Get Your Managers Excited About Giving Recognition

Many of you responsible for employee recognition in your organizations have a hard time getting full support and attention of your managers.

Some just don’t get it as far as understanding the importance of recognition in the eyes of their employees.

A few managers rose to their current position solely based upon expertise or technical competency and not for any people skill or emotional intelligence strengths.

Your job is to spark their interest in recognition when they are being bombarded with so many other priorities and distractions.

In reality, we tend to remember two kinds of events in life – major negative happenings and warm, positive activities.

Your goal should be to get managers excited about giving recognition and make it a warm and positive memory for them.

Learn from these four ways to raise the excitement level.

1. Focus Managers On Giving Recognition

People get excited when you get then involved right from the get go.

Leadership, organizational effectiveness and development folks, human resources, and those responsible for recognition, need to set clear expectations for your managers to give better and more effective recognition.

Each manager needs to put solid recognition practices into their daily lives. They need to know how to use the recognition programs effectively on a regular basis.

And whenever you give expectations to people you need to obtain feedback on how they are doing. Are they using the recognition programs frequently? How do employees perceive the recognition effectiveness of their manager?

Use employee surveys, pulse check tools or focus groups to find out how managers are doing. When you measure the performance of recognition you will keep managers on their toes.

The key is consistently holding managers accountable for giving recognition and providing them with the resources and knowledge of how to do it well.

2. Ample Manager Support Resources

Managers want to make a difference. They want to become, and help their staff be, more productive. They want to see results!

Managers will learn more about recognition when you show them how it can help them make a difference. Give them great content, well written guides and resources on how to get recognition right.

They want to know things like how to express recognition in a meaningful way. How do you hold an effective celebration event? What is the best way to honor their people? What are your recognition policies and procedures? How do you know if someone likes public or private recognition?

Provide managers with downloadable cheat sheets and guides to answer their questions. Create short, bite-size video content to learn effective recognition behaviors or how to use your present recognition programs.

If you don’t show an “open-the-box” video on what your recognition program looks like, how it works and where and when to use it best, you are failing your managers.

Give them the tools and know how so they cannot fail with recognition giving.

3. Communications and Recognition Triggers

Set some specific objectives on how you will communicate awareness for giving recognition to your managers and reinforce great recognition already happening.

If a recognition program is not visible it will be out of mind. Your job is to make all of your programs front and center on your intranet portal.

Develop a Recognition Communication Calendar (learn more here) each year with the recurring and newer messaging for the different channels of communication.

This is your chance to take managers on the recognition journey and remind them of what managers who are successful at giving recognition do on a daily and weekly basis.

Create blogs, cascading emails from your senior leaders, and newsletters with recognition related information. Send email or program notifications to trigger to managers on what to recognize, when, and how to do it well.

4. Education and Training – Both the Why and How

Managers, like everyone else, want to know why they should be recognizing their peers and employees. What is the company’s purpose for recognition giving?

When your managers know the “why” for giving recognition the “how” just became a lot easier to understand.

Your job is to show managers how to give more meaningful, motivational and memorable recognition to employees. Whether you use in class instruction, e-learning, blended learning or reading books and resource materials, the biggest key to learning is application of what the managers learned.

Provide managers with opportunities to implement what they have learned and use some reflective feedback where they share with their manager or peers over a 4 to 6 week basis how they faired. How successful were they? What did they learn from the experience? Do they have any further questions?

Build in methods of community for managers whether face-to-face or in an online forum so they can learn from each other.

Excitement comes from manager involvement and setting the expectations that recognition giving is what is expected where you work. Now provide managers with the knowledge, skills and resources to make it happen and get out of the way!

Question: What is the best way you have found to get managers excited about giving recognition?

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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