When you think
education and training is the next steps to take with making real recognition
happen where you work, there are a few things to take into consideration first
before planning the training program.
In fact, if you
prepare yourself and the prospective learners properly, then they will better
learn how to give more meaningful and effective recognition to those they work
preparation also impacts those involved in designing and developing the
learning curriculum and planning the right methods of delivery.
Let’s get ready
to educate your employees about recognizing one another the right way.
training and education programs work very well. But now and then you get an
educational program, whether in-class, online, blended, or via one of the many
learning delivery methods, that ends up being a failure.
If you were
following the Kirkpatrick Model and the levels of training evaluation, you
might do a Level 3 evaluation to examine participant’s behaviors after the
training. You want to find out the degree participants are now actively
applying what they learned in the training sessions back on the job.
You conduct a
survey to find out what learning participants are doing or not doing with
giving employee recognition. Now you find out that a majority of the learners
are not doing much with the skills and principles they were taught.
What can you do
to correct this problem? How would you handle the fact that your recognition
showing care and concern for our fellow employees an act of recognition or
something completely different?
my point of view, I have defined recognition as mostly an
intangible expression of acknowledgement and valuing of an individual or team,
for their positive behaviours, their personal effort, or contributions they
this definition, recognition occurs because:
(1) Some positive action or specific
positive behaviors have occurred by an employee on the job.
(2) You feel their actions merit
you acknowledging and valuing them for who they are or what they do.
(3) And, unlike rewards, you are not
expecting the employee to do something in return just because you’ve recognized
now, in response to a recent question asked of me, do you give recognition to
people because they’ve experienced a positive life event or perhaps they’ve had
some serious challenges?
recognition training was always a knee jerk reaction to low scores on
recognition related questions on the latest employee engagement survey results
when I first started speaking and training on recognition skills.
recognition training is much more planned and strategic as human resource
leaders and organizational development specialist have grown in awareness of
recognition’s role and realize a lot of us need skills training.
The good news is
that giving meaningful, memorable, and motivational recognition can be
learning how to give recognition has not always been at the forefront of most
organizations’ learning curriculum.
In my training
sessions I ask managers in attendance different questions to help them get
grounded about employee recognition. I also want to discern how aware they are of
the impact a lack of recognition has on their employees.
What I can
assure you is, a large majority of managers already know that unrecognized
employees are at risk.
The most common
factor identified is that unrecognized employees will lack motivation, are demotivated, or have no motivation
at all. This leads to underperformance or low performance.
realize that when employees are
not appreciated it will frustrate them, they become unhappy, and could well be looking for another job so are
at risk of leaving the company.
research by Dr. Jean-Pierre Brun at the Université Laval in Quebec City, found
that the absence of employee recognition is the second leading cause of
workplace burnout and stress, right after workload.
A subscriber of our Authentic Recognition blog suggested I should
write about the difference between
recognition (more related to work) versus appreciation (more related to the
I asked them why this topic was
important right now. It seems their organization uses the Gallup Organization’s
Q12 engagement survey every two years. In the past year they focused on the
recognition specific question/statement #4, “In the last seven days, I have
received recognition or praise for doing good work”.
Her research, like many of us have found, led her to see that
“recognition in the workplace” has so many meanings.
She wisely observes that “people fundamentally want to be
‘understood and cared for’ or ‘appreciated’ and would prefer that over ‘recognition’”
She asked for my thoughts on the
differences between recognition and appreciation. Apparently, her
organization will likely continue with using recognition. However, she wonders
if more time should be spent on appreciation instead of recognition in order to
improve the Gallup survey scores.
I have traveled around the world
and presented or consulted with managers and leaders from 14 countries across a
variety of industries on the subject of giving meaningful and effective
Yet, in all these situations there
was a common problem experienced by many of these managers and leaders.
Many of them were uncomfortable
with giving recognition to peers or employees.
I have heard a long litany of
reasons for their apparent discomfort. Perhaps by examining the different
reasons people give for their discomfort we can learn what we can do to rectify
these situations and become more comfortable in recognizing those we work with.
I heard Dr. Brad Shuck speak at Recognition Professionals Conference this past week in Atlanta, Georgia.
Brad’s presentation was about Driving Real Engagement Through Recognition: Applying the Core Principles of Behavioral Economics to Strategy Implementation. It’s a long mouthful of a presentation title but he had some great and valid principles we can all apply to what we do with employee recognition.
What do you need to do now to prepare for giving recognition better tomorrow?
An area of concern when conducting workshops around learning recognition-giving skills is ensuring learners will apply the learned skills back on the job.
Below are my recommendations I use with participants in my learning sessions.
Set up your workshop or seminar session so that attendees sit in table groups with fellow learners. Where possible, try to get a diversity of attendees at each table so they’re not sitting with everyone they know from their own department or work team.
Towards the end of the training session the final activity is choosing a realistic and manageable goal to implement a recognition specific skill or principle learned from the session over the next 30-days. The expectation is that you will follow up with each group’s participants to gather team results and compile a transfer of learning report.
This is the best way to get people to apply the recognition skills they learn in training into their jobs. Consider the following steps in making a transfer of learning a success.