Refine Your Facilitated Recognition Strategy With Tender Loving Care

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You’ve had an elite group of managers and leaders available to you to facilitate and help craft a recognition strategy and plan. 

You randomly assigned this diverse and representative group to table groups or virtual teams to work on the recognition plan. You designated these seasoned and well-informed people to specific focus areas to create goals and action plans. There may, or may not be, experts on a team that know the subject of their focus area.

The result of a recognition strategy facilitation is having well-articulated statements of purpose and philosophy around recognition. Collectively everyone agrees on the overall, big-picture goal for the next year to help steer recognition activities. Even the focus areas for improving recognition are consistent with the prior gap analysis conducted.

You assigned each team a focus area that is most likely not in their expertise or specialty. Their skill sets are probably outside the domain you charged them with working on. As managers and leaders, they generated superb ideas and insights on the topic. 

If there is anywhere where a problem might occur, it is with the goals, action plans, and outcome measures. 

How do you refine these amazing ideas without offending the originators? What steps do you take to refine what you facilitated from them in the strategy session? How can you stay true to the process and honor the first contributors?

Editing and Review of the Recognition Strategy and Plan 

As with any editing and review of content, leave a few days to distance yourself from the document. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and scrutinize the strategy and plan. 

Draw upon your internal communication team members to look over the document. Are there any glaring errors? Does the recognition strategy and plan mirror the organizational culture? What about the business strategy?

Will the leaders you report to find the document self-explanatory? Are there any gaps or questions remaining for them? 

Basic editing looks at the structure and organization of the content, grammar, punctuation, and spelling, and then the overall presentation of the content. Remember, goals and action plans have to be clear enough for any reader to implement the plan. 

Owners of Recognition Practices and Programs 

Next up, are those individuals responsible for recognition and rewards.  

In some organizations, there is a manager or team that oversees and manages recognition and reward programs. For others, these programs fall under departments like Human Resources, Total Rewards, or Compensation and Benefits. I have even seen Communications answerable for employee recognition.

Have those representatives review the goals under each focus area and the accompanying implementation objectives or action plans. Check out those implementation plans to see if they mesh well with the intended one-year objective. Will they get this area of focus to the desired finishing line? 

Do they agree with the people strategy and business strategy? Will they help support the overall business strategy? Are they likely to move that area of focus forward and improve recognition practices and programs? 

Next comes the output measures—the way you will measure the progress with your goals and action plans. You want to make sure you have good metrics that you can report on.

Is there an output measure or outcome for each objective or action plan set? Is it a realistic measure of success or should it change? Are there additional or better metrics to consider?

Be open to all feedback that will improve your planning. 

Return to the Original Contributors 

Out of respect to the people who generated the first-round draft of the recognition strategy and plan, share the edited document. Keep tracked changes from how things were and how they have ended up. Always explain why any changes were made and the steps those alterations came through. 

Most people feel honored to have been part of the original process. It’s quite an invigorating experience to craft a document that could benefit all employees. Allowing them to see the progression of what they started is still reaffirming to them.

They will understand and appreciate any edits or course corrections made. The core of what they created will always stay the same.

Again, it will most likely be in the goals, action plans, and output measures where some tweaking is necessary.

Executive Endorsement of the Strategy and Plan 

Finally, you have your senior leader you report to for their review of the complete recognition strategy and recognition plan. They will probably present this recognition strategy and plan to the executive leadership team.

Allow them the opportunity to review the entire document once you have gone through the previous steps. Make sure there is nothing missing in their mind that would hinder ratification by the executive leadership team. You want your proposal or the senior leader’s presentation to be a slam dunk for all involved 

There you have it. 

Refining something is all about making the original even better. You’re getting rid of any imperfections, the dross, the things that don’t belong.

Recognition Reflection: What process do you have in place for refining your recognition strategy and plan?

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