How To Strategize Your Recognition Resources

I believe every client I have worked with sincerely want to get real recognition happening the right way wherever their people work.

They also know, that in order for the right recognition practices to take place and their recognition programs to be used most effectively they have to, (1) build awareness of the importance of recognition, and (2) educate and show people how to get recognition right.

One way to do this is to provide a manager recognition resource section on your recognition website. This provides a forum to inform, educate and inspire managers on the art and practice of giving real recognition.

And it requires a strategic structure to make your manager recognition resource section the best.

Here are 10 ideas to guide you with designing your manager recognition resource webpages.

1. Overall Focus

What is the main thing you want the consumers of your content to focus on? Define this focus carefully because mangers will be held accountable for it. Metrics will be created to measure consumption of different content. From page views, to completed pages, where videos are stopped being viewed, etc., all help shape future creation development.

Leaders can follow up in conversation and manager feedback meetings on how well the focus is being followed. They can find out how well managers are able to implement the knowledge and skills being shared.

2. Purpose Statement

This is the grand why behind every content piece you create. Write out the why for the resource section.

Determine carefully what it is you want your managers to know, feel and do because of the content you or others create.

Know – What do your managers need to know to be well versed in giving effective and meaningful recognition? Find out how much information and education is required on recognition practices. Perhaps there is a need for detailed instructions on using your recognition programs.

Feel – How can you influence the feelings of managers so they will believe recognition is important enough for them to be doing it? What facts and social proof do you need to show managers that will convince them to change? Go to the frontlines and collect employee recognition stories with good and bad manager examples. Then share this information in the resource section.

Do – What must happen for managers to actually begin giving recognition? Your goal with your content is to transform managers and progress them from good to better, and from better to best, with giving meaningful and memorable recognition. Managers are busy and have multiple priorities thrown at them. Ask them what they need to guide them and reinforce giving better and more frequent recognition to employees. Act on this and they’ll appreciate what you give them.

3. Organizational Culture

Understanding your organizational culture and the role it plays in driving recognition behaviors is essential. Link some of your content creation around your corporate values. Define the organization’s values that drive desired behaviors and the ideal results desired. What explicit and implicit beliefs do people hold onto in the company? Challenge the negative ones and foster the positive beliefs.

The best way to understand culture is to consider it as “the way we do things here”. Some actions are good and others are not. What attitudes and behaviors currently stop or encourage recognition from happening where you work? Address these issues head on.

Acknowledge the internal political landscape and current leadership agendas. Learn what you need to so you don’t to step on people’s toes. Align recognition with the current strategy and leadership direction.

4. Goals/Objectives

No resource section can be developed without having some explicit expectations of what is to be achieved.

A written plan of action that lays out the strategy to be followed will help everyone who is involved. Objectives provide measurable targets to be reached with the resources that must be designed and produced.

Spelling out the quantity of specific types of content is easy to do. Specifying the quality criteria is a little harder but just as important.

5. Medium Choice

People are eating up content they choose to read, view and use in a variety of ways today. Our social media savvy world has created the expectation for choice and diversity of content.

Content can be produced in written article form, tips and downloadable guides, as well as the standard FAQs.

Surprisingly, audio is a little used medium for manager resources. But the proliferation of podcasts today suggests this might be a great alternative. An internal company podcast with the ability for managers to download to their smartphones could help those who listen to content when running or while driving to and from work.

Video is certainly all the rage and dominating most marketing and content generation. Turn tips and messaging from key leaders into video content that can viewed by a single employee or for managers to play in staff meetings.

6. Leadership Alignment

There will likely be a senior leader sponsor for employee recognition. Request their input or follow whatever they have told you to communicate in the manager resource section.

Organizational development or learning and development team members should provide you with the leadership curriculum guidelines or any leadership and management development models to align your content with.

You can incorporate the language and direction of any leadership framework or model that exists into some of your planned recognition content.

7. Audience Profile

You need to know the demographics and psychographic details of those managers you are writing or producing content for.

Identify the different work groups or business areas that employees work for. You may need to tailor content for managers in different work groups.

Wherever possible conduct a needs analysis and understand fully what managers want and need rather than assuming you know.

8. Knowledge and Skills

You can’t be expected to know everything about employee recognition. And that goes for your communication team members as well.

Find employee recognition subject matter experts (SMEs) inside or outside of the company who can either guide or produce content for you.

Orient them to your purpose, goals and objectives. Ask the SMEs how they plan to change people’s beliefs, behaviors and results through their content. Provide sufficient balance between the why with knowledge and the how through skills for transforming people into givers of real recognition.

9. Narrow and Deep

Content should be designed for easy read and viewing. Consider creating quick read summaries with tips and ideas. Give people links within the short content where they can choose to read longer content if they want to.

Remember you have a diverse audience with a range of needs.

You can develop content that is inspirational and some that are more educational. Vary the length and the depth of the content and you’ll hit the mark with the majority of your audience.

10. Book Reviews

Another idea to consider for your resource section is identifying the latest books on leadership and management topics. There will always be book lovers in the crowd whether digital or hardcopy book readers.

Enlist someone’s help to write book reviews for you on some of the latest leadership and management books. Become a member of NetGalley and you can access and review upcoming books before they are released to the public.

Make sure the reviews are positive and strengths focused. Expect reviewers to always answer how the book applies to improving employee recognition.

Okay, I had one more idea beyond the ten that I just had to share with you.

11. Other Resources

Resource sections are full of potential for different suggestions and ideas. But keep it simple and respond directly to what managers need versus what you think they need.

Consider creating simple PDF guides (e.g. how to write an effective thank you note), checklists (steps for submitting an online nomination) and cheatsheets (reminders for giving an award) that people can download and use to make recognition giving easier for them.

I hope this guide has been helpful for you in thinking about how to create or improve your company’s manager recognition resource page.

Question: What content material have managers told you are the most valuable to them for giving better and more frequent recognition to employees?

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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