How To Get Your Leader’s Commitment For Recognition Program Budget

We are approaching the last quarter of the year and it may well be time to submit your budget requests for keeping your offline and online recognition programs in place, or even asking for funding to add new programs.

It can seem like a nail biting exercise each year to go through. One way to make this angst less ominous is to get your executive sponsor’s support ahead of time. Follow these practical ways to get your leader’s commitment to your recognition program budget.

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How Well Are You Aligned With Your Leaders About Recognition?

If there is one major thing that will help propel recognition forward, it’s having your senior leaders aligned with your recognition strategy.

As a manager and leader of recognition in your organization, your role is to help get your executive sponsor to agree to your recognition strategy and plans, and then assist you with how best to execute it.

These are some thoughts and practical steps you can take to get your recognition champion aligned on recognition. 

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Employees Want to See and Have The Presence of Their Leaders

Many of us have worked solely from home during the pandemic. Organizational leaders are now working hard to get people back to the office and plant floors. And some organizations are trialling a hybrid approach of working so many days at work and the balance from home.

However, in all this array of work arrangements, one thing has emerged that was not expected. Employees missed seeing their senior and executive leaders. Nearly 30% of employees during recent focus groups at a healthcare organization suggested leadership presence as one way they could improve employee recognition. Sometimes, the absence of senior leaders has taken a negative toll.

What are you doing to address leaders who appear to be missing in action?

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Why Leaders Must Create a Recognition Program Framework for Success

I have judged nominations submitted to Recognition Professionals International (RPI) to merit their Best Practices Awards for the last 15 years. When you get to see what organizations are doing to comply with RPI’s seven best practice standards, you learn a great deal.

One thing I have observed of late is that leaders are getting more involved with their organization’s recognition strategies. They are recommending various forms of recognition program frameworks, or models, to ensure their recognition programs are successful.

Let me explain what a recognition program framework could look like.

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How To Get Leadership Sponsorship for Employee Recognition

You gain a lot when you have an executive sponsor for employee recognition.

An executive or leadership sponsor is a leader who actively advocates for the organization’s recognition strategy and for the recognition programs that you manage. Having a C-level sponsor is considered a key requirement for success.

Now, you are just wondering, how do you get one? 

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Why Integrating Recognition Into Your Leadership Development Is So Important

One area repeatedly comes up weak when I assess many organizations on their recognition practices and programs. That missing element is recognition, and they barely touched upon it in their leadership development curriculum. 

True, they may or may not have online education on effective recognition practices. And they might have a few tutorials on how to use their various recognition programs. 

But with educating and training leaders on effective recognition giving, the well is often dry.

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What Makes a Leader a Natural at Recognizing Staff?

What makes certain leaders such outstanding individuals at giving exceptional recognition to the staff they oversee? 

I am going to examine some of the essential qualities that make leaders a natural at recognizing employees meaningfully. 

Look at these various attributes and see how you stack up. And, you might have to assist your senior leaders in developing these same skills, and make them remarkable recognizers, too.

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Why Your Leaders Must Lead Out With Recognition

Not every organization has a leader or a leadership team that drives recognition initiatives.

Always aim for leader commitment and support for your recognition strategy and programs. It is essential to get their personal and emotional commitment and not just their buy in. The concept of “buy in” is so organizational driven, detached, financial focused, and transactional. 

I will explain the seriousness behind getting your leaders to lead recognition in your organization. 

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Has A Leader Given You Meaningful Recognition Recently?

Have one of your organizational leaders recently recognized you in person, or publicly, for a specific contribution you made? 

It feels pretty good, doesn’t it?

The problem, though, is it doesn’t happen often enough. 

Examining some research completed over the years might give us some insights why this is. From there, together we can make some suggestions about what you can do.

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How Your Leaders Can Be More Involved With Recognition

As a member of Recognition Professional’s International (RPI) for over 15 years, I have been able to learn from, and share insights observed from clients about making recognition happen the right way, with other recognition professionals. 

One concern a lot of recognition program managers have is getting the personal commitment and support from their senior leaders.

That’s why I’ve always liked a five-step set of principles from one of RPI’s courses that I think will help you. 

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