Never Mix Agendas With Your Recognition Strategy

Years ago when I was leading a church congregation I invited a member to meet with me to discuss a matter involving their publicly disciplining some of our youth. Ironically, this individual also wanted to meet with me to discuss a different subject.

We met that evening, and I allowed them to start with their subject first. Afterward I dealt with the more sensitive subject I had on my agenda. I can only tell you it didn’t go over very well. In fact, they didn’t talk to me for several weeks after.

However, I can tell you I learned a very important lesson from that experience. And that is, never mix agendas. 

If someone wants to see you about something, let that be the sole purpose for the meeting. Don’t add something you have on your mind to the meeting.

In a similar vein, never mix agendas with your employee recognition strategy either. Stay focused on creating a recognition strategy all by itself and add nothing else.

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How To Shift Organizational Cultures After a Merger

There are challenging things that people in corporations experience and one of those times is when there is a merger and acquisition with another company.

It affects people in so many ways and it can impact how you will proceed with recognition and rewards.

Consider that consulting firm McKinsey and Company found that “95 percent of executives describe cultural fit as critical to the success of integration following a merger. Yet 25 percent cite a lack of cultural cohesion and alignment as the primary reason integration efforts fail.”

Getting culture right is obviously critical after a merger.

William Bridges, author of one of my favorite books, Managing Transitions: Making the most of Change, wisely said, “It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions.”

What he’s referring to here is that change is situational, as in the case we’re discussing here with a merger. But transition is “the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation.” Thus change is external and transition is internal.

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How To Divide and Conquer Your Recognition Strategy

One challenge with any strategy development occurs after senior leaders have invested their time and energy in creating one. They just don’t give the same emphasis to implementing the strategy.

This happens for recognition strategies just as much as it does for business strategies.

A lot of work can go into creating a written recognition strategy and then it sits there. It’s a nice-looking document that does no good unless someone moves it into action.

Follow are suggestions for implementing your recognition strategy by dividing and conquering wherever you can.

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Why You Have to Get Recognition Programs Right

There will always be horror stories around recognition programs if you don’t start off on the right foot. 

And the irony of it all is the challenges most often come with the misnomer of calling these problematic programs “recognition programs”. Problems with errant programs usually lies when using rewards, be they tangible merchandise, cash, or near cash rewards.

So, get recognition programs right so there is equity and fairness with non-monetary and intangible recognition and tangible and monetary rewards accompanying these recognition programs.

There is also a need for authenticity and inclusiveness with the expressions of recognition given to people through your programs, whether this is by text, spoken word, or video. Recognition must be genuine and sincere in both intent and how it is communicated to a person. We should give regard to all employees who contribute day in and day out and not focus solely on the rising stars whose performance always exceeds the standards of most employees.

Recognition is for everyone.

You must make sure you get your recognition programs right.

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Improving the Quality of Your Formal Award Programs

Most organizations have a formal award programs that are their pinnacle of excellence for all their employees to aspire to.

You might have these kinds of formal programs where you work, too. They’re often called by a prestigious leadership position the company wants to associate with the award. You’ll hear awards named the President’s Award, Chairman’s or CEO’s Award. Or they may go for a more branded name appeal such as Bravo Award, Excellence Award, or Pinnacle Award. 

Both position title or brand named awards, are usually appended with various award categories the company wants people to focus on. They attach qualities or values like Leadership, Innovation, Customer Service, or Citizenship, etc. to the award name.

But for all the time, effort, and energy put into these formal award programs you are likely only awarding around 1% to 2% of your employee base. In larger organizations this percentage is even less.

What can you do to elevate the quality of your existing formal award programs?

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What Will You Do For National Employee Appreciation Day?

Yep. It’s that time again,

Some organizations will go all out. They’ll have their senior leaders serve up a pancake and sausage breakfast or other preferred food items. Perhaps the cafeteria has free items to offer employees that day which are paid for by the company. Others will encourage managers and supervisors to be vigilant in taking time out for coffee, doughnuts, and treats. Or perhaps everyone chips in to a potluck to share or brings a side dish for a company/department barbecue.

The first Friday of March is upon us. This Friday is considered one of those nationally declared calendar event days called National Employee Appreciation Day. It is not a day off work but one to remember the importance of appreciating employees and recognizing them for what they do.

What will you do in your organization for National Employee Appreciation Day?

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What Do You Want Your Recognition Strategy To Look Like?

Each organization, large or small, should have a written recognition strategy to position recognition at the forefront in their organization.

Michael Porter, in his classic Harvard Business Review article, “What Is Strategy?” states that “strategic positioning attempts to achieve sustainable competitive advantage by preserving what is distinctive about a company. It means performing different activities from rivals or performing similar activities in different ways.”

Naturally, Porter is speaking about a traditional business strategy and not about a recognition strategy.

But what can you learn from the wisdom of Michael Porter? Are there principles you can apply to crafting a recognition strategy? Let’s look carefully at his work. (more…)

A Quick and Easy Recognition Strategy to Get You Going

Typical steps for creating a business strategy require senior leadership team involvement, analysis of previous financial and operational goals and outcomes, and direction as far as the future state of where the company should be heading.

Having a written recognition strategy puts recognition practices and programs on the same level as a corporate business strategy.

But what if you don’t have the luxury to get senior leaders and a sampling of departmental or business unit leaders in the same room? If you can’t facilitate and collaborate with others to create a recognition strategy document, what should you do?

I will show you how to create a quick and easy recognition strategy with a basic structure and outline, along with some questions to ask yourself as a guide. Are you ready? (more…)

Employee Recognition Promotes Positive Psychological Functioning

We should all know what employee recognition is but what exactly is positive psychological functioning? How can recognition help promote a psychologically healthy workplace?

Positive psychological functioning is all about having available the right resources and supports needed for employees to function properly in the workplace. You can also call this psychological health and safety.

The American Psychological Association suggests the main characteristics of organizations that promote employee health and well-being are: employee involvement, work-life balance, employee growth and development, health and safety, and employee recognition.

The European Institute of “Great Place to Work” has analyzed the characteristics of best workplaces and found them to be places that care about relationships based on: pride (you feel proud of the company you work for and of your job within it), camaraderie (enjoying the people you work with), and trust (which includes: fairness, credibility, and respect).

So, how does recognition impact this whole construct of positive psychological functioning? (more…)

Your Favorite Recognition Posts of 2018

Looking at the past year of the Authentic Recognition blog is always an interesting reflective exercise.

Each year I never know what will appeal to my readers. Fortunately, analytic tools show the posts readers liked, and shared, the most. This provided insights I would never have expected.

Are you ready? (more…)