What About Levels of Skill In Giving Recognition?

Each of us has varying levels of confidence and proficiency with being able to recognize those you live with and especially those you work with.

For some, they had upbeat and positive parents, teachers, and coaches, who inspired them to grow and be successful. They regularly received words of encouragement, appropriate praise, and recognition for their accomplishments.

Others had life situations where they always needed to overcome negativity, received put downs at school, and a lack of sincere concern for the welfare of others. Even where they worked had toxic bosses and a lack of appreciation for their contributions.

No matter the route you took in life, or the role models you had in your life, they now expect you appropriately praise and recognize your employees.

But we all have different abilities and attitudes around giving meaningful and effective recognition.

What can we do?

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How to Deal with Managers Who Don’t See a Need to Change

We’ve all seen them in action. Some of us even report to one.

These are the managers who don’t seem to want to change their behavior. In our recognition scenario, these are the managers who don’t recognize their direct reports, let alone anyone else working around them.

How are you supposed to get a manager like this to change? 

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How To Shift Organizational Cultures After a Merger

There are challenging things that people in corporations experience and one of those times is when there is a merger and acquisition with another company.

It affects people in so many ways and it can impact how you will proceed with recognition and rewards.

Consider that consulting firm McKinsey and Company found that “95 percent of executives describe cultural fit as critical to the success of integration following a merger. Yet 25 percent cite a lack of cultural cohesion and alignment as the primary reason integration efforts fail.”

Getting culture right is obviously critical after a merger.

William Bridges, author of one of my favorite books, Managing Transitions: Making the most of Change, wisely said, “It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions.”

What he’s referring to here is that change is situational, as in the case we’re discussing here with a merger. But transition is “the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation.” Thus change is external and transition is internal.

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Let Your Leaders Know What It’s Like To Be Unrecognized

Sometimes they just don’t get it, do they?

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.

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When Senior Leaders Get In The Way of Recognition

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…)

How To Lead Recognition To Greater Success In Your Company

Leaders and managers of recognition practices and programs rarely get a chance to hone their leadership skills.

And, yet, effective leadership skills are essential for raising the profile and strategic possibilities behind employee recognition.

This post will examine some specific ways you can enhance your leadership skills to maximize employee recognition in your company. (more…)

How to Stop Being A Hard-Nosed Leader

There are still some of them out there. I truly hope you’re not one of them…but hard-nosed leaders are not good for business anymore.

Hard-nosed leaders are the type of people who order and bully employees around which depletes staff of any positive energy they first had when they arrived at work.

Hard-nosed leaders are also prone to not giving any recognition to people.

If you want genuine and well received recognition to work with your employees, it is going to require shaking off old school management styles and plain stopping those individuals who are the hard-nosed leaders. (more…)

Can I Help You Change Your Mind?

 

For many years when giving workshops on how to be more effective and authentic in giving employee recognition, I often use the words “Beliefs – Behaviors – Results” in a PowerPoint® slide or on flip charts to help participants understand the power and differences of recognition and rewards.

It was much easier to talk about how one can impact behaviors and results than it was beliefs. Beliefs, of course, seemed so much more personal and unchangeable. Yet how often did faulty beliefs, hang ups and barriers get in the way of noticing and appreciating people’s great work.

Can we really do anything to alter people’s beliefs in the learning environment? Can we change people’s minds? (more…)

How to Use Powerful Stories to Engage Employees

I have always loved John P. Kotter’s book The Heart of Change and the significant statement he made with, “People change what they do less because they are given analysis that shifts their thinking than because they are shown a truth that influences their feelings.”

Sharing stories is an amazing way to show people the truth in any organization. When stories are well publicized they help influence people’s feelings and impact their beliefs, which in turn reinforces desired behavioral change and results. (more…)