One issue impeding recognition managers from initiating a recognition strategy is having the full support of their senior leadership.
Before undertaking the creation of a written recognition strategy and plan, you must operate with the full blessing of the leader you report to. Your leader knows all that is going on in the organization. They can tell you some of the direction happening. They will know what to beware of, or at least to be mindful of.
So, let me give you five ways to get your leader’s support for your recognition strategy.
1. Ask for Their Input Right from the Get-go
Always include your leader in developing a recognition strategy. They have knowledge and years of experience in leadership that can assist you with the ins and outs you need.
Read up on your organization’s business strategy and come prepared to meet with them to discuss it. Find out the current standing of stated strategic directions. Are they still being acted on? What goals are hot topics right now? What timeliness should you be aware of?
You can explore how recognition and reward programs might assist with reinforcing awareness building and rewarding achievements.
Discuss together how you and they see the leader’s role in recognition strategy development. What future help might you need from them?
2. Give Them the Big Picture and What You Want To Achieve
Explain to them the purpose and benefits of crafting an organizational recognition strategy and plan. They need to know what it is so they can share this with their counterparts at the executive leadership team table.
Show how recognition can go beyond just a feel-good-exercise and can be leveraged throughout the organization to retain employees and improve results.
Present how by having a recognition strategy and plan that this can strengthen the organizational culture. When people live the values, others can acknowledge them for it through the recognition programs.
Recognition can become a valuable tool for leaders and employees when they aligned with the business and people strategies.
3. Seek Their Recommendations for Who Should Be Involved
You may think you already know who should be involved with helping to create a recognition strategy and plan. But make sure you ask your leader’s input and use some of their suggestions, too.
At least review potential stakeholders together. Understand the reason for their suggestions by simply asking them. It is important to have leadership recommended allies on your team.
Get their permission to proceed with the facilitated process of drafting a written recognition strategy. Find out the best ways to approach some recommended people in case you need to meet with them before proceeding.
Finally, get the green light from your leader to move forward with managers and employees in setting up meetings.
Most often you’ll need some baseline information or current state before strategizing. This may require a full recognition assessment to review the current state of existing recognition policies, processes, practices, and programs.
4. Report Back with a Written Recognition Strategy and Plan
With meetings scheduled to create the recognition strategy and plan, you can set up a return meeting with your leader. Your purpose will be to report back with a draft copy of the recognition strategy and plan.
Go over it with them to explain the various parts of the document. Ask them if they can review the entire recognition strategy and plan. Request any suggestions from them. See if there is anything that needs better clarification.
Have your communications team do a review for any better wordsmithing or required changes you might not be aware of.
Solicit your leader for their endorsement of the recognition strategy and plan. Then you can ask for their agreement to present to the executive leadership team by themselves or with yourself.
Finally, you may have to ask for support and resources to carry out the recognition plan. Once you have this document approved by the executive leadership team, it is officially your organization’s recognition strategy.
5. Set Up a Regular Review Meeting Schedule
You’re not done with your senior leader yet. You must build ongoing support.
One way to do that is to meet regularly with them to review the progress of the recognition strategy and plan. Meeting quarterly is probably best. Also, give them an open invitation to attend any of your monthly meetings.
Provide them with written summary reports of actions completed in between these scheduled meetings.
Hold an annual meeting to review the past year’s progress in achieving the various goals of your recognition plan. Then be open to their feedback on setting new priorities for the upcoming year.
Otherwise, be continually keeping them informed with brief updates on your recognition strategy, plans, and programs. Remember to always invite them to important recognition events and celebrations so their presence and support is clear.
Recognition Reflection: What do you do to gain your leader’s support for the recognition strategy?
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.