How To Support Staff With What’s Happening In Their Family

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. And sometimes, family and the significant others in our lives play an enormous impact on how we perform on the job. 

One of the underlying needs of living the value of respect, is understanding what your employees are going through at home with significant others and immediate or extended family. Grasping the importance of this is in a person’s life can help lessen the negative factors and enhance the neat things happening positively. 

Let’s see how learning about an employee’s family, significant others… even pets, can help you support your employees and give better praise and recognition. 

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What About Celebrating Birthdays and Anniversaries?

Do you celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries at your organization?

It is an interesting question.  

Some organizations are for it while others are not. 

Organizations using online recognition programs usually have options in their programs for employees to turn on or off the ability for people to know when their birthday or work anniversary occurs. Or, if they allow visibility, when someone sends them a congratulatory eCard greeting, employees can still keep it private between the recipient and giver or make it public to everyone. 

And then there are managers who think celebrating birthdays and work anniversaries is like something done only back in high school. At least, that’s the line they are saying to excuse themselves from celebrating their staff. 

How do you handle these situations around personal and work celebrations? 

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Top 10 Unconventional Ways to Lead Your Recognition Initiatives

Now is a time for unconventional leadership and innovation with recognition and reward programs. Analytics and AI are blossoming in the HR technology world. We need these same tools in the recognition space. This requires a certain type of leader – an unconventional leader. Look out for people who demonstrate these Top 10 Unconventional Ways to Lead Your Recognition Initiatives. They’ll advance the cause of recognition into the future.

1. Unconventional leaders have courage to do the right thing. If a recognition and reward program hasn’t shown any benefit these leaders are prepared to shut it down. But they’ll also expect you to replace it with something better that will work.

2. Unconventional leaders demonstrate impeccable integrity. They’ll want inclusion and fairness with all programs, especially with rewards. They’ll advocate for the receptionist and janitor the same as they would for any senior executive.

3. Unconventional leaders are wise stewards over everything. They’re willing to invest funds and resources for recognition programs over the long term. No one will be expected to do more, or work longer, than is right and respectful of home needs.

4. Unconventional leaders are humble enough to be working for others. You’ll find great leaders are willing to go to bat for you and work with you. They’ll want a strong business case presented and clear rationale for the programs you want.

5. Unconventional leaders simply care for others. Recognition programs are about caring and appreciating others. Besides praise and acknowledgment, they’ll want care shown for the positive and tough things that happen to their employees.

6. Unconventional leaders take on challenges. Why not boldly declare that all employees will feel valued and appreciated for their contributions on the job. It may not be easy to do but they will enlist every company leader to make sure it happens.

7. Unconventional leaders ignore what everyone else is doing. If a majority of companies are using points-based reward programs that doesn’t mean these leaders will follow. They will create the best vision and processes right for their employees.

8. Unconventional leaders lead with leading indicators. Forget about lagging indicators like recognition program usage and participation statistics. These leaders are looking to measure whatever behaviors precede every recognition experience.

9. Unconventional leaders are always dependable. They will lead recognition by example. You can count on them to consistently use your recognition programs. And your employees will always be proud to receive a thank you card from them.

10. Unconventional leaders use persuasion for power. They will never usurp control over your managing of recognition and reward programs. Instead, they will gently steer you in a direction that eventually makes sense and that you fully adopt.

Previously published in Incentive Magazine by the author.

Why You Should Care More About Your People

Here’s a fact: employees who feel more caring concern and love from their employer and colleagues perform better on the job. Now we’re not talking about romantic love here. This is all about respect, concern, and compassion, or what is being called companionate love.

Do you have policies and practices that promote compassion, caring, and concern, in time of need?

Consider what former Cisco CEO, John Chambers, expected from his staff. He wanted to be notified within 48 hours whenever a close family member of an employee passed away so he could make an appropriate response and action.

What do you do to show care and concern for your employees? (more…)

Top 10 Fears Stopping Us From Recognizing Others

 

Many of us can get quite overwhelmed with having to recognize people. For some, it can seem almost fearful. Yet, as Steven Pressfield, in his book, The War of Art explains, “the more scared we are…the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” Which is why I examine closely the Top 10 Fears that hold us back from doing what we all must do…and that is giving others the recognition they deserve.

1. Fear of Rejection. What if you say the wrong things to someone? Maybe an expression of appreciation isn’t received well? No matter. None of the regular things you say on a daily basis are ever perfect soliloquies. Recognition is about others – so give it any way you can. Note that no one ever stops you from recognizing them.

2. Fear of Criticism. Never let any critic hold you back from the art and gift of recognizing others because this comes from inside of you. Let it out! Remember, wherever there are critics there are also encouragers in the wings. Don’t let others stop you from giving people what is rightfully theirs.

3. Fear of Incompetence. Too many people tell me that they don’t know how to give recognition to people, whether verbally or with the written word. The key is to realize recognition is about relationships and that it comes from the heart. Push this fear out of the way and sing people’s praises out loud.

4. Fear of Unprofessionalism. Saying thank you to people and communicating feelings to those who have made contributions is all about them. Recognition is not about professionalism. There are no standards or competency levels to be reached and maintained. You simply have to be yourself with others.

5. Fear of Expectation. There are no little angels from opposing camps on your shoulders telling you what to do or not do or how to share words of appreciation with those you work with. The only real expectation people have is to be respected and valued. Those values alone will let you speak the right words.

6. Fear of Perfectionism. Not one single employee has ever told me how perfect an acknowledgment they received was. The only condemnation heard, is when nothing is said at all. Nada. There is no “one way” to give praise or express appreciation. The perfect thing to actually do is to give freely.

7. Fear of Egocentricity. Oh yes, the fear of doing anything comes right from inside ourselves and limits us from the many pleasurable activities of life. Don’t get too caught up with yourself. Instead, think more about the person needing to be recognized. This is, after all, all about them and not you.

8. Fear of Others. But what will others think if I recognize one person and not the others? Honestly, I’ve heard this way too many times. Don’t ever let “others” both in reality or in your head, determine what you should say or do in any area of your life. Give recognition to one and all and have fun doing so.

9. Fear of Caring. Whoever said it is wrong to care about people at work? We can spend half, or more, of our waking hours at work. It is positive and needful to form caring relationships with others. Scrub this fear from your vocabulary. Instead, use it as a motivational force for caring gratitude.

10. Fear of Weakness. Talking about emotional, warm and fuzzy matters, can be seen by some (especially any macho stereotypic males) as a sign of weakness. The irony is, individuals who have mastered the art and practice of giving positive recognition the right way, are always viewed more positively by other people.

 

Previously published in Incentive Magazine.

Never Let Organizational Culture Eat Up Your Strategy

Many years ago the late business management guru, Peter Drucker, purportedly said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

While there is still debate as to whether Drucker actually said the line or not, it was attributed to him by Mark Fields in 2006, and he later became the chief executive of the Ford Motor Company.

At the time Drucker probably made this statement there was a lot of talk about business strategy in the Ivy League business schools.

His point was well taken that you should never neglect culture.

However, as the authors Boris Groysberg, Jeremiah Lee, Jesse Price and J. Yo-Jud Cheng, of the recent Harvard Business Review article on The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture, point out, a strong organizational culture can be detrimental when misaligned with strategy. (more…)

Show Caring For The Good Things and Bad Things

It is an interesting situation around showing people you have concern and care for them.

How and when do you typically show caring towards fellow employees?

I think there is a human tendency to want to provide for people and protect them whenever they’re going through a hard time.

But what about the good things that happen to employees? Do you say anything? (more…)

Make Sure You Care Before Giving Recognition

Too often we see people and ask the question, “How are you?” without really stopping to listen to the response.

You must learn to ask the question, “How are you?” and not only listen for what people say, but also watch for how they say it and the non-verbal cues of their real feelings.

Follow along and learn how to show care and empathy to employees so that they are more likely to believe the genuineness of your expressed recognition and appreciation. (more…)

Recognizing Loyalty Is Such a Simple Thing

The day started out so much better than two days ago when I attempted to fly with another (not-to-be-named) airline. There were unpredictable mechanical problems that day. And I must confess, the pilot and flight attendant appropriately handled apologies, even though we had to deplane to exit and rebook our flights.

But the handoff after leaving the plane was lousy.

On that unforgettable occasion, it resulted in a 16-hour long day of being in airports and planes. My experience was the gate attendants and ticketing staff all dropped the ball multiple times.

I did not feel like a valued customer. It was easy not to feel loyal to that airline that day. And naturally, I told my sob story as often as I could find a listening ear. (more…)

Putting Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

Walking the road to empathy is hard work

It was a Saturday and I had our four children all to myself. We were planning to exit the house for a while. This would provide some welcome relief for my wife who was then bedbound with her last pregnancy.

The older children were scurrying around and independently putting on jackets and running shoes and heading for the van.

Our youngest, our 3 year-old daughter, repeatedly asked me for help with tying up her shoes. She quietly said, “Daddy, can you help me put on my shoes?” (more…)