The Amazing Spillover Effects of Formal Recognition

Over three-quarters of surveyed companies have some form of best-of-the-best or above-and-beyond formal recognition award program going on.

This is great for those employees who seem to excel and shine at everything they do. They end up enjoying the celebratory experience at the annual awards event.

But what about employees who don’t get an award?

Award programs can appear to create an exclusivity that pits one person winning over and above their fellow employees.

So how do peers perceive formal award winners? What are the benefits for companies of doing formal awards when so few employees actually end up receiving them?

I am going to explore this topic through the lens of some recent academic research I discovered this week.

Spoiler alert: The outcome is positive as the title of this post implies.

Let’s dig in! (more…)

What Makes Your Recognition Program A Success?

As a judge for Recognition Professionals International (RPI) Best Practices Award I have had the opportunity to evaluate with my colleagues 72 individual company nominations.

Each nomination requires companies to prove to the judges how they have effectively demonstrated each of RPI’s seven best practice standards, i.e.

  1. Recognition Strategy
  2. Management Responsibility
  3. Program Measurement
  4. Communication Plan
  5. Recognition Training
  6. Recognition Events and Celebrations
  7. Program Change and Flexibility

We score each submission on these standards and provide collective feedback for the owners of the programs to consider and incorporate into their programs and possibly future nominations.

With this perspective in mind let me address what makes a recognition program a success. (more…)

What Is The ROI On Our Recognition Program?

Someone had to ask the question.

It could be a senior leader asking you about the ROI (return on investment) of the proposed recognition program before they sign off on the approval.

Or maybe your CFO asks the question before he’ll issue the cheque.

Whether for fiscal responsibility or validation of the value of employee recognition programs, calculating the ROI can be a helpful tool to communicate the success of your recognition programs.

How do you calculate the Return on Investment of your recognition programs?

Here are a few things to keep in mind. (more…)

Which Recognition Program Do You Start With First?

 

You have either personally asked or thought about this question, or the leader you report to might have asked you.

“Which recognition program do you start with first?”

Lewis Carroll, in his unforgettable tale of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, gives us a clue to the answer to this question.

The main character, Alice, sees the Cheshire Cat sitting on the bough of a tree and decides to ask it a question.

“Cheshire Puss,” she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider.

“Come, it’s pleased so far,” thought Alice, and she went on.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where—“ said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat

Likewise, you need to take the recognition program road you would like to take. Lead by your company’s purpose, recognition needs and budget realities as well as your own experienced opinion.

And if you don’t have a destination, objective or purpose then I will help you choose one. (more…)

I have had people ask me about points-based recognition and reward programs and the pros and cons of Issuance Model and Redemption Model payment plans. Hopefully this Top 10 Insights on Paying for Program Awards will answer those who have questions.

Date: June 15, 2017
Appearance: Top 10 Insights on Paying for Program Awards
Outlet: Incentive Magazine
Location: New York, NY
Format: Magazine

Right Words of Recognition for Years of Service

What do you say to a person who reaches a specific milestone level in their years of service with the company?

This is something that is very important but frequently overlooked.

Over the years I have seen different milestones of recognition celebrated at many years of service award events.

Too often the years of service recognition is relegated to an online or manual process that makes things happen.

But planning the right words of acknowledgment to use isn’t always in the mix.

There should be thought put into the right words of recognition to use that accompany the event, the one on one encounter between a manager and employee, or the gift given to the employee.

I will give you some guidelines to consider for the right words of recognition. (more…)

Recognition Cannot Solve All the Problems in the World

Sometimes, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because employee recognition programs and practices are such great things to instil properly in the workplace, they can solve all ills, HR woes and people problems.

Unfortunately, practicing positive recognition in the workplace and using recognition programs better and more effectively, will not solve world hunger, stop wars or bring peace and unity to the world.

That’s why I get concerned when I hear people say things like recognition can help your organization reduce absenteeism.

Recognition is typically an intangible expression of acknowledgement and valuing of an individual or team.

What you can recognize are people’s positive behaviours, their personal effort towards something or great contributions they have made.

You don’t recognize people’s genuine or chosen problems.

Here are some examples of what employee recognition cannot do. (more…)

ROI to the Power of 3 on Employee Recognition

If you’ve been running recognition programs and initiatives for a while, you have likely encountered the inquisitive, cynical, or perhaps challenging leader who throws down the ROI gauntlet for you to “prove” recognition is contributing to the bottom line.

My recommendation is to be careful about jumping too quickly or focusing solely on the money-sided ROI. Make sure you examine both below and above the bottom line to more easily convert recognition into an investment versus an expense.

Yes, there is a lot more to ROI than meets the eye, which is why we will examine ROI to the power of three. It’s much more than being financial.

You need to look at other returns that can come from recognition. (more…)

Quick Solutions For Dealing With Recognition Program Problems

On Tuesday I presented a session at the Recognition Professionals International conference in hot and humid Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

My session was on dealing with How To Make Positive Changes To Your Recognition Programs.

At the start of the session I asked the practitioner and provider attendees a question. The question was, “what are the biggest challenges or problems you struggle with for any of your employee recognition programs?”

Here’s what the recognition professionals gave me, which were written up on a flip chart:

  • Consistency
  • Out-dated
  • Unaware
  • Push back from leadership
  • Misinformation
  • Management buy-in
  • Measuring ROI

The rest of the session I focused on providing people with the process and tools for making improvements in a systematic way rather than just waiting for things to break, so to speak.

Quick Solutions to Problems

To specifically help those who attended my session and to assist all of my readers, I am including a few links to past posts to address some of these challenges.

1. Consistency: My suggestion on getting more consistent with using your recognition programs and practicing better recognition giving read Recognition Programs Aren’t A Problem…People Are! And if your leaders are not exemplary givers of recognition or using your programs consider Are You Helping Your Leaders to Give Recognition?

2. Out-dated: I told the seminar participants that I go out on a date every week with my wife, Irene. In fact we are going to see a children’s performance tonight of “The Wizard of Oz”. But on a serious vein, with recognition programs they do need to be kept revitalized. Try out this post for some ideas 7 Deadly Warning Signs Your Recognition Program Is Failing.

3. Unaware: I won’t pretend I’ve written on every subject related to recognition. This is probably one of them. That’s why I love it when you send in your challenges and ideas. They often become posts. My best stab at this is to suggest you read When Recognition Doesn’t Work and perhaps even 7 Simple Hacks to a Great Communications Plan to stimulate your thinking.

4. Leader Push Back and Buy-In: I combined these two because I think they are related. Leaders are not expected to know everything about employee recognition. That’s your job. So educate them and keep them informed like this Communicating with Leaders Using the “CNN Effect”. Furthermore, I taught those in my seminar that you don’t want leaders’ buy-in. Buy-in is so monetary focused and transaction. What you really need is their personal commitment and you can discover more here How To Win a Leader’s Commitment and Buy-In for Recognition.

5. Misinformation: Nada! I will have to think on this and get back to everyone on it.

6. Measuring ROI: Hmm! I realize I have not written a blog post on this topic specifically. But to help you along, here’s a related post on Understanding the Business Case for Recognition. I am not going to leave you high and dry though! If you don’t mind leaving this page and going to Incentive Magazine, here’s my Top 10 Tips for Solid Recognition ROI. Hope you enjoy it!

Once you’ve wrapped your head around a few of these topic areas please let me know what other questions still remain for you.

Question: Where do you go to learn more about employee recognition practices and programs?

How To Increase Employee Recognition Program Participation

You have this great, well branded, recognition portal.

It includes a well-designed social recognition platform for all of your employees to use. You’re hoping this will encourage more peer-to-peer appreciation.

You also have a behavioral, performance-focused program where employees can nominate someone for an award for demonstrating your corporate values. Leaders and managers can use the same program to issue points to employees for achieving strategic goals as well as exemplifying the living of the values.

But what if your employees and managers just aren’t into using these programs very well or as frequently as you had imagined.

What can you do to engage your people and ramp up the participation levels of your recognition programs? (more…)