Do You Have A Recognition Strategy?

It’s a question worth considering. 

And I want you to be totally honest with yourself as you answer this question. 

Does your organization have a written recognition strategy? 

Yes or no?

Reality Of Your Response 

Do not beat yourself up if you answered “no” to the question above. You are not alone. Just over half of survey respondents for the WorldatWork 2019 Trends in Employee Recognition Survey also said they did not have a written recognition strategy. 

In fact, only 49 percent of the organizations surveyed reported that they had a written recognition strategy.  

WorldatWork also asked their members how many with a written recognition strategy were aligned with their business strategy? A whopping 97 percent said they were. That gives you at least one solid reason when presenting creating a recognition strategy to your leaders. 

What WorldatWork does not ask is why so few people have a recognition strategy. 

Steps to Your Recognition Strategy 

Let’s first answer what a recognition strategy is. 

A recognition strategy is a written statement and plan with specific recognition program objectives. It addresses how recognition is aligned with the organization’s culture and people and business strategies. The objectives usually revolve around three types of recognition programs that include formal recognition, informal recognition, and everyday recognition. A recognition strategy document typically outlines the procedures and processes used and the program delivery methods for the various recognition practices and programs adopted. 

I also like to recommend a few other things that add icing to the cake.

1.    Your recognition strategy must answer the overall why of recognition by drafting a recognition purpose statement. This acts like an explanatory North Star for everyone involved with recognition.

2.    A recognition strategy should articulate the beliefs of your organization about employee recognition, so everyone knows the philosophy regarding recognition from an employee and customer perspective.

3.    You should have a recognition plan with clear, actionable objectives to steer one person, or a team of people, in progressing recognition practices and programs to the next level.

4.    Include in your recognition strategy a one-year overall short-term goal to focus all of your efforts and prioritize your goals if you can’t have teams of people assisting you.

Identify Your Senior Leader Advocate 

You can work with a senior leader who you report to on your recognition strategy.

Hopefully, you will have many leaders and managers available to you to plan your recognition strategy. Facilitating the purpose and philosophy statements along with the goals to progress recognition practices and programs is the ideal way to go. 

In identifying the senior leader who will advocate for the cause of recognition, find out:

  • Whose budget supports recognition in your organization?
  • Who will evaluate the results of recognition practices and programs?
  • Who will make the final decisions about employee recognition practices and programs?

Establishing Business Objectives With Recognition

Learn from the executive leader you report to about the organizational strategy so you can help them know how recognition can reinforce essential behaviors supporting strategic initiatives and use of rewards to ensure positive results happen. 

Think about questions like the following to guide you with the goals you need to set.

  • What would you like to accomplish from successful implementation of outstanding recognition practices and programs?
  • How will your boss know there is any improvement in employee recognition?
  • What three things would you prioritize to achieve success with employee recognition practices and programs?

Set Up Recognition Measures of Success

In order to plan for success with employee recognition, you must set goals that have good metrics to gauge how you are doing with recognition. Some of these measures will come from the use of your recognition programs. Other ways of knowing how recognition programs are doing is by asking employees through employee engagement surveys, pulse check surveys, and focus groups.

You can think about and plan how you will answer questions like:

  • How will the environment, organizational culture, and structure be improved by better recognition?
  • What will be the business impact of implementing improved employee recognition through better practices and programs?
  • How will you determine improved retention, engagement, morale, and safety from giving better recognition?

Show the Value of Recognition 

Proving the value of employee recognition is one of the major outcomes of a well-drafted recognition strategy. A recognition strategy with its purpose, philosophy, and plan is a road map to somewhere. You have set priorities with precise outcomes to achieve and measure against.

The value of having a recognition is multifold. It helps create a positive value of the people and their contributions. This benefits the organizations with better products and services, and improved profits. And finally, happy employees produce happy customers. 

A recognition strategy helps you to promote, improve, and lead recognition into the future. You will progress recognition to the next level. 

Showing the value of recognition to your leaders and all your employees requires you to answer these types of questions.

  • What is the difference for the organization, your employees, and your customers through improved recognition practices and programs?
  • What is the impact and ROI of employee recognition?
  • What does a recognition strategy mean to you personally?  

If you don’t have a recognition strategy, I hope you will develop one for the new year. Here are some helpful posts to guide you.

How to Create a Recognition Strategy – Part 1 of 4

How to Create a Recognition Strategy – Part 2 of 4

How to Create a Recognition Strategy – Part 3 of 4

How to Create a Recognition Strategy – Part 4 of 4

Recognition Reflection: How has your recognition strategy enhanced the credibility of your organization’s recognition practices and programs?

Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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