5 Things Great Recognizers Do Better

There’s something special about the person who seems to exude recognition from their pores.

These are the people that seem to appreciate others so effortlessly and you always feel good to be around them.

They are often charismatic. No doubt they are “people” people. They tend to be more extroverted – but don’t worry if you’re not. Very observant individuals and they seem able to perceive how people are feeling.

Having heard hundreds of employees speak of how a certain manager or employee is great at recognizing them, it’s good to generalize on the common qualities they share.

So what is it that great recognizers do that other people ignore?

Follow these 5 practices for yourself so you can become a great recognizer where you work. (more…)

What Direction Do Your Leaders Want You To Take?

You typically have leaders who either (1) “get it” as far as understanding the importance of employee recognition and who support you, or (2) those who are totally out in left-field and even become detractors of recognition.

To give a small indication of this challenge, this year’s WorldatWork Trends in Employee Recognition Survey revealed the highest responded reason for not offering employee recognition programs, with 28 percent, was “no support from senior management”.

My own research in the public sector revealed 93 percent of managers stating senior management involvement with recognition was important, while the reality was only 21 percent were ever involved with recognition programs.

In the Bersin and Associates’ “The State of Employee Recognition 2012” they found 80 percent of senior leaders believed employees were recognized at least on a monthly basis. That’s their belief.

Frontline evidence from the same report showed 40 percent of managers and only 22 percent of individual contributors reported their peers were recognized on a monthly or more frequent basis.

Yet you are expected to receive direction from senior leaders on the course of action you’re to take with employee recognition when they might not understand the positive value of employee recognition.

As a manager or owner of employee recognition what are you supposed to do? (more…)

How To Be a Leader With A Grateful Heart

When was the last time you saw the word “gratitude” in your company’s leadership development curriculum?

I know. I haven’t seen it in any either.

But having a leader who can lead with a grateful heart would be a phenomenal leadership trait for rallying recognition around.

Leadership consultants Kevin and Jackie Freiberg say, “Gratitude is a sign of wisdom and maturity, a hallmark of confident humility.”

Too often we are trying to develop leadership skills and forget about the underlying leadership traits that intrinsically drive a person to be a leader no matter what their role or whether they even have a title within the organization.

Let’s explore what it really takes to be a leader who has a grateful heart. (more…)

How To Present Recognition’s Progress To Your Leadership Team

You are fortunate enough to have an executive sponsor for employee recognition and who supports all the managing of recognition related things that you do.

They are willing to go to bat for you and are exemplary in using the company recognition programs and expressing appreciation to employees.

Their expectation of you is to regularly provide them with high level results on how recognition is impacting the business.

After all, your executive has to present the numbers to the complete senior leadership team and collectively they approve your budget.

So what is the best way to present the progress and impact employee recognition is making to your senior leadership team?

At a bare minimum they will be expecting the following: (more…)

7 Simple Ways Leaders Can Improve Recognition

You meet Keira, your new boss, in the hallway at work. You now report to her about your responsibilities in administering the company’s employee recognition programs.

She’s a good leader and heads compensation and benefits. But employee recognition is new to her. She’s only just been assigned the recognition portfolio.

You know her qualities and feel you will work well with her. You feel her intentions are solid and sincere towards recognition.

As she converses with you she asks you what your expectations are of her as your new leader. And she also asks you how senior leaders as a whole could help improve recognition throughout the company.

How would you answer this leader? What ideas come to your mind?

Consider the following 7 simple ways that recognition practitioners have recommended to their leaders and shared with me in the last several months. (more…)

How To Stop Leaders from Stopping Recognition Giving

In your effort to make recognition flourish throughout the organization you always need the support of your leadership team or a key leader.

Unfortunately, the skills or attributes that sometimes cause certain leaders to rise to the top may not be the people-facing skills needed to make recognition happen the way you would like it to.

In fact, sometimes you will find your role is more focused on stopping leaders from stopping recognition giving.

See if you relate to these seven ways leaders can sometimes stop recognition. (more…)

Where To Focus Your Leaders With Recognition

I’ve had two requests from clients from either side of the Atlantic ocean within the last two months, asking me to consult with them in helping their leaders give better and more frequent recognition.

It’s been fascinating to see organizational development folks and other leaders of various functional areas wanting to get their leaders on board with improving recognition.

Employee engagement and customer satisfaction scores were the trigger. These metrics were not the best and each client saw the correlation with their analytics and how a lack of recognition was a contributing cause.

In both companies they interviewed employees and identified ways they were not feeling appreciated and valued for their contributions on the job.

One of the companies went so far as to interview a sample of leaders who were doing well on employee engagement and customer satisfaction metrics.

What were they doing well?

They found great leaders demonstrated caring concern for most of their employees and were actively involved in acknowledging and praising their employees’ on the job.

These successful leaders knew how to make positive connections with their staff. (more…)

Do Your Leaders Give Feedback The Right Way?

You may have seen it or even been the recipient of it, but sometimes leaders can cause incredible havoc when they give critical feedback especially when done in a demeaning and damaging way.

And when this comes from a leader, somehow their position and the perceived emotional and societal weight of that negative performance review comes down with even greater force.

I also think it is important to separate out feedback from giving recognition.

Recognition is any thought, word or deed towards making some feel appreciated and valued for who they are as well as recognized for the things they do.

The whole intent behind recognition is to value people and their work.

Feedback contrasts with recognition in that its core purpose is to help people improve performance rather than simply acknowledge it.

Consider the following 5 points on how leaders and managers can improve their own feedback giving to people. (more…)

How Leaders Sometimes View Employee Recognition

Maybe you’ve seen what I have seen over 20+ years of trying to help many companies get their employee recognition right.

Often I am dealing with managers in the middle – typically from Human Resources – who understand the importance of employee recognition and are trying desperately to rectify low recognition scores reported by their employees on the latest employee engagement survey.

Even their director knows they need to improve this engagement line, which has been doing poorly for the past few years.

The problem is with the most senior leader.

It can be chief executive officer, president, or chief administrator – whatever the title and whoever the person is at the very top.

They just don’t get it. (more…)