How To Get Emerging Leaders Involved With Recognition

You find yourself stuck with finding the resources you need to help with your recognition plans. 

Your organizational leaders want you to strategize how to make recognition a stronger tool to use within talent management and creating a positive employee experience. In the meantime, you must continue to manage the recognition programs, encourage managers to give recognition to employees they rarely see in person, and keep leaders informed of the ROI of employee recognition.

Why not team up with your organization or learning and development leaders and find out if your needs for recognition could become a goal for a team of emerging leaders? 

This is exactly what happened to us when an organization approached a colleague and I about presenting our thoughts and strategy around employee recognition in the retail industry.

The following happened, and you can follow these steps as a playbook to implement where you work.  

Senior Leader Directive On Recognition 

A senior leader gave the mandate to a team of managers in their organization’s emerging leadership program to investigate associate recognition for the global network of stores. 

The leader knew that managers practiced recognition inconsistently around the world and that associates were valued and appreciated for their contributions. The goal was to create a global recognition strategy where recognition practices were meaningful to all associates. 

The leader knew they needed an immediate solution and a long-term plan. 

This team of six managers from the emerging leaders program drafted out the objectives of what they wanted for recognition in their organization. 

1.    Recognition will reinforce and recognize associates living the values of their organization.

2.    Recognition will retain employees for the long-term.

3.    Recognition will elevate the employee experience.

4.    Recognition will help improve associate performance. 

Each emerging leader presented to us their thoughts on principles to guide the type of recognition they knew would impact their associates.

  • Recognition had to be authentic and genuine in the associates’ eyes.
  • Recognition should be timely.
  • Recognition needed to be creative.
  • Recognition can be shared socially.
  • Recognition had to occur across the career experience of each associate.
  • Recognition would ideally be non-monetary. 

Create a Recognition Project Plan 

As you can see from the above needs identified by the senior leader and the emerging leadership team, you need to help them with the mandate for this recognition project.

Together you need to: 

1.    Describe the project so everyone agrees.

2.    Outline the potential opportunity from conducting this project.

3.    Give the business case for recognition and what everyone sees as the desired outcome.

4.    Create a succinct goal statement so everyone knows what to align their efforts to.

5.    Develop a project outline with the estimated timelines for all identified tasks.

6.    Identify the benefits expected from carrying out this project.

7.    Determine the metrics you will use to measure the success of the project. 

Success of an Emerging Leaders Project 

You get the benefit of drawing on a community of peers from across the organization who bring a diverse and representative perspective of employee recognition. These emerging leaders get to draw upon the academic curriculum and skills they have learned and apply them to the project you are eager to see completed.

This is a very efficient way to transfer knowledge from the learning these managers obtained, and applying it within their own organization. They have the support of peers, their instructors, and leaders within the organization. 

Involving outside sources of information such as vendors emerging leaders get to see the real-world investigation needed to make organizational decisions on interesting topics like employee recognition.

Here, the outcome was a joint presentation by the emerging leadership team, the recognition program owner, and us as vendor representatives, to a senior leadership team representing stores from around the world.

So, if you ever have a major recognition project that you want to explore, don’t ignore the potential leaders in your organization. They are a viable resource for you in finding out the information you need and to make recommendations on behalf of the entire organization. 

Recognition Reflection: Have you ever drawn upon your emerging leaders to assist you with employee recognition initiatives?

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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