One way to make recognition happen more frequently is to make it visible. When recognition is more conspicuous as a principle throughout the entire organization, it’s easier to make recognition more a way of life than just a program.
Creating visibility for recognition requires both an individual and organizational focus. Does your organization have a low, medium, or high level of recognition visibility?
Examine the following areas to see what you can do to have recognition more visible.
When you open up your intranet portal, you must make recognition right at your employees’ line of sight. Make it unmistakably easy to access your recognition and reward program with a catchy button to click and go to.
Ensure you have catchy graphics promoting where employees can nominate peers for going above and beyond in their work to assist others—whether peers or customers—and go right to the program page.
Highlight the power of using stories where accounts of staff who are living the values, doing exceptional work, making a difference in their community, on the front page of your intranet. Imagine seeing a cut-out photo of a colleague you know and next to them is a headline of the amazing things they have done and a hyperlink to click on to read the whole story.
Flag people seen living the values by giving them a social badge representing that value which they can place on their recognition program profile page.
Customary Organizational Practices
Plan your pre-shift meetings to become a bigger deal than they already are. Have leaders of these meetings hand out a one page that shares the story of an employee in the company who has agreed to let everyone hear about how they helped a customer or other service values and best practices shown.
At these same meetings leaders should commend and acknowledge their own staff for the difference they make on the job.
When a new employee works with your organization, give them an onboarding welcome gift. Whether this is a purchased package from a vendor with branded items like pens, T-shirts, water bottle, and other relevant items associated with their work, or gift items you purchase ahead of time.
Any newsletters, including recognition announcements or broadcast emails related to recognition, should use the branding colors and logos associated with the recognition and reward programs. Creating meaningful program names and associated graphics go a long way in captivating employees and leaders’ minds and hearts.
What does your organization do to show care and concern for staff with various life events? Sending birthday cards, paper or digital, can make an employee’s day. Perhaps you can take time out for cake and drinks at a break. Do you send some token of acknowledgment to people with marriages and births? Are there cards purchased or available, and through online e-cards, for the more tragic personal life events like hospital stays, death, cancer, divorce, and losing a pet?
All these activities when acted upon help to raise the profile of recognizing and appreciating staff every day.
Look around you. Does recognition make an appearance around where you work?
If you can’t see recognition on display within walking 5 minutes of the entrance, you need to up the presence of recognition.
Often you will see a display case with the various prestigious awards that the company has achieved or that employees and teams and have merited receiving as soon as you walk in or on the main floor. You may see plaques acknowledging donations for organizational foundations.
More and more companies are using LCD monitors where messaging is broadcast on flat panel display systems in the lobby, in hallways, and in the cafeteria. This is where you can take advantage of showing digital, branded posters inviting staff to recognize a peer or use the recognition and reward program. You can also put up motivational and inspiring quotes and interesting facts and stats about recognition.
Depending on what is acceptable in your organization from an environmental practice, you could use printed posters and tent cards advertising prestigious award nominations or upcoming celebration events.
Customary Personal Practices
Always put recognition at the beginning of your staff or management meetings so employees feel valued and appreciated before a meeting starts. Putting it at the bottom of the agenda has a tendency to see recognition knocked off, and no one gets recognized. Invite other staff members to also share good news and praise for their colleagues.
Encourage and coach senior leaders to be powerful advocates for recognition. They can be well prepared when making presentations at award events. They need to spend some one-on-one time with employees in the cafeteria or by visiting departments to have causal meetings. When senior leaders are in the room with employees, they need to be fully present and engaged.
Leaders and managers must represent the organization for every career milestone anniversary. They must calendar and plan to personally acknowledge and thank every employee celebrating a service anniversary. Leaders can even round up colleagues and team members to celebrate with them if the employee likes public acknowledgment.
If you can’t see recognition going on around you, it might not be happening. The key is looking for striking ways to raise the positive perception of employee recognition.
Recognition Reflection: What is the level of recognition visibility in your organization?
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