How To Plan for Better Recognition for 2021

If you want people to give better quality recognition and to have people recognized more frequently than they are now, then you had better plan to transform recognition with a carefully thought out plan, now. 

Your engagement surveys, pulse surveys, focus group feedback, and recognition program data will give you both the qualitative and quantitative read on the state of employee recognition in your organization. 

Your job is to work with the leaders and managers in your organization to define and create the future of employee recognition. It’s time to plan out how you will achieve better recognition for 2021 in your organization. 

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How To Set Up a Committee for Judging Formal Awards

Formal recognition programs are often the most common type of programs present in organizations. You find that many organizations invest the most amount of time, money, and resources in their formal recognition programs. 

These more formal programs often have a prestigious name associated with them, such as Excellence Awards, Pinnacle, President’s Awards, or other branded names. These awards are where employees or managers can nominate an individual or a team for a specific award category. 

Awards will vary depending on the industry sector your organization fits under, such as, 

  • Trades and services.
  • Information and Communication Technology.
  • Healthcare and medical.
  • Mining, resources, and energy.
  • Hospitality and Tourism.

The award categories of awards might include going above in beyond in such areas as: 

  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Customer Service
  • Quality Improvement
  • Patient Care
  • Health and Safety
  • Sales
  • Organizational Values
  • Teamwork 

The one thing in common with all organizational formal awards, no matter what sector they are from, is the need to have a judging committee. 

And that’s what we are going to talk about today, how to set up a formal judging committee so you can recognize and celebrate the outstanding performers where you work. 

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Know Everything You Can About The People You’re Recognizing

When you want to give amazing recognition to people, you must know everything you can about the people you are recognizing. 

Recognition people feel is much more about the person than it ever is about any action on their part. Recognition is more than they do something, then they get something. 

Real recognition is about appreciating the whole person and recognizing them for what they do. 

Recognition is mostly an intangible expression of acknowledgement and valuing of an individual or a team, for their positive behaviours, their personal effort, or contributions they have made. 

The key is making your recognition very personal. Let’s explore how you can do that. 

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How To Use SMS To Remind People To Give Recognition

Do your employees feel valued and appreciated for their work contributions? If not, is it because recognition is not top of mind for your leaders and managers? What if you could remind your leaders and managers to recognize more often? Are there ways that technology can help? 

There is a way to nudge your leaders and managers into giving more frequent and better day-to-day recognition to their direct reports, and others. You can create triggers for your leaders and managers to give more meaningful and consistent recognition to people. This will guarantee affecting the overall employee experience and improve performance, too.  

How do you do this? Listen up!

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What It Means To Be An Executive Sponsor of Recognition

If you want to get recognition strategically connected to your organization’s business plan, then you are going to need an executive sponsor. Having an executive sponsor is your key to getting recognition on the senior leadership table and raising the profile and impact of employee recognition throughout the organization. 

But what exactly does an Executive Sponsor do? 

Learn about their role, and how they can help you give the boost you need for employee recognition. 

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The Right Balance of Recognition to Reward Programs

One of the many challenges in managing a recognition and rewards program is figuring out how to steer the course of your programs to maximum impact. 

And one repeated concern I see is when program owners inherit a program, they call recognition, but it’s been almost a total rewards program. Getting rid of the rewards mindset that triggers entitlement, expectations, and “more please”, is hard to unlearn. 

Providers, compensation and benefits associations, and non-profit business research organizations give good estimates on how much money to spend. They draw upon a percentage of your payroll budget or the average dollar spent per full-time equivalent (FTE) of employees. 

But what’s missing is how much to spend on the different programs. Is there a perfect balance between recognition specific programs and reward type program? How do you advocate budgets based on how people use the different types of programs? 

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How To Do One Thing With Recognition Better Than Anyone Else

I have this great quote on my desk from Jason Goldberg, the American film and television producer, that says, “Find your one thing and do that one thing better than anyone else.” 

This has been my goal with employee recognition in trying to understand meaningful and effective recognition practices and how to make recognition programs amazing. 

So, how are you going to improve your recognition better than anyone else?

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Teaching People to Give Recognition Should Be Easy, Right?

Recognition is such a positive thing to give and receive that you would think teaching people how to give recognition to others should be easy. 

But different studies such as from Gallup show that only a third of employees ever receive recognition in any week for doing outstanding work. 

People always submit lots of reasons as an explanation for this recognition deficit. However, one dominant answer is not knowing how to give recognition to people the right way.

Adam Grant, the award-winning researcher and Wharton School professor, gives a probable reason teaching people to give recognition is not as easy as we think it is. From his research and book, Give and Take, he shows that in our interactions with others most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. 

Takers work at getting as much as they can from others while matchers look to evenly trade between one another. It’s the givers who are the rare breed of people who contribute to others expecting nothing in return. 

It would appear from this research that perhaps giving recognition is already easier for those who are natural givers than for those who are takers or matchers. 

What can we learn from these givers that can help us teach all types of employees to more easily give recognition? 

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How To Find Out What Your Leaders Think of Recognition

Heading every organization is a senior leadership team.

They play a critical role in providing strategic and operational leadership for your organization. And they also play an essential role in representing the organizational culture and showing what leadership should look like, by how they interact with one another and with employees. 

They often leave your task to “read minds” on how each leader thinks about recognition. Hopefully, you have an exemplary executive sponsor who is a cheerleader and champion for the cause of employee recognition to draw upon. 

But in a general sense, how do you find out what each of your executive leaders think about recognition? 

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4 Ways Strategically Designed Recognition Programs Are So Amazing

The recognition and reward industry are a mix of similar goods, technology, and services, in contrast with newer players who tend to provide more of a “plug-and-play” program offering.

Plug-and-play recognition and reward programs tend to focus more on the offering of rewards than they do recognition. And with this software as a service, stand-alone programs, clients typically manage their own programs.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether you want a “quick-and-ready” approach. If you want to lead out with recognition and use rewards wisely you might want to think about creating a strategically designed recognition approach instead.

If you are going to compare you have to compare all the way. Is the vendor simply a provider or are they willing to be a reputable partner dedicated to maximizing the employee experience?

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