Why Do Companies Not Have a Recognition Strategy?

If you haven’t already heard, there are fewer companies today than 2 years ago that have a written recognition strategy. Wow! That’s a shame.

According to the latest WorldatWork 2019 Trends in Employee Recognition, only 49 percent of the organizations they surveyed have a written recognition strategy. Fortunately, for the nearly half of these organizations with a recognition strategy, 97 percent are aligned with their organization’s business strategy.

The surprising thing was seeing how the percentage of organizations with a recognition strategy declined from 55 percent in 2017 to 49 percent in 2019. I really thought more organizations would commit to writing one. But, alas, I was wrong.

Why would organizations not have a recognition strategy? Let’s examine some possible reasons why this occurs.

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What Do You Want Your Recognition Strategy To Look Like?

Each organization, large or small, should have a written recognition strategy to position recognition at the forefront in their organization.

Michael Porter, in his classic Harvard Business Review article, “What Is Strategy?” states that “strategic positioning attempts to achieve sustainable competitive advantage by preserving what is distinctive about a company. It means performing different activities from rivals or performing similar activities in different ways.”

Naturally, Porter is speaking about a traditional business strategy and not about a recognition strategy.

But what can you learn from the wisdom of Michael Porter? Are there principles you can apply to crafting a recognition strategy? Let’s look carefully at his work. (more…)

What Your Leaders Can Do To Lead Recognition

Senior leaders are a powerful force for driving recognition giving across the organization. Their attitudes and, hopefully, exemplary practices, become a beacon and benchmark for others to follow–whether good or bad.

Here are three ideas to explore with your leaders to help you elevate recognition in the eyes of all employees. (more…)

How To Align Recognition with Behaviors and Performance

Organizations need to do a much better job of aligning recognition practices and programs with the great things their employees do.

The 2017 WorldatWork Trends in Employee Recognition Survey showed that above-and-beyond performance recognition programs were offered by 77 percent of the organizations surveyed. The challenge with above-and-beyond programs is that so few employees can ever be “above-and-beyond” at any one time. This leaves a lot of employees out in the cold, so to speak, from being recognized for positive actions.

WorldatWork results also revealed how only 51 percent of the companies offered programs to motivate specific behaviors.

In the past five years, recognition programs used to motivate specific behaviors, have risen from the fourth most used type of program to now being in the third position. However, even with this apparent popularity rise, behavioral type recognition programs only recognized 25 percent of employees, on average, in the past 12 months of the survey.

How can you, as a recognition program leader, use your recognition programs to consistently reinforce positive behaviors and lift workplace performance? (more…)

How To Set Your New Year Goals for Employee Recognition

You are probably in the midst of creating your goals and plans for your recognition programs and practices for next year.

Likely, you will need to submit your goals and plan to a senior leader you report to for endorsement before ploughing ahead.

Make sure you include the following suggestions as you strategize your recognition plans. (more…)

So You Have A Recognition Strategy. Now What?

People are getting pretty excited and energetic lately about creating recognition strategies. And for that I am grateful.

Slowly, but surely, more and more business leaders are creating written recognition strategy documents that outline their ideal recognition practices, the recognition programs they feel they need, and an outline of their purpose for recognition, along with any philosophy and principles to guide everyone on giving effective and meaningful recognition.

What follows, of course, is the need for setting short-term and long-term objectives, and creating a plan to address strengths and areas requiring improvement with both recognition practices and recognition programs.

No company I have worked with so far, or had the pleasure of viewing their identified recognition best practices, is perfect at recognition. Every organization can stand to improve recognition in some way or another.

So we are going from the premise that you’ve already written up a recognition strategy document.

Now, what do you do first? (more…)