Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses in the plethora of skills needed to make a successful workplace.
Yet, with recognizing people, many think that all you have to do is say, “thank you” and you’re done.
The fact is that there are oodles of behaviors to discover and learn about with giving recognition the right way. And that’s why I recommend you learn one behavior at a time. Get some mastery behind each behavior and become a confident recognition giver.
Setting up business rules in the design and program strategy stage for a new recognition program can very interesting. I often get asked what ratio to set up for the usage of their recognition to rewards in their programs.
My answer is always the same. It all depends.
The thing is the answer really depends on the industry you are in and the need for using rewards or not, and many other factors. For example, a major Silicon Valley technology company will have a significantly higher ratio of rewards to recognition expectation than would a healthcare organization in Texas.
Here are a few guidelines to follow that might help you.
What are the tiny changes you need to make to give better recognition more often to people?
In order to build recognition into your daily routines, you need to develop self-awareness for where recognition can happen. Then you need to develop the automatic habits of putting great recognition behaviors into practice.
This is not asking for tremendous leaps and bounds improvement. All you need to do is break down everything that goes into recognizing someone and then improve those steps by 1 percent. The tiniest margin of improvement added to incrementally will make a big difference.
Time to examine how you can make recognition a habit at your work every day. Dive in!
One of the four criteria for the different
levels on our Recognition Maturity Model is the variable of consistency.
If there is one thing, I hear all the time
from recognition managers and program administrators; they hope to have more
people consistently recognizing employees. And they also speak of wanting
greater consistency of recognition across all areas of the organization, be
that by departments or geographic locations.
Consistency is so important that is even
one criterion on our Recognition Maturity Model, which you can learn more about
But what do we mean by giving consistent
recognition? How can you make this happen across your organization?
One of the
questions I am often asked when it comes to rewards is what to reward people
with as well as when are you supposed to give those rewards.
to remember that rewards can be tangible, monetary, or experiential in nature.
This opens the door to all kinds of creative options and ideas for what to give
to people or give them access to choose.
And broadly you
give rewards to individuals or teams whenever they reach pre-set goals, a
significant achievement, or a special service was performed.
Now let’s dig a
little deeper so you can better understand these elements.
An area of concern when conducting workshops around learning recognition-giving skills is ensuring learners will apply the learned skills back on the job.
Below are my recommendations I use with participants in my learning sessions.
Set up your workshop or seminar session so that attendees sit in table groups with fellow learners. Where possible, try to get a diversity of attendees at each table so they’re not sitting with everyone they know from their own department or work team.
Towards the end of the training session the final activity is choosing a realistic and manageable goal to implement a recognition specific skill or principle learned from the session over the next 30-days. The expectation is that you will follow up with each group’s participants to gather team results and compile a transfer of learning report.
This is the best way to get people to apply the recognition skills they learn in training into their jobs. Consider the following steps in making a transfer of learning a success.
You’ll hear a comment from a leader questioning the import of your wanting to create a recognition strategy. Another leader glosses over the latest engagement survey results and states that 56% percent on the recognition questions is good, isn’t it? These are all real scenarios.
Now I am well aware this does not describe all leaders. But there are enough to cause concern.
A few of them don’t understand why some employees are complaining about a lack of recognition. They think they pay their employees well and they have good jobs. What more can they want?
Sounds like it’s time to let your leaders know what it feels like to be unrecognized.
There’s a big difference with how recognition is perceived by people in different parts of the world.
When I was working in India, for example, I found the people there had a preoccupation with getting tangible or monetary rewards. Why? This was mainly because the pay employees earned in India was so low their goal was to meet basic needs. If they could receive any additional money they would take it.
In France, they too found rewards more important than say verbal appreciation. However, this was not for economic reasons. For the majority of managers I dealt with there, they felt that recognition was too much of an “Americanized” rah, rah, exercise. They gave the “touchy-feely” complaint. I had to remind them that I was originally from England, and now a Canadian. I also told them that the recognition I had received, so far, actually felt pretty good.
The irony is, that in all fourteen countries, I’ve been to, including India and France, a majority of employees indicated through engagement surveys that they did not feel valued and appreciated for the work they did. They lacked recognition, beyond rewards and pay.
A subscriber, and manager, from South Africa, raised the concern of how senior leaders would not permit managers and staff to practice giving recognition to one another. They even had a hard time enlisting HR’s help with making real recognition happen in their organization.
What would you do in such a situation? Can one manager impact an organization to make recognition happen?
Following are some suggestions to consider when leaders get in the way of employee recognition. (more…)
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…)