Recognition is such a positive thing to give and receive that you would think teaching people how to give recognition to others should be easy.
But different studies such as from Gallup show that only a third of employees ever receive recognition in any week for doing outstanding work.
People always submit lots of reasons as an explanation for this recognition deficit. However, one dominant answer is not knowing how to give recognition to people the right way.
Adam Grant, the award-winning researcher and Wharton School professor, gives a probable reason teaching people to give recognition is not as easy as we think it is. From his research and book, Give and Take, he shows that in our interactions with others most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers.
Takers work at getting as much as they can from others while matchers look to evenly trade between one another. It’s the givers who are the rare breed of people who contribute to others expecting nothing in return.
It would appear from this research that perhaps giving recognition is already easier for those who are natural givers than for those who are takers or matchers.
What can we learn from these givers that can help us teach all types of employees to more easily give recognition?
Heading every organization is a senior leadership team.
They play a critical role in providing strategic and operational leadership for your organization. And they also play an essential role in representing the organizational culture and showing what leadership should look like, by how they interact with one another and with employees.
They often leave your task to “read minds” on how each leader thinks about recognition. Hopefully, you have an exemplary executive sponsor who is a cheerleader and champion for the cause of employee recognition to draw upon.
But in a general sense, how do you find out what each of your executive leaders think about recognition?
The recognition and reward industry are a mix of similar goods, technology, and services, in contrast with newer players who tend to provide more of a “plug-and-play” program offering.
Plug-and-play recognition and reward programs tend to focus more on the offering of rewards than they do recognition. And with this software as a service, stand-alone programs, clients typically manage their own programs.
The question you have to ask yourself is whether you want a “quick-and-ready” approach. If you want to lead out with recognition and use rewards wisely you might want to think about creating a strategically designed recognition approach instead.
If you are going to compare you have to compare all the way. Is the vendor simply a provider or are they willing to be a reputable partner dedicated to maximizing the employee experience?
To be successful with any recognition program, create criteria that you can measure your success by. How else will you know whether your recognition programs are achieving the results you want from them?
In our Recognition Maturity Model, we have built in four criteria that help determine where you stand with recognition across nine categories, such as leadership, culture, programs, and analytics.
Look at the following criteria to see where you think your recognition programs stack up.