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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How Leaders Can Shine By Thanking Their Employees Better

Recently, my wife and I conducted a ten-week emotional resilience course for some members in our church congregation. 

One of the weekly commitments that each of us worked on was keeping a daily gratitude journal. All we had to do was reflect on our day and write one or more things that we were thankful for on that day.

It certainly helped put a smile on our face at the end of each day. This was something totally in our control and cost nothing to put in place. 

Imagine what leaders in your organization could do for employees if they thanked them better for everything they do. Here are some tips you can pass along to them. 

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How Not To Fumble the Leadership Ball with Recognition

By attending a few of my one grandson’s North American football games, I have witnessed the occasional fumbling of the ball by some overly enthusiastic youth.

This reminds me of the clumsily carried out attempts at giving recognition by organizational leaders. You may have seen some of these awkward recognition plays that never touched down.

Look at how you can best help leaders not to fumble recognition practically or strategically.

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Helping Your Recognition Programs To Stand Out From the Crowd

It is wonderful when leaders take the bull by the horns to highlight new initiatives like your recognition programs, perhaps new program features, merging of company recognition platforms, you name it.

Have your president and/or CEO become well versed in describing and explaining the features of the recognition programs. Then have your CHRO reveal your program and demonstrate how you can recognize a colleague.

To have your recognition programs stand out from the crowd, you must have leaders who will lead the way with them.

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5 Ways To Get Your Leader’s Support For Your Recognition Strategy

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.

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