Few organizations know where to begin in crafting a written recognition strategy. Within our own work we have found one of the first steps in developing a solid recognition strategy is examining the purpose and philosophy components of recognition so everyone is on the same page about recognition.
Organizational leaders and those practitioners assigned responsibility for employee recognition practices and programs should come together and, through a facilitated process, define and articulate their beliefs about recognition. Because there is often a semantic battle over what constitutes recognition and rewards, these ideas must be sorted out and put in writing so there is a single vision and mission of how recognition can make an important and measurable impact on the business.
First off, it is important to answer the “why recognition” question. The why or purpose of recognition needs to be determined so it can drive managerial and peer recognition practices and help define the elements that will be evaluated for recognition program effectiveness. Note that recognition purpose statements are focused more on people development internally and customer contribution externally — why recognition is beneficial for employees and how it ultimately benefits the organization’s customers.
To create your organization’s recognition purpose statement, several key questions should be asked to draw out ideas such as:
- What is our purpose for giving recognition?
- Why are we giving recognition for our employees?
- Why are we doing recognition for the company?
A company’s recognition purpose statement might end up looking like this:
“We will ensure our employees feel valued for their contributions in the success of the company and in helping customers have genuine and positive experiences.”
Second, it is important to develop a recognition philosophy statement that puts in writing what the leadership team believes recognition means and should be for the organization, employees and customers. From an internal perspective, the recognition philosophy focuses on how recognition creates strong people fulfillment for employees, while the external philosophical focus shows how recognition actually contributes to the business and/or societal needs.
In eliciting an organization’s recognition philosophy statement further questions need to be addressed such as:
- What are our beliefs about employee recognition?
- Why is recognition important to us?
- How will our recognition initiatives contribute to our business and to society?
The company’s recognition philosophy statement could look like:
“We believe it is important to create a recognition culture of caring and respect aligned with a strong focus on our business strategy for customer success and corporate responsibility.”
Typically, these two statements are combined leading off with the beliefs or philosophy statement and then followed by the purpose statement:
“We believe it is important to create a recognition culture of caring and respect aligned with a strong focus on our business strategy for customer success and corporate responsibility. We will ensure our employees feel valued for their contributions in the success of the company and in helping customers have genuine and positive experiences.”
Now, you have your Recognition Philosophy and Recognition Purpose statements in place. By having your beliefs down on paper and your collective answer for “why?” recognition, you’re ready to move forward and create a Recognition Plan.
Next week: Part 3 – Developing a Recognition Plan for the Next Steps
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