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…)

When Senior Leaders Get In The Way of Recognition

There’s a big difference with how recognition is perceived by people in different parts of the world.

When I was working in India, for example, I found the people there had a preoccupation with getting tangible or monetary rewards. Why? This was mainly because the pay employees earned in India was so low their goal was to meet basic needs. If they could receive any additional money they would take it.

In France, they too found rewards more important than say verbal appreciation. However, this was not for economic reasons. For the majority of managers I dealt with there, they felt that recognition was too much of an “Americanized” rah, rah, exercise. They gave the “touchy-feely” complaint. I had to remind them that I was originally from England, and now a Canadian. I also told them that the recognition I had received, so far, actually felt pretty good.

The irony is, that in all fourteen countries, I’ve been to, including India and France, a majority of employees indicated through engagement surveys that they did not feel valued and appreciated for the work they did. They lacked recognition, beyond rewards and pay.

A subscriber, and manager, from South Africa, raised the concern of how senior leaders would not permit managers and staff to practice giving recognition to one another. They even had a hard time enlisting HR’s help with making real recognition happen in their organization.

What would you do in such a situation? Can one manager impact an organization to make recognition happen?

Following are some suggestions to consider when leaders get in the way of employee recognition. (more…)

Why You Have To Convince Leaders About Recognition

In your role, as a leader or administrator of employee recognition programs and practices, you will often find yourself having to convince, and influence leaders, on recognition programs, budgets, and strategizing recognition.

Human resource leaders, as well as recognition professionals, have not necessarily helped the recognition cause along the way.

For too long, recognition professionals have been relegated to the position of party planners and balloon-blower-uppers, which instilled a negative perception of our role. Senior leaders often see recognition as just trinkets and trash, primarily because of the limited budgets they’ve allocated to recognition, which limits what is available for you to spend. Then there’s the persistent argument, that career milestone recognition is a waste of money because these programs don’t move performance and there’s no ROI from them.

How can you overcome these negative stereotypes? What can you do to convince your senior leaders otherwise? (more…)

When Leaders Give Recognition Watch What Happens

Last Thursday, I was standing at the boarding gate in Toronto Airport waiting to board my WestJet flight to Calgary.

I saw this man in a suit, who went around and shook hands with all of the WestJet staff members as he went forward to board the same flight. I even saw one employee ask for a minute of his time as they walked together down the passenger boarding bridge.

Hmm? Was this the WestJet president and CEO, Ed Sims? (more…)

Is There Ever a Right Time to Cut a Recognition Program?

When times are tough and profits are low, budget lines for things like education, employee events, and recognition, often get cut.

It’s easy to blame leadership – either for the financial failings of the company or for the budget fallout. But not all financial issues come from poor leadership.

Leaders have a difficult position to fill when it comes to prioritizing how company monies are spent.

While you are the defender of employee recognition practices and programs, you must also be transparent about the success and impact of your recognition and rewards programs. Are your programs producing their intended results? Is there a positive ROI? What is your program’s impact on people and performance?

On your leader’s behalf: Is there ever a right reason to cut a recognition and rewards program? (more…)

Can’t You See The Need for Investing in Recognition?

You’ve got your recognition strategy and plan written up and ready. The budget is prepared and your finance people have reviewed it. Primary stakeholders were consulted on their specific needs. Any relevant concerns have been addressed. You have the support of most of your leaders.

You present everything to your file leader. Zapp!

No go! Not approved!!

He or she doesn’t see the value of spending money on employee recognition. They view recognition as an expense along with compensation and benefits. There’s no urgency in their mind to invest in recognition.

Those of you responsible for employee recognition will likely have to deal with such a leader at some point in time. They just don’t “get it” as far as recognition is concerned. Yet, you know that wise leaders always invest in growing and developing people.

What can you do to prepare yourself for such a leader? How do you anticipate any potential rejection points towards recognition initiatives? (more…)

When Leaders Have a Hard Time Giving Recognition

Not everyone is born a naturally gifted recognizer of people. Which means you’re guaranteed to have some leaders who aren’t great at giving recognition either.

You may be called upon to help these leaders. Or you may take on a personal interest in helping them to recognize staff better and make a positive difference.

One of your goals will be how to get your leaders actively using your recognition programs. But before that can happen, they need to be actively doing essential recognition practices on a regular basis. (more…)

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…)

3 Leadership Characteristics That Make For Great Recognizers

How do your leaders stack up on required leadership characteristics for being great recognizers of people?

Paul Laudicina, the former chairman and CEO of A.T. Kearney, once stated, “Real leadership involves inspiring people at all levels to serve something much bigger than themselves.”

For recognition to inspire employees your leaders must demonstrate that leadership is not just a hierarchical status but a quality that should exist everywhere within the organization.

What can you do to develop leadership characteristics that are essential for giving meaningful, memorable, and motivational recognition to employees?

Check out these three leadership characteristics that influence excellence in recognition giving. (more…)

You Shouldn’t Have To Convince A Leader About Recognition

I love this quote from Marcus Buckingham,

“Great managers don’t need to be reminded of the power of praise.”

I think he’s right.

In those organizations where recognition flourishes as a way of doing things, you will always find leaders who get it. They know the importance of recognition. They personally strive to practice giving effective and meaningful recognition. And they encourage everyone to be exemplary recognition givers. (more…)