Effective leaders need to command a centre of kindness and compassion towards those they lead in their organizations. They need to cut themselves some slack on the pressure driven roles they have to live with.
If they haven’t already learned the value of giving meaningful recognition to people, now is the time to teach them.
But here’s the clincher for you. You may have to show them how.
It is hard to teach everyone how to give meaningful and effective recognition to one another, no matter the size of the organization you work for.
That’s why you need to enlist an army of people to aid you.
Dictionary.com explains that the more helpers you have available to you then the task will be easier. The proverb “many hands make light work” was reportedly first recorded in English in the early 1300s in a knightly romance known as Sir Bevis of Hampton. However, John Heywood, a 16th century writer known for his plays, poems, and collection of proverbs, is most often attributed as the originator of this proverb.
What can you do to teach other to help you teach people in your organization how to give amazing recognition to one another?
Most organizations have a formal award programs that are their pinnacle of excellence for all their employees to aspire to.
You might have these kinds of formal programs where you work, too. They’re often called by a prestigious leadership position the company wants to associate with the award. You’ll hear awards named the President’s Award, Chairman’s or CEO’s Award. Or they may go for a more branded name appeal such as Bravo Award, Excellence Award, or Pinnacle Award.
Both position title or brand named awards, are usually appended with various award categories the company wants people to focus on. They attach qualities or values like Leadership, Innovation, Customer Service, or Citizenship, etc. to the award name.
But for all the time, effort, and energy put into these formal award programs you are likely only awarding around 1% to 2% of your employee base. In larger organizations this percentage is even less.
What can you do to elevate the quality of your existing formal award programs?
It takes a certain person to rise up the ranks and become a senior leader in an organization. Some have exceptional interpersonal skills and enjoy being with people and are good at interacting with others. There are others who became leaders because of their exceptional skills or expertise in various administrative and professional areas.
However, giving meaningful and effective recognition is a competency skill all leaders should develop even if they don’t see recognition as important. A Quantum Workplace study on 7 Employee Engagement Strategies found only 11.8% of organizational representatives put employee recognition as a top people priority.
Your role as a leader of recognition is to create better leadership awareness of the importance of employee recognition. Help your leaders know how to deal with the reality that happens when employees do not feel recognized. (more…)
It was Alexander Pope who penned the phrase, “to err is human; to forgive, divine.” But it can be very hard on employees when a senior leader or manager botches up their personal recognition experience.
You’re often left to pick up the pieces, make amends, placate upset employees, or otherwise fix the recognition mistake that the leader made. You can’t always correct a leader right away.
What can you as a recognition manager or practitioner do to prevent any further recognition mess-ups? (more…)
Have you tried to train your people on how to give better recognition and it didn’t work? Were you able to measure the transfer of learning back to the job? What was the business impact of the recognition education delivered? Have employees reported improved recognition?
There are many reasons why educating and training managers and employees on recognition giving can fail. Authors and education experts, Tim Mooney and Robert O. Brinkerhoff, suggest bold actions for achieving business results in their book, Courageous Training. They provide a useful list of eleven possible causes for training failure.
I will unpack each one of these causes and then discuss how it relates specifically to employee recognition training. I want you to overcome the typical problems associated with training people effective recognition skills. (more…)
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…)
Not everyone is born a naturally gifted recognizer of people. Which means you’re guaranteed to have some leaders who aren’t great at giving recognition either.
You may be called upon to help these leaders. Or you may take on a personal interest in helping them to recognize staff better and make a positive difference.
One of your goals will be how to get your leaders actively using your recognition programs. But before that can happen, they need to be actively doing essential recognition practices on a regular basis. (more…)