Most recognition strategies and plans for recognition depend on moving the bar on whatever metrics you have for program usage and employee perception of recognition.
The gap analysis of where your recognition status is today and where you want it to be tomorrow relies on the program metrics you have. The challenging part about program usage metrics is that they are all lagging indicator measures.
Lagging indicators do just that, they lag behind on indicating whether you achieved the results you wanted. By the time you get the output measures on a program, it’s hard to do anything about them that will make a future change.
Is there anything you can really do that can change this? Is there one important thing you can do that will make recognition happen?
One way to make recognition happen more frequently is to make it visible. When recognition is more conspicuous as a principle throughout the entire organization, it’s easier to make recognition more a way of life than just a program.
Creating visibility for recognition requires both an individual and organizational focus. Does your organization have a low, medium, or high level of recognition visibility?
Examine the following areas to see what you can do to have recognition more visible.
COVID-19 is taking its toll in the workplace. However, a recent Gartner report suggests that managers need to redouble their recognition efforts. One of the areas we can’t neglect is career milestones and other achievement celebrations. Keeping celebrations alive helps to invigorate organizations and inspire people. Follow these Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Employees from a Distance and keep the ritual and ceremony of celebrations happening.
Commit to the celebratory side of work. Realize the importance that celebrations hold in the lives of employees. It is a way to honor people for their achievements and contributions. Do all you can to keep celebrations going even if they’re done differently.
Create celebration memory triggers. Your job is to create recognition experiences and emotional connections that will make lasting memories for recognition recipients. Always set goals of what you want to have happen in the eyes of each person you celebrate.
Prepare supportive visual imagery. Celebrations are very visual events. Develop creative signage to show or send to individuals to use. Take screen captures, photos, and quotes from people who can’t attend. Use visual overlays or backgrounds for videoconferencing.
Consider the auditory messaging. Be specific and positive with how you communicate your recognition. Select meaningful and upbeat music to integrate with presentations. Invite all remote attendees to have noisemakers and party horn blowers to use at key points.
Are there tactile things you need. Ensure awards or gifts are shipped well in advance so recipient has them. Build in opportunities for people to applaud. Design unifying and personalized items for everyone to wear or wave like badges or posters, etc.
What about the sense of smell? Remote celebrations miss out on the olfactory senses such as food. Order cakes from a local bakery or have everyone prepare cupcakes ahead of time. If the recipient likes flowers send them flowers on the day of the virtual event.
Put action into the virtual event. Orchestrate virtual attendees to wave hands and shout out on cue. Create a compilation video ahead of time of peers of the recognition recipient sending special greetings. Record a socially distanced parade with music and banners.
Planning requires extra time. Always start early with planning celebrations from a distance especially with technology. Start with your purpose and your goal. How does the organization want to be represented and by who? Think of a theme to guide preparations.
Orchestrate but allow improvisation. While much of celebrating from a distance requires detailed planning, make sure you allow some spontaneity as well. Invite award recipients to say a few words. Bring is surprise guests of family or former managers.
Timing is absolutely everything. Up the delivery dates of awards, gifts, essential props and signage. Empower managers to represent your organization and make the celebration special. Enlist a team of supportive employees willing to pull off each celebration event.
Previously published by the author in Incentive Magazine.
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.
It’s hard to believe that the first Harry Potter fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling came out in June 1997. I remember reading the first book to my youngest son while he lay in a hospital bed.
And if you missed reading all seven books in the Harry Potter series, you might have viewed the movies when they came out in theatres starting in 2001.
This was when we all started hearing about the spells Harry Potter and his various housemates and opponents used on people and surrounding objects.
But you can also give spellbinding recognition the same way as magical spells. Read the following with extra care.
Many people have clicked on a previous version of this blog post wanting to learn how they should set up a point-based reward program.
Unfortunately, some individuals and recognition and reward providers suggest certain ideas as being best practices so the client’s employees will consume more points. So, buyer beware and let’s learn some principles versus supposed best practices to guide you.
My goal is to provide you with objective information along with solid principles for you to make wise decisions by. I will also give you some pros and cons for some options.