The past year has been a roller-coaster experience for many people.
And employee recognition got on board the same ride. In many organizations, the number of recognition occurrences measured through online recognition and reward programs tumbled down much lower than normal.
The whole work-from-home mandate has caused many people to be out of sight and out of mind as far as being recognized for the amazing things they are doing.
I wonder if you have seen the things I have with recognition this past year.
Let’s take a look together.
Here are a few of the things I have seen from several of the clients we serve as a company with online recognition and reward programs.
People Want To Know More About Recognition
They know there is power behind the spoken and online texted words of recognition. Now there is a thirst and hunger to learn more about what they can do to improve recognition.
There is a tendency to gravitate towards best practices, even though their own efforts should really focus on what is the best next practice they need to adopt. It is good to see this insatiable desire to discover and better understand recognition practices and more appropriate usage of recognition programs.
People Are Looking for Recognition Trends and Best Practices
They want to know what other people are doing with employee recognition, whether in their own industry or elsewhere.
It is important for them to understand how other owners of organizational recognition programs think about recognition. How do they apply and implement programmatic recognition? Why did they make the choices they did? What is the right percentage of recognition compared to the use of rewards?
Stimulating questions that require open-mindedness and curiosity to know how they can best use discovered insights and information.
People Are Talking to Leaders More About Recognition
They are definitely talking to their leaders more frequently about recognition than every before.
It would appear that senior leadership team members have caught on to the importance and value of recognition and rewards.
Inquiring minds want to know. They ask their recognition program managers to find out more knowledge and research to support the direction they are thinking about. Leaders want to make sure that use of rewards are fair and equitable. They want to know the rationale behind various options before deciding.
It is exciting that leaders in the C-suite are talking about recognition more often.
People Are Asking Better and Tougher Recognition Questions
They are asking excellent questions about effective recognition practices and the design of their recognition programs.
Some questions are not easily answered objectively because vendors see the data behind the programs and there is no industry or scientific norms behind program usage. Answering these tougher questions requires industry leaders working with research scientists to benchmark the recognition program data and transparently sharing the implications with clients.
Good questions are powerful because they cause many people to think and change offerings and solutions. Questions cause leaders in the industry and recognition vendors to innovate their programs and create genuine change.
People Are Becoming More Strategic With Recognition
They want recognition to be a more strategic and powerful leveraging tool within their organization.
They already know that recognition done well helps motivate, appreciate, and keep employees. Now they are catching on to aligning recognition with their organizational culture to be truly effective. They know that recognition works best hand in hand with their business strategy. Imagine recognition reinforcing and encouraging employees to achieve some strategic initiatives in the business strategy.
People Are Thinking More About Employee Recognition
They want to know how they can best celebrate and recognize employees, even when they are working from home.
More requests are coming from clients on “how-to” steps they can take to create a successful virtual celebration. Whether for a formal excellence award program or the one-on-one years of service anniversaries, how do you carry them out and celebrate and recognize each individual the way they want to?
They want more support and collaboration on how to recognize their employees. While they have lots of smart and creative people, they want to make sure they are on the right track.
People Are Expecting More From Recognition Programs
They want their recognition and reward programs to do much more than just transact.
More recognition program owners want their recognition and reward programs to not only appreciate people and recognize their contributions. They want to them to be programs that elevate the organizational culture and become a connecting force for showing care and concern for all of their people.
They are asking for unique program features, deep diving report options, and ways to enhance their programs.
People Want More Analytical Insights From Recognition Programs
They want more than just “ROI” these days. They want analytical insights to prove the value of employee recognition and use recognition to its full potential.
Most vendor driven recognition program reports are descriptive and just tell people what is happening or what happened. Some reports allow you to drill down and diagnose by manager and department to ask why the recognition happened or did not happen.
But today, recognition owners and organizational leaders want to know the correlation with recognition activity data and other metrics and make predictions and recommendations.
They also want the ideal where analytical insights predict which managers are at risk of influencing poor employee engagement, lower sales, or affecting customer and patient satisfaction.
These are just a few of the things I have seen this past year as clients and professionals discuss recognition and reward programs and how they can make recognition a powerful tool.
Recognition Reflection: What are some interesting things you have seen with recognition over the past year?
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.