Recognizing to Win!

People love to win!

Recognition used the right way can help you do just that. Win.

In this case we are talking about winning your business strategy.

Few organizations get recognition aligned with their planned business goals or focused on achieving their well-crafted strategic initiatives.

Which is why I want to share and apply the wisdom of Peter F. Drucker from his work on The Five Most Important Questions. These are considered essential questions based upon Peter Drucker’s theories of management.

Question #1: What is your recognition purpose?

While Drucker’s original question was “What is your mission?” – I am adapting this for your leadership team so they can articulate exactly what recognition is, and also, what it is not.

Each organization must grapple with putting in writing what you mean when you speak of recognition. How will you use recognition properly and what do you want to achieve when used equitably?

You can quickly ask if you have an existing recognition strategy that already spells out your purpose for recognition or whether it is missing in action. Does your recognition purpose need to be updated or completely revised?

Determine what your current problems and challenges are with recognition giving? What are your managers saying about your recognition programs and practices? Are your employees really feeling valued for their contributions or do they think your company’s recognition initiatives are a joke?

Ask yourself what your honest intentions are with giving recognition to people? You will then have a better feel for your recognition purpose and be ready to align it with your business goals.

Question #2: Who is your customer?

This is the original question from Drucker.

He would further delineate this question by asking who your primary customer is and who the supporting customers are.

With recognition your primary customer is always your employees – leaders, peers and subordinates. However, your supporting customers are most likely your managers and leaders and everyone across your various departments and business units.

You are also assisting the leadership team with achieving the business strategy you want to support through recognition.

Your primary customers want to be appreciated for who they are and recognized for what they do.

Some of your secondary customers are more interested in who is giving recognition well and who isn’t, who are we at risk of losing, how engaged and productive are your employees, and being able to have dashboards and reports that show all this, and more.

Question #3: What does the customer value?

First, there is what you think your primary and supporting customers value. Then there is the reality check of what they really value.

You need to make time to get access to the recognition data that provides both the actual usage and outputs of recognition measures – whether that is social recognition numbers on the feed, eCard numbers, nominations given, redeemable points given and redeemed, cash or other tangible forms of recognition and rewards delivered. You also need to know how your recognition actions are helping you meet your strategic goals so you will need to correlate with your key performance indicators.

Naturaly, you will also need employees’ subjective and perceptual feedback on their recognition preferences, how well their managers are doing at recognizing people, and whether recognition is driving your business results or not.

Question #4: What results do you want?

This where you need to be powerfully simple and direct as to the business goals you want to achieve. In addition, you need to be very focused on what recognition can and cannot do to help you.

What recognition practices should you keep doing, or discontinue? Are there any parts of your online or administered recognition programs that should be changed to support the business direction?

You need to set specific goals for each of your recognition programs. You should also set some clear expectations of managers on what recognition practices you want them doing. Then you must hold them accountable for those expectations.

Sometimes managers, and employees, need communication reminders, tools and resources to help them stay focused on recognition giving. Getting some training on how to be more effective with recognition giving will also be helpful.

Question #5: What is your plan?

Here you have to lay out your short-term plan with specific goals for what you want to achieve over the next year. Hopefully, you can break down the various focus points on what needs improving into 90-day action plan increments.

You can expect leaders who own these goals to send in 30-day summary reports by email and to meet with team members every 90-days to submit an update and resetting of goals for the next quarter.

You can also lay out the big picture over the next two or three years of what the ideal vision should be for improving recognition practices and programs.

What accountability and review process is built in to the plan so you know when any aspect of your recognition initiatives need to be improved upon or completely changed?

There is a lot involved to recognize to win.

Put your best team and thoughts together to develop your recognition strategy to achieve solid business results.

Question: What are doing to win business with recognition?

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