5 Easy-To-Spot Signs Of Potential Reward Problems

You may have seen it elsewhere or experienced it. Hopefully, you’re not dealing with it right now.

Runaway budget spent on gift cards, merchandise, points, and even cash rewards. Negative attitudes and perceptions of employee recognition. 

Let me give you just five indicators that you might have some potential reward problems lurking in the shadows of your well-intentioned recognition and reward programs.

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Teach Your Leaders How To Be Exemplary Recognizers

Recognition does not come naturally to everyone.

Leaders at the top of your organization should show the leadership competency skills that they expect from their direct reports. Leaders should help others to lead.

But that isn’t always the case.

Your goal for each organizational leader is to get them to inspire and value the contributions of one additional person every day.

How do you teach your leaders to be amazing recognizers of your staff?

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Who Is Leading Recognition In Your Organization?

It is an interesting question to ask. Who is the leader in your organization who leads recognition practices and programs?

More often than not, people will point you to Human Resources. Or it could be an offshoot from there such as compensation and benefits. Occasionally, you will find out communications is at the helm, often paired with marketing. And if it involves sales in your industry, you’ll have the sales folks to deal with.

But are they managing or leading recognition?

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How To Celebrate From A Distance

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday with my family from a distance.

Families sang happy birthday to me via FaceTime or sent unique greetings like the JibJab Happy Quarantine Birthday with my face and my children’s faces imposed on dancing animations. 

All the families surprised me in the evening with a Zoom video conference get together and playing 3 rounds of the smartphone app game called Psych. Highly recommend this if you haven’t played it with a group of people yet.

My one granddaughter had made cookies and her Mom put a single birthday candle on the cookie and I virtually blew it out as she blew it out. However, she ate the cookie!

Now that’s what happened for me to celebrate a birthday. 

What can you do to celebrate your employees’ career milestones virtually? How do you celebrate employees who make a difference or for significant achievements from a distance because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

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My Name Is Important To Me

When you give recognition to an employee, do you say their name correctly when expressing recognition to them?

I want to increase your awareness of the importance of using a person’s preferred name whenever you recognize them face-to-face, in written text, or in personalizing a tangible item with their name on it.

How do you think you’re doing in using people’s proper name?

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Are You Really Giving People Recognition on Purpose?

Do you know why you recognize people?

If you haven’t thought about why you appreciate and recognize people, take some time out to articulate your beliefs and reasons for recognizing the people you work, play, and live with.

For me it is about appreciating people for who they are, independent of any work they do, and valuing everything that a person brings with them to the workplace. It’s about recognizing people for all that they do—both the insignificant and the amazing things people do. 

Recognition is about valuing people and their contributions. It is the transferring of positive feelings and emotions from one person to another, in response to an employee’s positive behaviors or actions.

What is your purpose for giving recognition?

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How To Hold People Accountable for Giving Better Recognition

Holding people accountable for giving effective and meaningful recognition brings together something good—recognition—with something uncomfortable, like, accountability.

It takes courage to deal with the conflict of holding people accountable. And courage is exactly what good management requires.

Follow these accountability steps to move the dial on recognition giving.

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How To Ask for Recognition That You’re Not Getting

Some of us have directors or managers who have never learned to give recognition to people when it is due. They can seem too task oriented. Others are more introverted and not used to expressing feelings.

Or, maybe you hear reports from employees who wonder what they can do to bring this topic of a lack of recognition up with their manager, but are afraid it might backfire if they do. Now they have gone for years without having their work properly acknowledged.

What can they do to highlight their work successes and finally get the recognition they deserve?

Turn the tables and learn how to ask for the recognition you’re not getting.

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Top 10 Ways to Recognize Remote Workers (2010 version)

This post was originally written for Incentive Magazine back in 2010. It’s amazing what can happen in a decade, with so many work from home employees due to the pandemic. Naturally, this only applies to knowledge workers, certain professionals, information technology, and other office workers able to perform most of their job functions at home.

Addenda are made when needed to comply with our current pandemic health prevention or restrictions.

Managing people who work at a distance from a company office is a far different situation than managing those we work with in person.  Rather than trying to manage a remote worker the same ways as you would someone in the next office, try these top 10 ways to build trust, inspire confidence and recognize your remote employees.

  1. Keep everyone connected.  Make it easy for on-site colleagues to get in touch with remote workers. Telephone systems, instant messaging and voice calling over internet applications enable remote workers to feel connected and a part of the team. [Now we have videoconferencing tools such as Zoom which was founded in 2011.]
  2. Recognize expectations met. Remote workers consistently meet deadlines and expected levels of performance and should be recognized as valuable assets for their focused dedication. Make time to quickly phone them or leave after work voice mails to specifically praise them for their dependable track record.
  3. Encourage transparency.  Support remote workers personal needs with family and life by developing transparent sharing of schedules and appointments.  Just knowing where they are at any given time helps build trust with the rest of the team who are used to more traditional work schedules.  [COVID-19 has required multiple partners, spouses, and children to be home together and juggling personal needs and use of technology and internet.]
  4. Get information out at lightning speed.  Ensure your remote team members not only have access to the same formal and informal sources of information as their colleagues in the office but that they even get it before the internals do.
  5. Schedule weekly conversations.   Remote workers are often reluctant to seek help from their managers, human resource experts, or external sources. Set up a regular day and time to discuss workloads and assignments, ask and answer questions and concerns to maintain an open line of communication.
  6. Offer time management training. The greatest challenge for remote workers is balancing priorities to get tasks completed.  This training should include the unique challenges of dealing with family, friends, and unusual interruptions; and the feelings of guilt associated with working excessive hours. [Many new work from home employees need guidance and productivity tips to deal with isolation and work pressures.]
  7. Declare weekends free.  Create clear guidelines and expectations regarding response to e-mails and assignments on weekends.  Dedicated remote workers can easily fall into the trap of working 24/7.  Encourage shut-down and “off times” with standards on exceptions to the rule to help prevent burnout.
  8. Do remotely special things. Think about what home office employees experience on a regular basis. Now realize what remote workers are missing out on and be creative on trying to recreate that in their lives – sending edible flower arrangements on anniversaries; personalized pens and latest office gizmos; and taking them out for lunch on a specially arranged visit to their hometown location. [While you might not have the freedom to send tangible items, make sure you show them care and concern, and give what you can to support them.]
  9. Empower workers for productivity.  Provide training and mentoring on overcoming the challenges of working remotely. Training will help make remote workers more productive and more satisfied with their working experience.  Provide the choice of offering this training remotely or in-class at the company location. [There are multiple sources for online training now since in-class instructions is prohibited.]
  10. Managers must learn how to trust. Managers must learn and adapt to managing the ever-growing virtual employees now in excess of 50 million.  Learning how to create high-trust relationships must become a core skill for managing the almost invisible powerhouse of remote workers.

Recognition Reflection: What practices have you started doing to better appreciate your new “work from home” employees?

How To Appreciate Your Administrative Professionals Virtually

It is Administrative Professionals Week and on Wednesday it is Administrative Professionals Day. Make sure you do something special to acknowledge these hardworking professionals who make your work run smoothly and keep you organized.

Following are eight ways to consider on how to appreciate these special people even virtually in this time of remote working because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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