The 3 Types of Leaders That Make Recognition Happen

The saying goes that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go round

And that’s exactly the case for employee recognition too.

Some of the people you need to help make recognition go well are your leaders.

There is a huge benefit with having leaders on board who are personally committed to recognition. These leaders understand how using recognition practices and programs well, can be a strategic leveraging tool for engagement and performance results.

But not all leaders are created equal. In fact, I have identified 3 different types of leaders in the workplace who can each provide a valuable role.

See if you can relate any of your leaders to the following leadership types.

1. Ally: The first type of leader is known as an Ally. You are already strongly associated with them and they are positive collaborators. They always seem to be willing to cooperate with you on any of your recognition initiatives.

You will find these Ally leaders to be in the ranks of your business unit leaders, divisional directors, and department heads.

They are strong supporters of your recognition programs and for advancing recognition practices with their managers. In fact, they often want to get better at giving recognition themselves.

They know the impact recognition can have on employees and are on top of their recognition scores on the last engagement survey. Scores are often higher than the average for Ally leaders.

You can always count on them to provide you with candid feedback on your programs or things like recognition related resources, communication and learning strategies.

Strive to form as many Ally relationships as you can throughout the company as you can. You will need them whenever you have to build the case for any changes and improvements to employee recognition.

2. Advocate: Another leader type is the Advocate. They are individuals who are willing to speak up for you and the recognition cause. Their level of position is more senior in the organization and so they not only support recognition and yourself, but also they are prepared to plead on your behalf at executive levels.

An executive sponsor for employee recognition is a good example of an Advocate leader. They might be a senior leader such your CHRO, CIO or CFO. You might gain an Advocate from the ranks of Learning and Organizational Development or those responsible for the annual engagement survey results.

These leaders might be responsible for the HR strategic plan or talent acquisition and understand the value of recognition.

Find at least one Advocate to assist you in advancing the plans and goals for moving recognition forward. Keep them informed of everything you are doing and what your future plans are.

3. Ambassador: The third type of leader can be labeled as the Ambassador. They will always be a high-ranking person who can act as representative of the company. They possess authorized powers to give authority and sign off on required approvals.

Ambassador leaders could be the CEO or president, or other senior executive position.

They typically are the person who makes the final approval of your recognition strategy and plans. Which means they probably control the purse strings that fund all your recognition programs.

And they naturally represent the cause of employee recognition at the most senior leadership meetings and executive team.

Gaining an Ambassador for employee recognition is every recognition practitioner’s dream. You might see an Advocate fulfill a dual role as an Ambassador or see them eventually become one in time.

It is good to have all types of leaders driving recognition with you in your company. Do all you can to create a plan for identifying, developing and utilizing Allies, Advocates and Ambassadors for making recognition happen.

Question: How are you developing leaders for advancing employee recognition in your organization?

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