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…)

Never Underestimate The Value Of Senior Leader Endorsement

Employee recognition is everyone’s responsibility, no doubt about it.

But there is something about having the personal support and endorsement of your senior leaders that propels recognition to a whole new level.

The 2015 WorldatWork Trends in Employee Recognition Survey showed only 34% of managers felt they had a high level of support from their senior management team for employee recognition programs.

Your goal should always be to get a senior leader’s commitment to making employee recognition practices and use of recognition programs a high priority as part of your company’s people strategy.

You can then prove to them how recognition can help them achieve the business goals you all want to see reached.

Don’t ever underestimate the value of an executive endorsement for employee recognition. (more…)

Ethical Problems With Rewards Snowball From The Top

There have been complaints and questions of late around aggressive sales practices in some of North America’s major banks.

Whether south or north of the 49th parallel the allegations have been the same – a high-pressure sales environment within the banks leading to unethical behavior by their employees.

From where do these problems arise? And how do rewards get in the way? (more…)

It’s Amazing What Happens When You Put People First

Vineet Nayar, an Indian business executive, author and philanthropist, and former Chief Executive Officer of HCL Technologies, authored a critically acclaimed management book a little while back titled “Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down”.

 My colleague and friend, S. Max Brown, had the opportunity to interview Vineet Nayar in Delhi, India for our former Internet radio show, Real Recognition Radio.

HCL Technologies has over 65,000 global employees in 26 different countries in the technology services industry.

Under Vineet’s leadership and vision, HCL changed from a workplace with high attrition and low attraction to being named the Number One Best Employer in India and Best Employer in both Asia and the United Kingdom.

How did recognition and appreciation in the workplace happen because of Vineet’s transformational thinking?

I’ll share some insights I gleaned from the interview. (more…)

No Matter Where You Go, Appreciate People

By virtue of their formal titles, leaders have a duty to acknowledge people wherever they are and wherever they go within the organization.

And for that matter, they even represent the organization as soon as they step outside of the company doors.

It can be making sure to give the simple pleasantries and greetings in the hallway or on the elevator. Making time for the informal chat in the cafeteria or before a meeting begins.

Leaders must always be on as far as seeking recognition giving opportunities.

No matter where you are or wherever you go as a leader you must make an extra effort to appreciate people and their contributions.

Appreciating people wherever you are takes focus and intention. (more…)