Effective leaders need to command a centre of kindness and compassion towards those they lead in their organizations. They need to cut themselves some slack on the pressure driven roles they have to live with.
If they haven’t already learned the value of giving meaningful recognition to people, now is the time to teach them.
But here’s the clincher for you. You may have to show them how.
Provide Video Tutorials
You don’t have to use a fancy video recording studio. Simply use whatever video conferencing tool you subscribe to and make recordings. Depending on your confidence and experience, you can either fully script out the content or speak from bullet points. Produce a series to educate and show leaders how to give effective recognition.
Simply send out a video description in an email along with the link for those who enjoy learning through the visual medium.
For one client I provided monthly, 10-minute telephone coaching sessions to those managers who were interested. I would call them and ask specifically where they were struggling the most with giving recognition to their staff. It was amazing the concerns were easy to address. They were simply unfamiliar with what to do, and it encouraged them to try out any ideas that I gave them.
You can do the same thing with video conferencing apps. It will surprise you how grateful leaders are to have these brief discussions. And, they come away learning essential skills they can apply right away.
Weekly Email Advice
It could be through a leadership newsletter that you send out on a predetermined frequency. Or maybe you invite leaders to subscribe to a weekly update with coaching tips and ideas for recognition giving. You could create a PDF attachment as a job aid or enlist your communications team to create helpful infographic.
Invite leaders to share how they have made recognition a personal habit in their lives. Let leaders communicate the benefits and outcomes they have seen from being an active recognizer.
Latest Research Articles
You’ll find some leaders intrigued with social science research on topics like motivation, recognition, rewards, and feedback. Use places like Google Scholar or ResearchGate to find exciting articles. ResearchGate, for example, is a professional network for scientists and researchers. Over 20 million members from all over the world use it to share, discover, and discuss research.
They can read these articles by themselves or you can summarize them with a link to the full article. The goal is to find the recognition significance of the research and give them the implications they can apply.
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/
Google Scholar https://scholar.google.com/
For some leaders they need simple reminders and instruction on what to do and when, and how to give recognition to people the right way. Use brief articles or point form bulleted tips that make it easy to put recognition into practices.
You can compile these tips over time and distribute them to all of your leaders in a downloadable eBook format.
More and more organizations are relabeling their managers as leaders. This renewed definition sets a higher expectation for everyone to become a leader. But the research continues to show how organizations have a poor track record of leadership preparation and development.
Why not tailor a webinar series solely for leaders to learn the finer details about recognition giving. You can facilitate a discussion afterward to discover strengths and weaknesses. Identify future needs in this attitude of openness with leaders.
Here’s a few that I have done that you could use:
And why not? Too often we have relegated lunch-and-learn presentations to frontline leaders only and not for senior leaders. There could be a lot more in-depth sharing amongst peers about interpersonal skills with recognition giving. Discuss how each leader effectively uses your online recognition and reward programs the right way. Have an internal or external expert visit and present engaging recent information.
Of course, don’t forget to plan the food so they don’t have to worry about it. Other food for thought might be everyone reading the same book and each leader sharing a key learning point they have put into practice.
Try out these great ways to show your leaders how to give more meaningful and effective recognition to others.
Recognition Reflection: What stops your senior leaders from leading everyone with giving 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.