Recognition Tip #44: Be an active observer of your employees.

Notice what they read, photos of friends and family they have on display, where they go and what they do for lunch and after work, interests shared in conversations. All of these details will help you with personalizing the recognition you give to them. Allow this to be a natural, immersive experience versus appearing to be stalking them!

How To Combat Bias With Recognition Giving

Is it possible that some of us, as supervisors, managers, or even as employees, are unknowingly biased in our approach to giving people recognition?

This leads to the whole issue of fairness. Fairness often comes up whenever people do not feel appreciated and valued for their contributions at work.

According to The Corporate Leavers Survey conducted in the United States by the Level Playing Field Institute, more than 2 million professionals and managers voluntarily leave their jobs each year due to perceived unfairness. This produces a turnover cost for U.S. employers of $64 billion annually.

Yet there are times we are not even aware we are biased.

What can you do to make sure all of your employees are not letting bias get in the way of acknowledging the great things going on at your company? How can you stop any perceived biases with recognition giving when you see it? (more…)

Recognizing People Is Good For Their Health

The academic research is clear that employee recognition is one of several keys elements in creating healthy positive organizations.

It was gratifying several years ago to meet Dr. Jean-Pierre Brun, from the University of Laval, and learn from his research how the lack of recognition is a key factor for psychological distress at work.

When employees are treated in a positive manner they have greater positive, psychological functioning which leads to greater wellbeing and health.

But is there a difference between recognition received from supervisors and managers versus from an employee’s peers? (more…)

When Leaders Are Reluctant To Evolve Recognition Programs

From your daily administering of various recognition programs, you know exactly when it is time for changes. You’re also aware, from talking to colleagues who manage recognition programs in other companies, that there are often new bells and whistles you could benefit from.

But your biggest challenge can often be convincing your sponsoring leader of the need to evolve the recognition programs if they want to remain current.

I will share some ideas on how you can move things forward and gradually influence a reluctant leader. (more…)

Give recognition to your teams the right way.

Express appreciation to all team members when a project has been completed successfully. Meaningful recognition comes in so many different packages and team recognition is as important as individual recognition. Make sure each teammate is recognized for their specific, individual contributions. Create a celebratory experience and the resulting team spirit will be contagious.

What Leaders Need to Be a Positive Recognition Example

I was recently asked the question, “how do you get management involvement with recognition?” The individual posing the question was asking for ideas for gaining both personal involvement of leaders, as well as getting them to set the right, recognition giving example.

Unfortunately, not everyone in a management or leadership position is identified or hired for being a good “people” person with strong interpersonal skills. Many individuals are recruited or rise to these leadership positions based on their technical skills or professional competency.

Where we fail with leadership development is in holding individuals accountable for learning, practicing, and maintaining necessary people skills – like giving recognition. We rely on in-class leadership training, microlearning via a learning management system, or personal development through reading the latest leadership books. You can obtain new people skill knowledge this way but not the personal commitment for setting an example.

What can you do to instill leadership example for meaningful recognition giving? (more…)

How To Effectively Recognize Diverse Employee Groups

What happens when you have a large organization with a wide variety of employee groups? How do make recognition happen for these diversely different employees? Not everyone sits in front of a computer or has an electronic device or smartphone to access online recognition programs.

It all starts with “Why?”

What is your aspirational purpose for giving recognition? (more…)

My RPI Update For You

I don’t know if the conference was directly planned around it or not, but the common theme that emerged from the plenary presentations at the 2018 Recognition Professionals International’s (RPI) annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee, was clearly – organizational culture.

David Sturt, from O.C. Tanner, and co-author of Appreciate: Celebrating People, Inspiring Greatness, began the conference discussing A Modern Framework for Building an Engaging Culture. A line David repeated a few times during his speech was, “culture is powerful.”He gave several examples from around the globe to prove his point. It was evident that the character and actions of a CEO and other leaders have a significant effect on culture.

He covered six elements of his model, namely, Purpose, Opportunity, Leadership, Wellbeing, Success, and, of course, Appreciation.  Here’s an interesting finding from David’s presentation. Their research found “31% of employees say their direct manager often takes credit for their work or ideas.”

I like how he reminded all of us “employee engagement is something that is chosen not driven.”You can’t make someone else engaged. You can only engage yourself. Everyone else helps to create an engaging environment.

First thing Tuesday morning, Chester Elton, from The Culture Works, woke us all up with his lively style highlighting findings from his recently released, co-written book, The Best Team Wins: The New Science of High Performance. Besides making a winning team, Chester shared how culture drives your brand. If you don’t get culture right recognition doesn’t happen. He told us if you want to make your day a little better, go and appreciate someone.

We can learn from everyone and Kimberly Huffman, Director of Organizational Development, from Dollar General proved that was the case. She focused her presentation on how they’ve worked on creating an employee experience to elevate employee engagement. Kimberly reminded us “the customer experience will never exceed the employee experience.”

If you live in North America, you’ve probably shopped at a TSC store some time in your life. Dennis Borchers, HR Communications Manager, from Tractor Supply Company, taught us powerful stories and examples of store associates who made a difference. Dennis made an interesting point when he said, “Every day is just as important as the extraordinary.”This was in response to the examples of two store associates. One would be deemed to have made a significant and repeated contribution. The other was an employee who exemplified outstanding customer service on one observed occasion. Both merited being recognized.

It is always good to associate with like-minded people at conferences like RPI. This is especially the case when you meet up and share ideas with recognition practitioners who work so hard to make recognition happen in their companies.

Reflective Question: How do you address your organization’s culture to drive recognition giving practices?