How To Inspire Others To Become Better Recognition Givers

Do you have leaders in your organization who can inspire others to be a great recognizer of the people they work with?

It makes such a difference when an organization has at least one inspiring leader. 

I am going to share with you tips and ideas for helping your leaders inspire their direct reports to become better recognizers of their employees. 

You might use these ideas as recommendations to share with leaders, as content stimulators for articles you write, or as objectives for educational content. 

Dive into inspiring others to become better recognition givers.

Exemplary Leadership: Case Scenario

One thing with launching a new recognition program or initiative across a national organization is the idea of piloting the launch in one region at a time. 

This was the case with one client where we started in one region and were now launching across the other regional offices. The one regional president committed to make a recognition by managers a powerful tool for enhancing greater performance success. This senior leader both verbally and in written communication broadcasted out her expectations for recognition. She had a simple message about what she expected.

Her inspiration shone through with her exemplary usage of the various functions of the online recognition program. Whether that was making comments on the social recognition newsfeed, sending out ecards for achievements or celebratory messages, and nominating people for point-based performance rewards.

She worked hand in hand with an immediate direct report in establishing a communication calendar that had inspirational messages and content broadcasted out to both managers and frontline employees. She spearheaded the content going out and made sure her assistants captured positive example of managers using the recognition program well.

Since our recognition skills assessment led to prescribed educational content, she made sure all managers took the online learning courses. Direct reports monitored the learning results and followed up on directly. Managers gradually became more proficient with their recognition skills and became better at giving more meaningful, more frequent, and effective recognition to staff. 

We learned how they held monthly review meetings with their direct reports and managers, and that one focus area was on recognition in their overall performance management accountability.

This same senior leader expected her direct reports to follow up with their managers on taking the online learning and to use the manager generated goals to improve recognition in their weekly one-on-one meetings. 

All of this led to this region having more managers who received the microlearning courses than any other region. We could see that as more managers took the learning, they became better recognizers. The more managers became better recognizers, their employees had higher performance measures. 

Qualities That Inspire Others to Give Recognition

Tell them exactly what you expect them to do. As I thought through this regional president’s actions, I could see that inspirational leaders simply tell people what they expect of them. She told everyone exactly what she wanted managers and employees to do with using the new recognition program.

She gave everyone a vision of what she saw and hoped for as the potential results if everyone got on board. And she was an exemplary participant in using the program consistently. Managers and employees alike received recognition from their regional president. 

Suggestion: Have your leaders simply explain their expectation for using your organizational recognition programs and to share that often. 

Give people a grand purpose and reason for recognition. You’ll see that inspirational leaders always see where they are going and what they want to achieve.

Inspirational leaders always adhere to clear values, so you know where they stand on things. They will state what their purpose is for the recognition programs and the change they want to see happen. 

Suggestion: Have your leaders put a stake in the ground, so to speak, outlining the goals they want to achieve through your recognition programs.

Know their strengths and weaknesses. You’ll discover that inspirational leaders know their recognition capabilities and if they need to learn new skills. This same awareness of their own limits applies to them to knowing the strengths and weaknesses of their teams. 

Since they know all of their direct reports well, they can encourage them to create peer-to-peer mentorship to learn recognition giving from those who are more proficient, working on team projects, and other cross training initiatives.  

Suggestion: Have your leaders draw upon those direct reports who are exemplary recognizers and share their successes and techniques with their peers.

Inspiration fosters inspiration in others. It is interesting how inspirational leaders draw their own inspiration from the success of their leaders and team members. You’ll see how inspirational leaders have a strong commitment to the cause at hand. 

They will gladly share their own journey with both struggles and successes in giving recognition to people both the wrong way and the right way. They are open about what it takes to be a positive recognizer of others. 

Suggestion: Create an opportunity in your management forums and online meetings to both give recognition to managers for what they are doing and by sharing examples of recent stories of recognizing employees. 

Strong communication skills help make inspiration easier. Inspirational leaders are often where they are at because of being great communicators. They are active listeners and intuitively match and mirror nonverbal cues of others. All employees feel valued by them and well understood. 

Anyone can approach an inspirational leader. They listen well and are inclusive and respectful of the diverse needs of all employees. They appreciate people for who they are and recognize them for their contributions. 

Suggestion: Ensure your online education course has topics that address effective communication skills along with diversity, equity, and inclusion.

These are just a few ideas for encouraging inspiration in your leaders, managers, and employees, to help promote better recognition giving.

Recognition Refection: How do you draw upon the inspirational leaders where you work to promote recognition giving?

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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