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.
Managers of organizational recognition practices and recognition
programs are often torn between focusing on growth of people or on
You’ll find some organizations create elaborate people strategies
to prepare for the growth and development of their employees. Talent management
strategies prepare now for the future. And recognition is always a part of the
equation, especially when measuring employee engagement.
Then there are others who are strictly business. Their goal is to
align recognition and rewards with helping to drive and achieve the strategic
initiatives of their business goals.
So, the question is whether, as the owner of recognition in
your organization, should you focus on people of the business?
One of the four criteria for the different
levels on our Recognition Maturity Model is the variable of consistency.
If there is one thing, I hear all the time
from recognition managers and program administrators; they hope to have more
people consistently recognizing employees. And they also speak of wanting
greater consistency of recognition across all areas of the organization, be
that by departments or geographic locations.
Consistency is so important that is even
one criterion on our Recognition Maturity Model, which you can learn more about
But what do we mean by giving consistent
recognition? How can you make this happen across your organization?
In a recent recommendations list for dealing with the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, I mentioned the need to “remember to celebrate” your many new employees working from home. Whether birthdays, career milestones, or going above and beyond, along with the display of incredible resiliency of so many employees, there’s always so much to celebrate with our employees. And remember to thank and recognize others who assist you in your daily work and life in general.
How to celebrate employees effectively from a
distance and those around you is not always easy, but it is always possible. To
stimulate some celebration ideas for you, consider the following list.
While many companies have moved to a work
from home way
of life for the immediate future, we still have companies that are proceeding
with business. These helpful actions are a good way to keep your employees
healthy and your business running strong during a health crisis,
no matter where they are working from.
Keep employees more informed. Update employees through your company’s intranet website—it’s a single place to find important organizational information.
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. Since health authorities think the virus mainly spreads person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people, encourage sick employees to stay at home and consult their doctor, no matter how minor the symptoms are.
Go virtual for your meetings. To lessen the number of close contact meetings, consider going more virtual with on-line or teleconference meetings. Many leading tech companies are providing free access to their software so people can connect during this time.
Create telecommute options, where possible. If work functions fit and circumstances such as high geographic incidence rates raise a high risk for contracting COVID-19, offer employees the option to work from home.
Practice healthy living. Promote healthy habits by encouraging employees to follow guidelines from the CDC, WHO, and local health authorities, etc.
Purchase supplies. Try to keep your facilities stocked with tissues, soap, and anti-bacterial cleansers to help employees practice healthy living and reduce spread.
Use regular email communications. Send out email communications reminding employees of the right and wrong things to be doing like avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth to prevent spread of germs.
If someone should get the Coronavirus. Be prepared to have the communication channels available and use managers to inform your entire workforce immediately on how to mitigate risk.
Show caring concern. Send a get-well card and/or gift basket to your ill employee to let them know you care since no one plans on catching the flu.
Signs for the times. Post signs in restrooms, throughout office or common areas reminding all to wash their hands and wiping down their workstations frequently.
Trying to accept this new “normal” is difficult. However, businesses that have a strategy, keep the lines of communication open, and understand the ever-changing impacts of positive actions, will weather this storm.
Recognition Reflection: What special steps are you taking
for dealing with the COVID-19 virus and helping your employees?