Teach Your Leaders How To Be Exemplary Recognizers

Recognition does not come naturally to everyone.

Leaders at the top of your organization should show the leadership competency skills that they expect from their direct reports. Leaders should help others to lead.

But that isn’t always the case.

Your goal for each organizational leader is to get them to inspire and value the contributions of one additional person every day.

How do you teach your leaders to be amazing recognizers of your staff?

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What Makes Giving Feedback So Difficult for Leaders?

Two magazines arrived on my desk within weeks of one another and both highlighted “feedback” on their cover articles. Then I received an email inviting me to attend an online presentation about moving from feedback to action. Looks like the topic of feedback was on my radar.

Some of us have a hard time giving feedback and even receiving feedback.

“Can I give you some feedback?” 

Do you cringe at that question? Or do you look forward to discussions following that question? You and I can react so differently depending on the source of the feedback, your current work and life status, and what exactly you are being critiqued about. 

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The Exciting Beginning of Every Recognition Experience

There’s too much reliance upon recognition program data and engagement survey results as the source for trying to make recognition better.

All these metrics do is tell you what happened with recognition a month ago, six-months, or a year back. We don’t do a very good job with this hindsight learning. And we rarely stop to ask ourselves questions about these measurements. Nor do we plan well and take action on the data we collect.

These “output” oriented metrics are easy to measure. If you use a recognition program this is noted and recorded. Check. For engagement surveys, you answer each question using a Likert scale response, such as I feel valued and appreciated for the work I do at that particular point in time. Strongly agree.

When was that again? The program I used last month and the last engagement survey was 8 months ago. Measures like this are referred to as lagging indicators because they lag behind the occurrence of the recognition experience. A problem with lagging indicators is they are hard to improve upon or influence because they are in the past.

Let’s stop looking at retroactive memories of what caused someone to be recognized. My suggestion for improving recognition is to ask what happens before every recognition experience? Think about it.

Are you ready to see what you can do to improve the frequency of recognition being given to everyone where you work? (more…)