A New Year Is Just Around The Recognition Corner

Here’s a scary reality from the latest trends in Human Resources. First off is that 53 percent of HR professionals have seen an increase in turnover in the past year. That sounds like it might be a lot of people!

Already in America the number of monthly resignations is near all-time highs.

Other research suggests 40 percent of workers are planning to leave their jobs in the next year. The media is calling it the Great Resignation.

Which means those of us in the recognition profession need to support leaders in retaining and motivating our fellow workers. Here are some ways to get in gear for recognition in 2022.

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Where Should I Focus My Time On Improving Recognition At Work

You know your organization has an employee recognition problem.

The last employee engagement survey showed an average of 64 percent for all the recognition statements on the survey. Participation levels with the usage of your online recognition programs are inconsistent with leaders and employees across the organization. 

Open-ended feedback from employees tells you that many employees just don’t feel valued and appreciated. 

Something has to change. Where do you begin? 

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Does Having a Written Recognition Strategy Really Make Any Difference?

Apparently, some people question the need for a written recognition strategy. These are some things individuals responsible for recognition ask.

  • What benefit does an organization have with a recognition strategy over other organizations that don’t have one?
  • How does a recognition strategy really help me?
  • Does having a recognition strategy make any difference? 

Sure, you can live without having a recognition strategy. But I will always strongly endorse the need for having one. Following are my reasons why.

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Your One-Year Goal Will Guide Everything You Do With Recognition

There are various stages you pass through when using our recognition strategy approach. First, is crafting of a fitting recognition purpose and philosophy statement that is just right for your organization. 

Then comes the identifying of the areas you have to focus on following a recognition assessment. All organizations have strengths and weaknesses. Know where to need to focus your energies to improve recognition practices and programs really helps. 

But before you identify those focus points, there is one important thing you have to do. You need to declare what your overall guiding objective is to improve the quality of recognition for the year ahead. 

Having articulated what this goal is will help your organizational leaders know what you should all be shooting for. And it helps you personally with an additional criterion point to use in making decisions. 

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Recognition Does Not Really Improve Employee Engagement…So There!

I know.

How dare I pronounce such heretic claims!

Many in the recognition industry parlay about what people “said,” or what others have “seen,” on one survey or another, suggesting to the world that recognition improves employee engagement.

Some consultancy firms indicate where recognition “occurs,” whatever that means, that organizations have better employee engagement as well as improved key performance metrics. Recognition industry vendors indicate how many managers or employees “say” recognition made so many things totally awesome, such as employee engagement.

But what “people say” on a survey is not exactly sufficient proof.

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What Makes For a Good Recognition Strategy?

Creating a written recognition strategy is not as easy as it seems to create. It should not simply repeat the organization’s vision and mission statements. Nor is it a set of aspirational goals that never amount to anything, let alone try to change things.

So, what makes for a good recognition strategy? That is what I thought I would investigate while reading Richard Rumelt’s book, Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters.

Richard Rumelt is the Harry and Elsa Kunin Emeritus Professor of Business & Society at the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management. And as you can guess, his focus is primarily on strategy. He knows a thing or two about strategy. 

Let me share with you some insights I gained reading his book so far and then apply those ideas to crafting a good recognition strategy.  

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Refine Your Facilitated Recognition Strategy With Tender Loving Care

Improve Innovation Progress Reform Better Concept

You’ve had an elite group of managers and leaders available to you to facilitate and help craft a recognition strategy and plan. 

You randomly assigned this diverse and representative group to table groups or virtual teams to work on the recognition plan. You designated these seasoned and well-informed people to specific focus areas to create goals and action plans. There may, or may not be, experts on a team that know the subject of their focus area.

The result of a recognition strategy facilitation is having well-articulated statements of purpose and philosophy around recognition. Collectively everyone agrees on the overall, big-picture goal for the next year to help steer recognition activities. Even the focus areas for improving recognition are consistent with the prior gap analysis conducted.

You assigned each team a focus area that is most likely not in their expertise or specialty. Their skill sets are probably outside the domain you charged them with working on. As managers and leaders, they generated superb ideas and insights on the topic. 

If there is anywhere where a problem might occur, it is with the goals, action plans, and outcome measures. 

How do you refine these amazing ideas without offending the originators? What steps do you take to refine what you facilitated from them in the strategy session? How can you stay true to the process and honor the first contributors?

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How Do You Measure The Effectiveness of Recognition Programs?

I think it is very important to be more strategic about recognition where you work. You must clearly know the purpose of each of your recognition programs.  

Only then will you know when your recognition programs are effective or not. 

Take the following approach seriously for a fresh look at your recognition program effectiveness 

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Why The Best Recognition Strategy Can Still Be a Surprise

Okay, so you’ve written your recognition strategy. You have a vision and purpose statement for recognition practices and programs. You even have a plan drawn up with focus areas and objectives to see things implemented. 

Do you just launch the thing and see your recognition strategy unfold? The details drawn up do not mean it will accomplish your strategy as is. 

Life often has surprises in store for us. Even a recognition strategy can have surprises, too. 

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Try Out The Bare Bone Basics of A Recognition Strategy

Whether you are a small or medium-sized business, you should definitely have a written recognition strategy. 

Even if you are a beginner at strategizing anything, I am going to make this post super short and sweet to show you how you could have a one-page recognition strategy plan.

Are you ready?  

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