In my earlier life as a speech-language pathologist, I vividly recall an external consultant coming into the hospital I worked at analyzing our organizational challenges. We brainstormed and followed his facilitated methods to let some potential plans and goals unfold.
And so, our creative content on the flip chart sheets was all typed up and distributed to the attendees. That’s where they sat, so it seemed, for many months. I told our hospital’s CEO that there was a problem with this consultant’s work. They set nothing up for implementing the plans.
I recently finished helping a client’s organization team in drafting a recognition plan to address their gaps with recognition practices and recognition programs. I nicely printed everything up in a flow chart looking model.
I will not leave them alone with this document. I have prescribed a method for how to implement their recognition plan so they will achieve success.
Understanding the frequency with which different types of recognition typically occur will help guide your usage of recognition programs and planning to make other forms of recognition happen. These are the elements that you must teach others, too. Then they will use your recognition programs wisely and practice recognition giving more often.
This is important to remember because each person at work has different expectations of how often they think other people should recognize them. So, there is also a frequency preference to contend with for every employee.
Let me give you an example from a healthcare organization that I surveyed to look at the frequency of recognition and how their employees felt about it.
Last week, my colleagues at the IMA Summit Awards Event in Snowbird, Utah, honored me by giving me the Recognition Professionals International’s 2022 Harkins Education Award.
The RPI Board of Directors gives this award to recognize members who have provided leadership and commitment to RPI’s education initiatives. The Board Executive Committee nominated and approved this behind my back, as I sit on the board as a director.
I sat in an employee recognition session at the IMA Summit last week at the Snowbird, Utah resort. A participant I know shared their experience with the group that opened my eyes to a very important point of view.
You can sit down with each of your employees and ask them questions about their recognition preferences. Your online recognition and reward programs may automate the entry of recognition choices and how they prefer to be recognized. You can do this with onboarding or any time during their career.
However, what this individual raised was a critical point. Employees’ recognition preferences are not static.
Clearly inform leaders, managers, and employees of each program offering in your recognition and reward platform.
Unfortunately, not everyone uses all of your recognition programs well. Communicate and educate about program options and their benefits continually.
Sometimes, there’s a mindset that rewards are recognition. When this happens, people give rewards out too freely when expressions of recognition are better suited. And the inverse is also true. If an employee truly excels and goes above and beyond and merits a reward, they end up receiving recognition instead and might feel deflated and unvalued.
When you are dealing with online recognition and reward programs, you must inform everyone what they have available to them.