What To Do When Leaders Want to Cut Your Recognition Budget

Maybe you’ve already gone through a budget cut. If not, it might still happen. And then again, if you’re lucky, hopefully you’ll never have to experience one. 

Recognition programs, like education and training, and other areas perceived as “soft” things, are easy targets to cut.

How can you handle these budget cutting situations when they happen? What helpful advice can help you? 

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What a Difference Leaders Make To Your Recognition Program Success

Your leadership team, and whoever your direct executive sponsor is, can really impact the success of your recognition programs.

For example, nearly one-quarter of respondents on a Gallup survey said the most memorable recognition comes from a high-level leader or CEO. Imagine what leaders could do if they encouraged everyone to get on board with using their organization’s recognition programs. 

In a survey I conducted across the United States and Canada of managers in the public sector, they shared how participation of senior leaders was an important aspect of delivering effective employee recognition. 

Examine your own organization and evaluate how leadership involvement with employee recognition plays out. 

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6 Ways Leaders Can Make Your Award Events Shine

I think leaders underestimate the great value employees place in their presence at employee award events. Their genuine charisma and celebrity-like status truly add to employees’ feelings about attending award ceremonies. 

Consider the following pointers that your leaders can do to make award events shine. 

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Give Your Shy, Reserved, Senior Leaders All The Support You Can Give

Did you know that over a third to a half of the general population are introverts? 

That means one or two out of every three people that you know are probably soft-spoken, reclusive, and shy individuals.

Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, says that shyness is about the fear of social judgment. She defines introversion as how you respond to stimulation. Introverts prefer quieter environments.

And now you report to an introverted senior leader. How can you support them with giving meaningful recognition to staff?

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What Do Leaders Have To Do With Recognition Programs?

I conducted research a few years back on employee recognition across the public sector in North America, for both the U.S. and Canada. This Survey Findings of the Effectiveness of Employee Recognition in the Public Sector revealed some interesting insights on the role leaders have with recognition programs.

Nothing drives cultural practices better than exemplary leadership from the top. Managers who responded to the survey said that 93 percent of them reported senior leader involvement in recognition programs was very or extremely important. The large majority, or 75 percent, said they were extremely important.

As to the actual involvement of senior leaders, only 21 percent were very involved, with another 53 percent being somewhat involved. 

One could surmise leaders play an important role in recognition programs. Yet, what exactly can they do that makes such a tremendous difference? 

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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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