Some of us have directors or managers who have never learned to give recognition to people when it is due. They can seem too task oriented. Others are more introverted and not used to expressing feelings.
Or, maybe you hear reports from employees who wonder what they can do to bring this topic of a lack of recognition up with their manager, but are afraid it might backfire if they do. Now they have gone for years without having their work properly acknowledged.
What can they do to highlight their work successes and finally get the recognition they deserve?
Turn the tables and learn how to ask for the recognition you’re not getting.
This post was originally written for Incentive Magazine back in 2010. It’s amazing what can happen in a decade, with so many work from home employees due to the pandemic. Naturally, this only applies to knowledge workers, certain professionals, information technology, and other office workers able to perform most of their job functions at home.
Addenda are made when needed to comply with our current pandemic health prevention or restrictions.
Managing people who work at a distance from a company office is a far different situation than managing those we work with in person. Rather than trying to manage a remote worker the same ways as you would someone in the next office, try these top 10 ways to build trust, inspire confidence and recognize your remote employees.
Keep everyone connected. Make it easy for on-site colleagues to get in touch with remote workers. Telephone systems, instant messaging and voice calling over internet applications enable remote workers to feel connected and a part of the team. [Now we have videoconferencing tools such as Zoom which was founded in 2011.]
Recognize expectations met. Remote workers consistently meet deadlines and expected levels of performance and should be recognized as valuable assets for their focused dedication. Make time to quickly phone them or leave after work voice mails to specifically praise them for their dependable track record.
Encourage transparency. Support remote workers personal needs with family and life by developing transparent sharing of schedules and appointments. Just knowing where they are at any given time helps build trust with the rest of the team who are used to more traditional work schedules. [COVID-19 has required multiple partners, spouses, and children to be home together and juggling personal needs and use of technology and internet.]
Get information out at lightning speed. Ensure your remote team members not only have access to the same formal and informal sources of information as their colleagues in the office but that they even get it before the internals do.
Schedule weekly conversations. Remote workers are often reluctant to seek help from their managers, human resource experts, or external sources. Set up a regular day and time to discuss workloads and assignments, ask and answer questions and concerns to maintain an open line of communication.
Offer time management training. The greatest challenge for remote workers is balancing priorities to get tasks completed. This training should include the unique challenges of dealing with family, friends, and unusual interruptions; and the feelings of guilt associated with working excessive hours. [Many new work from home employees need guidance and productivity tips to deal with isolation and work pressures.]
Declare weekends free. Create clear guidelines and expectations regarding response to e-mails and assignments on weekends. Dedicated remote workers can easily fall into the trap of working 24/7. Encourage shut-down and “off times” with standards on exceptions to the rule to help prevent burnout.
Do remotely special things. Think about what home office employees experience on a regular basis. Now realize what remote workers are missing out on and be creative on trying to recreate that in their lives – sending edible flower arrangements on anniversaries; personalized pens and latest office gizmos; and taking them out for lunch on a specially arranged visit to their hometown location. [While you might not have the freedom to send tangible items, make sure you show them care and concern, and give what you can to support them.]
Empower workers for productivity. Provide training and mentoring on overcoming the challenges of working remotely. Training will help make remote workers more productive and more satisfied with their working experience. Provide the choice of offering this training remotely or in-class at the company location. [There are multiple sources for online training now since in-class instructions is prohibited.]
Managers must learn how to trust. Managers must learn and adapt to managing the ever-growing virtual employees now in excess of 50 million. Learning how to create high-trust relationships must become a core skill for managing the almost invisible powerhouse of remote workers.
Recognition Reflection: What practices have you started doing to better appreciate your new “work from home” employees?
It is Administrative Professionals Week and on Wednesday it is Administrative Professionals Day. Make sure you do something special to acknowledge these hardworking professionals who make your work run smoothly and keep you organized.
Following are eight ways to consider on how to appreciate these special people even virtually in this time of remote working because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognition is probably one of the best strategies you can use to promote diversity and inclusion.
I will explain why and how to leverage recognition to support diversity and inclusion.
Recognition should be a way of life in your organization and not just a programmatic offering. If this is the case where you work, then appreciating people for who they are and recognizing them for what they do will be the great equalizer.
Look at some inherent problems we create for ourselves with recognition that is not diversity minded or inclusive.
People seem to want things smaller these days. We went from desktops to laptops. We moved from tablets to smartphones. Now we want smart wearables.
The same goes for education and learning. People moved from bite-size things you eat to bite-size things you view or read. We now apply this principle of “short and sweet,” to online learning and other resources for teaching people how to give meaningful and effective recognition.
This became clear to me when one of our clients wanted short and sweet content. Their communications team was engaged in providing managerial resources for learning and applying recognition practices and how to effectively use their online recognition programs.
I want to show you some short and sweet factors that were used to support this client’s initiatives along with some additional ideas.
Hopefully, you have a supportive executive leader who acts as your sponsor or champion for the cause of employee recognition where you work. You never want recognition to become out of sight and then out of their mind.
The only reason recognition would ever disappear off of your leader’s radar screen is if you take it off yourself.
That’s why it is so important to help your leaders stay on top of everything that’s going on with employee recognition.
Here are some great ways to keep recognition top of mind for your leaders.
You and your team have just finished an assigned project.
High fives all around—even if virtually
A lot of time went into the various elements of this project—from conception to implementation The outcomes and learning points were valuable and worthwhile. You are grateful for the wonderful collaboration across the team from all their various locations. Together, you overcame major obstacles to make a positive result.
Each of us has varying levels of confidence and proficiency with being able to recognize those you live with and especially those you work with.
For some, they had upbeat and positive parents, teachers, and coaches, who inspired them to grow and be successful. They regularly received words of encouragement, appropriate praise, and recognition for their accomplishments.
Others had life situations where they always needed to overcome negativity, received put downs at school, and a lack of sincere concern for the welfare of others. Even where they worked had toxic bosses and a lack of appreciation for their contributions.
No matter the route you took in life, or the role models you had in your life, they now expect you appropriately praise and recognize your employees.
But we all have different abilities and attitudes around giving meaningful and effective recognition.