Recognition Tip #45: Find out about your employees’ family.

Nothing gets closer to the heart of an employee more often than their family. Know something about each family member and show concern and interest with your asking. Be mindful of your questions in case they should trigger concerns of dysfunctional family dynamics. Express empathy for the employee if there are. Respectfully state why you were asking about their family. Thank them for being candid with you so you at least know.

 

Handle Negativity About Recognition Problems as a Gift

Getting complaints about your recognition programs, or having to listen to the naysayers in the room about employee recognition practices, can be a draining and daunting experience to deal with.

One big secret for dealing with negativity around recognition initiatives is to treat each encounter as a gift. I’ll share with you what I mean by this, shortly.

If you can learn how to handle negative feedback about recognition practices and programs in a positive and productive way, you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way. (more…)

Conscious Awareness of the Importance of Recognition

I am drawing on the principles from Bob Rosen and Emma-Kate Swann’s book Conscious: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life. The opening premise of their book is that being unaware is a big liability.

They highlight some of the observed behaviors that are caused by a lack of conscious awareness. Think about the following actions and see if you’ve experienced any of them too.

  • An unintended (or so they said) offense given to a colleague.
  • Ignoring a customer’s valid complaint about a product.
  • Blindness to the personal needs of a team member.
  • Lack of compassion for a child’s concern shared at home.
  • Uncivil remarks made in a management meeting about a leader.

Research from Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist, indicates that only 10 to 15 percent of us are ever truly self-aware of what we do and our abilities.

Why aren’t we changing with giving people the recognition they deserve? From my observation, a lack of awareness of the importance and value that employee recognition has on people’s lives is a big reason why it doesn’t happen frequently enough. (more…)

Why Recognition Messaging Is So Important

Do your employees know the difference between recognition and rewards? Are managers and supervisors consistently praising and recognizing their direct reports for doing good work on a regular basis? Is peer-to-peer recognition happening through your social recognition newsfeed and face-to-face?

If you had a “no” to any one of those questions, you likely need to send out recognition messaging more often.

It might well be time to communicate what recognition is and why it is so important. You may need to tell everyone how easily they can recognize one another. Show them how to give meaningful and effective recognition.

I have written before about the importance of creating a Recognition Communications Calendar to support your recognition programs and practices. However, I was not as clear as I should have been, about what to include in your advanced communication planning.

You have to be strategic about the recognition messaging you want to convey throughout the company. Here are some quick thoughts to guide you. (more…)

Getting Managers to be Proactive with Recognition Giving

Some of you manage an array of different employee recognition programs and work hard to maintain them and promote them.

While I have written about the need for recognition to be multi-directional in origin and not be owned by managers and supervisors alone, it is still very important to enlist management support.

Your goal should be to get managers excited about expressing recognition to employees and help them prepare to give it face-to-face and online. If you can help them to anticipate when recognition should occur in an employee’s life then they will become eager to give recognition.

Think about the following trigger points to help managers be proactive with recognition giving. (more…)

How To Ask Employees About Their Recognition Preferences

Perhaps you think the idea of asking employees about their recognition preferences is a hard thing to do. Doing so might be the best investment of time you’ll make in connecting better with your employees.

Recognition is such an individual experience that you must encourage everyone in supervisory and management positions to discover how their employee likes and wants to be recognized.

These are some quick suggestions for how to do it and what to ask.

Finding Out

Schedule a 15-minute sit-down meeting for each of your employees and individually ask them about their personal recognition preferences. If they are remote, simply conduct the meeting over the phone or by videoconference.

The secret behind giving more personal and customized recognition is to ask your employees. (more…)

Teaching All Employees How To Give Effective Recognition

In the near recent past, the top down delivery of recognition perpetuated the perceived need for only managers to receive education and training on recognition skills.

However, with the increasing demand for peer-to-peer recognition, use of social recognition programs, and flat organizational structures, everyone deserves to learn how to give meaningful and effective recognition.

The challenge is allocating the resources to teach all of your employees about recognition giving. And, teaching everyone in the organization on how to give meaningful, and effective recognition to people every day, is not as easy as it sounds.

Use some of the following ideas to reach out to all of your employees in teaching them recognition skills. (more…)

The Resources You Need To Drive Recognition

If you had a magic lamp and were allowed three wishes of the genie that would appear when you rubbed the lamp, what resources would you ask for to help you with managing your recognition programs better?

And, I am not just talking about money alone. There are people and organizational resources you can draw upon that could help drive recognition practices and programs for you.

It’s fascinating how some company leaders bemoan the lack of employee engagement in their organizations. But they won’t invest wisely in one of the top drivers of engagement, namely, employee recognition.

What are the resources you need to really drive employee recognition? Consider the following list just for starters. (more…)

Top 10 Ways To Revive Your Recognition Programs

When recognition programs stop working properly, employees and organizations go into a state of cultural “cardiac” arrest. Unchecked, your sick programs can result in disengagement and deathly poor morale levels. If intervention happens quickly you can restart and put new life into your recognition programs. Make sure you examine carefully these Top 10 Ways to Revive Your Recognition Programs. Choose one or two steps to apply to your recognition programs today.

  1. Check out the heart rhythm of your programs. Analyze the recognition program data to observe usage: who is using the program, who is getting recognized, and find out what people are actually being recognized for. And, who has NOT been recognized?
  2. Ask employees how recognized they feel. Describe their current recognition symptoms. Employees’ perceptions of your programs will give you a solid readout. Have employees share how program usage could be improved. Ask how they could be more involved.
  3. Determine root-cause analysis for unhealthy programs. Could it be: Lack of awareness? Invisible access? Poor education and recognition training? No communication supports? Not top of mind? No expectations for recognition? Perceptions of no time to use?
  4. Programs may need shock treatment. Deliver a new current of energy and enthusiasm to get back on track. This could be a new program design, new rules, purpose, and rebranding. Clarify the expectations and hold people accountable. Create a communication campaign to revitalize.
  5. Remove arterial blockages to your programs. If there are design and system issues then get IT and your strategy design people to quickly assess and make instant changes. Also, check out and correct people’s attitudes and intentions. If programs are vendor driven involve your account rep.
  6. Educate why you use recognition programs. Reinforce your organization’s strategy, goals, and culture about recognition. The more consistently and better your programs are used the more engaged and productive employees will be. Give people a better purpose and request they identify their “why”.
  7. Recognition programs mostly stop working because of people. When programs break down no recognition gets pumped to people in the company. Work on problems but make sure to educate people on effective program usage. Find out the specific barriers people raise and address each one.
  8. Provide supports to defibrillate your programs back to life. Improve and check reports regularly to determine concerns. Use eLearning to teach effective program practice. Send regular communication messages to encourage adoption. Have leaders and managers set a positive example.
  9. Don’t face recognition program failure alone. Recognition program revival is a team effort where you must partner with leaders, managers, and employees. You must take charge of the choices and needs that affect effective programs. Establish a recognition committee and meet regularly.
  10. When all else fails, plan a program transplant. Removing a damaged and ineffective program by replacing it with a new one is no easy decision. But, if a program isn’t working properly and has caused irreversible damage – change it! Then use the previous steps to help prevent future problems.

 

This post is based on a posting by the author in Incentive Magazine.