Why You Need Recognition In Your Strategic HR Plan

Find the nearest Chief People Officer or Chief Human Resources Officer and demand that employee recognition be included in their Strategic HR Plan.

This fancy, multi-page document, with charts and pictures, models, frameworks and goals, links the needs of your people with the business strategy and goals your leaders want to achieve for your organization.

Your Chief Financial Officer has already made sure the financial projections and plans have been laid out on how to reach those goals.

These days most mid- to large sized organizations have a strategic plan. It is becoming equally essential to have a strategic human resource plan.

Talent management, for example, is becoming a major issue with the aging workforce crisis and lack of educated and trained people to replace those retiring.

But too often employee recognition gets overlooked in strategic HR plans.

A Lot On The Strategic HR Plate

There is a lot to be considered when facilitating and drafting a strategic HR plan.

Human Resource leaders must consider, and likely prioritize, many from the following people areas into the crafting of their plans:

  • Change Management
  • Cross-Cultural Interaction
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Employee Engagement
  • Globalization
  • Knowledge Transfer
  • Leadership
  • Learning
  • Organizational Culture
  • Organizational Development
  • Succession Planning
  • Sustainability
  • Systems Models
  • Talent Management
  • Transformation
  • Virtual Working Arrangements

Where is employee recognition?

Often it’s ignored. Too many competing priorities it seems.

Slightly more than half of all organizations in a WorldatWork survey even have a written recognition strategy so no wonder recognition is hardly ever mentioned in their strategic HR plans.

Make Recognition the Game Changer

Recognition is a powerful tool to leverage the very behaviors everyone wants to see achieved in a strategic HR plan.

Want to improve employee engagement? Then recognition will improve the positive relationship strength between people and lift your engagement scores.

Giving authentic and specific recognition gives people the feedback and line of sight to know how their contributions are achieving the company’s mission and purpose and that they are personally making a difference.

The key to making recognition a game changer is to embed and integrate recognition into each of the areas focused on in your strategic HR plan.

A strategic HR plan can only narrow in on a few core objectives anyways. So the long list I have above will not all be included in your strategic HR plan.

Your industry and unique needs as an organization will prioritize what is important.

Recognition can be woven into what you will do by giving tools, resources and a cultural “way of doing things here” providing one of the ways to make your strategic HR plan come alive.

Quick Recognition Examples

The University of California in their strategic HR plan, under Employee Relations, has the strategy to “continue to build a culture that embraces performance” so that “employees feel valued and appreciated.” Recognition is an obvious practice to integrate here to do this.

The City of Winnipeg under their Human Resources/Organizational Effectiveness section needs to emphasize the importance of Leadership Training and Development. Effective feedback and recognition practices and programs could be built into how varied work opportunities are extended to people. Be specific as to why you’re allowing a potential leader to be seconded because of their skillsets. Provide coaching to mentors on giving effective recognition and feedback to mentoring candidates so mentoring is seen as a more meaningful experience.

If you cannot make employee recognition one of the star features in your strategic HR plan at least look to turning recognition into a strong supportive role for each of the focus areas that are there.

Question: How have you helped your company look at recognition as a leveraging tool for your strategic HR plan?

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