If You Really Know Me, Then Recognize Me Properly

It was a busy day at a suburban branch of a retail bank and the customer service representatives (CSR’s) were kept constantly busy with serving long lines of needy customers.

Air conditioning didn’t seem to be working the best that day and it was getting kind of warm in the bank. The bank manager had already called head office to arrange for air conditioning maintenance people to come and fix things.

The CSRs did their best to smile, pause briefly between customers to calm themselves, and patiently serve each customer with their individual banking requests.

By mid-afternoon, something unusual happened.

The bank manager walked behind each of the half-dozen or so CSRs and placed a cold can of carbonated drink on the counter next to each employee as they served the next customer in line.

Some of the CSRs were able to look up and smile back at the manager and others said thanks if they could.

But it was several minutes later before each CSR realized how special their manager’s actions were.

She had not given every CSR the same carbonated beverage. No, she had made sure to know what each of their favorite drinks was. Armed with that insight she had purchased a single can of pop that each CSR liked best.

For those CSR’s this simple but special action spoke volumes to them and showed them their manager appreciated them and the work they were doing.

Think about what can you do to personalize and customize the tokens of appreciation you give to employees. (more…)

How To Get Amazing, Everyday Recognition Happening in 3 Easy Steps

Many of the attendees at my breakout session at the recent Human Resource Professionals Association were committed to wanting to improve employee recognition practices and their recognition programs where they worked.

One person submitted a question to me asking, “What would be the first 3 steps to take to start with Real Recognition?”

I am going to outline the three steps I would recommend you start with to make everyday, recognition – and specifically Real Recognition® – happen throughout your organization.

These steps are only easy if you commit to asking the hard questions of one another, being vulnerable enough to hear people’s responses, and then having the courage to act upon them. (more…)

Why Learning About Recognition Needs To Be More Strategic

Learning about effective employee recognition practices and skills requires developing clear, behaviourally focused learning objectives.

But I find there is a problem in most organizations. When I ask how much focus is given to recognition practices in their leadership or management development curriculum the answer is often zilch.

Or at best they talk about recognition and motivation at the 30,000 feet level with no practical skills, know-how, or insights on how to get better at giving recognition.

Yet these organizational leaders are concerned when employee engagement survey results reveal poor, or at least below average, employee perceptions of the recognition given. (more…)

Never Let Organizational Culture Eat Up Your Strategy

Many years ago the late business management guru, Peter Drucker, purportedly said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

While there is still debate as to whether Drucker actually said the line or not, it was attributed to him by Mark Fields in 2006, and he later became the chief executive of the Ford Motor Company.

At the time Drucker probably made this statement there was a lot of talk about business strategy in the Ivy League business schools.

His point was well taken that you should never neglect culture.

However, as the authors Boris Groysberg, Jeremiah Lee, Jesse Price and J. Yo-Jud Cheng, of the recent Harvard Business Review article on The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture, point out, a strong organizational culture can be detrimental when misaligned with strategy. (more…)

Getting The Inside Scoop on Motivation

Whether an inside job or working from the outside in, motivation on the job is no easy task.

I have always loved the simple explanation for motivation that it is your “motive” to action.

This made me think of the sign I saw the other day that said, “I dream of a better world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.”

However, motivation from a scientific viewpoint, is always described as the psychological factors we all have such as needs, desires, wants, or drives within us that cause us to do the things we do each and every day.

The tricky part is applying this oft-misunderstood concept on the job. (more…)

How To Set Your New Year Goals for Employee Recognition

You are probably in the midst of creating your goals and plans for your recognition programs and practices for next year.

Likely, you will need to submit your goals and plan to a senior leader you report to for endorsement before ploughing ahead.

Make sure you include the following suggestions as you strategize your recognition plans. (more…)

How To Strategize Your Recognition Resources

I believe every client I have worked with sincerely want to get real recognition happening the right way wherever their people work.

They also know, that in order for the right recognition practices to take place and their recognition programs to be used most effectively they have to, (1) build awareness of the importance of recognition, and (2) educate and show people how to get recognition right.

One way to do this is to provide a manager recognition resource section on your recognition website. This provides a forum to inform, educate and inspire managers on the art and practice of giving real recognition.

And it requires a strategic structure to make your manager recognition resource section the best.

Here are 10 ideas to guide you with designing your manager recognition resource webpages. (more…)

So You Have A Recognition Strategy. Now What?

People are getting pretty excited and energetic lately about creating recognition strategies. And for that I am grateful.

Slowly, but surely, more and more business leaders are creating written recognition strategy documents that outline their ideal recognition practices, the recognition programs they feel they need, and an outline of their purpose for recognition, along with any philosophy and principles to guide everyone on giving effective and meaningful recognition.

What follows, of course, is the need for setting short-term and long-term objectives, and creating a plan to address strengths and areas requiring improvement with both recognition practices and recognition programs.

No company I have worked with so far, or had the pleasure of viewing their identified recognition best practices, is perfect at recognition. Every organization can stand to improve recognition in some way or another.

So we are going from the premise that you’ve already written up a recognition strategy document.

Now, what do you do first? (more…)

Thinking About Recognition In A Completely Different Way

I want to help you get unstuck about employee recognition. In fact, I want you to think about recognition in a completely different way.

But first I want to give you a quick orientation to the world of employee recognition.

Then I promise you that I will give you that new point of view. Okay? (more…)

Is Your Culture Getting In The Way of Your Recognition?

Many factors affect the success of implementing the practice of giving effective and meaningful employee recognition where you work.

Your organizational culture is just one of those factors but it’s often ignored.

Organizational culture is the shared values and beliefs that inform and govern how people behave in an organization. It influences how people act at work and do their jobs.

The successful use of your recognition and reward programs is directly impacted by the strength and positive perception of your company’s culture.

That’s why you must ask yourself: Is our organizational culture contributing towards making recognition giving a way of life?

Or, perhaps your culture is getting in the way of recognition. (more…)