognizing their direct reports for doing good work on a regular basis? Is peer-to-peer recognition happening through your social recognition newsfeed and face-to-face?

If you had a “no” to any one of those questions, you likely need to send out recognition messaging more often.

It might well be time to communicate what recognition is and why it is so important. You may need to tell everyone how easily they can recognize one another. Show them how to give meaningful and effective recognition.

I have written before about the importance of creating a Recognition Communications Calendar to support your recognition programs and practices. However, I was not as clear as I should have been, about what to include in your advanced communication planning.

You have to be strategic about the recognition messaging you want to convey throughout the company. Here are some quick thoughts to guide you. (more…)

Getting Managers to be Proactive with Recognition Giving

Some of you manage an array of different employee recognition programs and work hard to maintain them and promote them.

While I have written about the need for recognition to be multi-directional in origin and not be owned by managers and supervisors alone, it is still very important to enlist management support.

Your goal should be to get managers excited about expressing recognition to employees and help them prepare to give it face-to-face and online. If you can help them to anticipate when recognition should occur in an employee’s life then they will become eager to give recognition.

Think about the following trigger points to help managers be proactive with recognition giving. (more…)