For over 30 years now research studies continue to show one of the highest reasons for leaving a place of employment is a lack of recognition for workplace contributions.
You can learn to solve the challenges in your organization’s approach to giving people effective recognition, by looking at The 3 Essential Factors for Recognition.
Understanding these factors will provide you with insights as to where your own organization is presently at in appreciating the work and worth of your employees and what you need to do next.
What are these factors?
Linking the 3 Factors Together
As shown in Figure 1, these 3 factors consist of Values, Skills and Awareness.
Let’s examine the relationship between each of these factors and the combined impact they have on employee recognition.
By looking at Figure 1 you will see how each factor overlaps with each other. This creates four possible outcomes that will affect the success of recognition giving in your organization.
1. Could Give Recognition
Looking at section 1 with the interaction of Values and Skills, you will see how this occurs when an organization believes things like recognition are important and when many of the skill sets required are also present.
What’s missing is awareness of the importance of employee recognition or that there is even an issue or a lack of recognition.
Examples of this often occur in large corporations. They have excellent compensation and benefits packages, formal and nominated awards events are ongoing and appear highly valued. Then the employee engagement survey comes back with a dismal evaluation of how employees feel about being appreciated for their contributions on the job.
Some of these companies even have leadership development training programs going on.
However, leaders have become unaware of the importance of the daily need for recognition in people’s lives. Often, reward and recognition programs have become so “mechanized” they have neglected the human element in the equation.
2. Would Give Recognition
An organization with the factors of Values and Awareness present, such as with the cross over in section 2, has leaders who are usually aware of the concern over giving and receiving recognition, and they believe recognition is important and should be addressed.
What they lack are the necessary Skills in effectively using existing recognition processes and programs and a lack appropriate interpersonal skills education and coaching for giving meaningful and memorable recognition.
Evidence of this occurs in organizations where only certain leaders, because of strong interpersonal and charismatic skills, are making sure recognition happens but throughout most of the organization nothing is happening.
3. Should Give Recognition
Where Skills and Awareness interact in an organization, as in the third sector, leaders are certainly aware of the need for recognition and they even have the skills.
The problem here is that the organization may not have clearly identified or communicated organizational values that encourage recognition giving, or the leaders are purely choosing to do nothing about it based on their personal values.
In many cases, organizations in this sector do have values. It’s just that the values they have, implicitly or explicitly, seem focused on results, money, shareholders, etc.
Leaders must make a commitment to showing how they value the worth of all of their employees. The irony is that research on employee engagement continues to show how engaged employees perform better and produce higher profits.
4. Do Give Recognition
It is only when all 3 factors of Values, Skills and Awareness converge, that the fourth sector emerges. This is where Real Recognition(TM) happens.
You see this when acts of recognition become a way of life in an organization and not just because of another program of the month.
Such companies and organizations are aware of the importance and need for recognition. Everyone in the organization shares in the responsibility to give recognition both up and down and to peers.
They believe it is an outward expression of their organizational values, like respect. Time, money and resources, are committed to providing the necessary skills for leaders at all levels to become competent and confident in giving people the Real Recognitionä they all desire to receive.
Getting These Factors To Work
Values and the organizational culture may need to be revisited to see if a renewal is required. You need to hold people accountable for truly living the values.
Consider creating a Culture department or team that helps promote each of your values. Ensure your recognition programs are recognizing and encouraging people when they positively display living the values.
Skills for giving recognition need to be incorporated into your learning and development plans. Recognition giving is not something that should just be taught to leaders and managers in their training. Everyone should have access to online learning and resources.
Awareness building requires constant communication from leaders and managers to set clear expectations for giving recognition on a regular basis. Draw upon your Communications people to assist with provide or publishing tools and information on how to get recognition right.
Check out where your organization stands on the 3 essential factors to making recognition successful where you work.
This just maybe something you need to factor in to your recognition equation.
Question: Which is your strongest recognition factor and which one needs a major tune up?
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.