Show Your Leaders How To Give More Meaningful Recognition

Effective leaders need to command a centre of kindness and compassion towards those they lead in their organizations. They need to cut themselves some slack on the pressure driven roles they have to live with. 

If they haven’t already learned the value of giving meaningful recognition to people, now is the time to teach them. 

But here’s the clincher for you. You may have to show them how.

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What Do Your Leaders Do for Administrative Professional’s Day?

Administrative Professional’s Day falls on the same Wednesday of the last full week of April every year. 

Long gone are the days when this day was known simply as National Secretaries Day. For never the right reasons, secretaries seemed to be perceived “lesser-than” because of that title. It seemed they only typed and answered the telephone. 

Now they have risen in profile and respect by their new title of office and administrative professional. 

But how should leaders show their appreciation for their administrative professional? 

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Top 5 Essential Recognition Skills for Leaders

You’ll find plenty of positive recognition practices to become a great recognizer in the many posts in this blog, or within chapters in my book Practicing Recognition, that will help you and the leaders in your organization.

Yet those of you who lead your recognition programs and strive to encourage your leaders to be exemplary recognition givers, influencing leaders to do this important skill can be tough. 

I wanted to dig deeper and draw upon the essential skills that leaders need to develop. What might you coach your leaders on that would help them catch the vision? 

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Why It Takes Leadership To Make Recognition Happen

Hopefully, your organization has the leadership and engagement of senior leaders, managers, and staff, to make your recognition practices and programs happen the way they should.

Not all organizations are as fortunate to have things rolling forward and progressing in innovative ways. And whether it is you taking the leadership role for recognition, or senior leaders directing the action needed, its leadership that makes recognition happen. 

Leadership does not have to be a title. You just have to take the lead in something like employee recognition and then show others how to follow you. 

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How To Get Your Leaders To Use Your Recognition Programs

When I conducted a management survey several years ago in the public sector, a response to one question asked revealed that 93 percent of all managers said senior leader involvement in recognition programs was very or extremely important. A large majority, 75 percent, said it was extremely important. 

The reality? 

These same managers said only 21 percent of leaders were very involved with their recognition programs. 

Our research shows that organizations with leaders committed to supporting award and recognition programs strategically, financially, and by example, have higher employee evaluations for feeling appreciated for their contributions on the job.

All that remains for you to do is to get your leaders using your online recognition programs. Try out some of the following suggestions.

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How Do You Think I Am Doing At Recognizing People?

There are lots of studies done revealing how leaders are doing with giving meaningful and effective recognition to their employees. 

The Canadian firm, Psychometrics, found in their Study of Employee Engagement in the Canadian Workplace that 58 percent of employees say leaders giving more recognition would improve employee engagement. 

In my research with the Survey Findings of Employee Recognition in the Public Sector, managers who responded, overwhelmingly stated that senior leader involvement with employee recognition was very or extremely important (93 percent). However, the reality reveals only 21 percent of leaders are very involved, a sign that people who make the organizations run are not seen as important or valued. 

Gallup research shows nearly one-quarter of employees said the most memorable recognition comes from a high-level leader or CEO. They suggest that employees will always remember personal feedback from the CEO. When a high-ranking leader takes time to show appreciation, it can yield a positive impression for an employee that could last a lifetime. In fact, acknowledgment from a CEO could become a career highlight.

What we are seeing is the need for senior leaders to become better at giving recognition. Let’s explore some ways for getting there. 

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How To Inspire Others To Become Better Recognition Givers

Do you have leaders in your organization who can inspire others to be a great recognizer of the people they work with?

It makes such a difference when an organization has at least one inspiring leader. 

I am going to share with you tips and ideas for helping your leaders inspire their direct reports to become better recognizers of their employees. 

You might use these ideas as recommendations to share with leaders, as content stimulators for articles you write, or as objectives for educational content. 

Dive into inspiring others to become better recognition givers.

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How To Be An Authentic Recognition Leader

If there is one thing I’ve learned about giving meaningful and effective recognition to others, is the fact that it must be authentic. Both the recognition and the giver must be real. 

Imagine the positive influence that can come when a people-leader has learned to be authentic as an individual and a recognizer of others.

Let’s explore how a leader can become authentic and a real recognition giver, too.

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How To Get Emerging Leaders Involved With Recognition

You find yourself stuck with finding the resources you need to help with your recognition plans. 

Your organizational leaders want you to strategize how to make recognition a stronger tool to use within talent management and creating a positive employee experience. In the meantime, you must continue to manage the recognition programs, encourage managers to give recognition to employees they rarely see in person, and keep leaders informed of the ROI of employee recognition.

Why not team up with your organization or learning and development leaders and find out if your needs for recognition could become a goal for a team of emerging leaders? 

This is exactly what happened to us when an organization approached a colleague and I about presenting our thoughts and strategy around employee recognition in the retail industry.

The following happened, and you can follow these steps as a playbook to implement where you work.  

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What Your Leaders Need To Better Understand Recognition

WorldatWork surveyed their members and found that the average organization uses eight separate recognition programs. That’s a lot! 

However, what they don’t state is how well people use those recognition programs, either by leaders or by their employees. The secret to using these programs properly is to help your leaders better understand the value and importance of employee recognition. 

How can you get your leaders on board, and what do they first need to know about employee recognition? 

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