Having facilitated many recognition strategies and plans for organizations around the world, I have gained a lot of insight into what makes them work well.
I will share with you four things that must be in place to be successful in creating a written recognition strategy and plan. While many other factors may be needed for you, when these foundational steps are in place, everything works out wonderfully. And when they are not, it is like pulling teeth to get a recognition strategy done right.
The best words you use to express your recognition verbally or by text and writing will add greater meaning to your intended message.
David Hauser, an associate professor at Queen’s University, advises from his research on the semantic effect of word choice to “Simply be aware of the words that you use, because people will make inferences that might not match your intended meaning.”
He further highlights that, “It’s a matter of word choice. You might be better off finding the right word by looking at how most people speak rather than looking in a dictionary or thesaurus.”
I am not suggesting that you get all fancy with how you express recognition. But what is important is to realize that how you recognize people with your word choice can become even better than they are now.
It is wonderful when leaders take the bull by the horns to highlight new initiatives like your recognition programs, perhaps new program features, merging of company recognition platforms, you name it.
Have your president and/or CEO become well versed in describing and explaining the features of the recognition programs. Then have your CHRO reveal your program and demonstrate how you can recognize a colleague.
To have your recognition programs stand out from the crowd, you must have leaders who will lead the way with them.
Too often we rely on lines from Hollywood movie scripts that say things like, “If you build it, they will come.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t work very well when it comes to recognition and reward programs.
Look at the following ideas to consider when you want to engage all, or more of, your employees in using your recognition programs.
One of the exceptional assets any organization has with their employee recognition programs is the very employees you recognize, praise and celebrate.
That’s why I think too many organizations lose out on one of the biggest solutions to advocating recognition practices and higher usage of their recognition programs. Yep, your employees.
Today, I am going to share with you how to enlist small groups of employees to become your recognition ambassadors. And once you have launched these ambassadors within your organization, then employee recognition will never be the same.
Let’s find out how you can create and orient some special employees to become your recognition ambassadors.
You and your team have just finished an assigned project.
High fives all around—even if virtually
A lot of time went into the various elements of this project—from conception to implementation The outcomes and learning points were valuable and worthwhile. You are grateful for the wonderful collaboration across the team from all their various locations. Together, you overcame major obstacles to make a positive result.
While many companies have moved to a work
from home way
of life for the immediate future, we still have companies that are proceeding
with business. These helpful actions are a good way to keep your employees
healthy and your business running strong during a health crisis,
no matter where they are working from.
Keep employees more informed. Update employees through your company’s intranet website—it’s a single place to find important organizational information.
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. Since health authorities think the virus mainly spreads person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people, encourage sick employees to stay at home and consult their doctor, no matter how minor the symptoms are.
Go virtual for your meetings. To lessen the number of close contact meetings, consider going more virtual with on-line or teleconference meetings. Many leading tech companies are providing free access to their software so people can connect during this time.
Create telecommute options, where possible. If work functions fit and circumstances such as high geographic incidence rates raise a high risk for contracting COVID-19, offer employees the option to work from home.
Practice healthy living. Promote healthy habits by encouraging employees to follow guidelines from the CDC, WHO, and local health authorities, etc.
Purchase supplies. Try to keep your facilities stocked with tissues, soap, and anti-bacterial cleansers to help employees practice healthy living and reduce spread.
Use regular email communications. Send out email communications reminding employees of the right and wrong things to be doing like avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth to prevent spread of germs.
If someone should get the Coronavirus. Be prepared to have the communication channels available and use managers to inform your entire workforce immediately on how to mitigate risk.
Show caring concern. Send a get-well card and/or gift basket to your ill employee to let them know you care since no one plans on catching the flu.
Signs for the times. Post signs in restrooms, throughout office or common areas reminding all to wash their hands and wiping down their workstations frequently.
Trying to accept this new “normal” is difficult. However, businesses that have a strategy, keep the lines of communication open, and understand the ever-changing impacts of positive actions, will weather this storm.
Recognition Reflection: What special steps are you taking for dealing with the COVID-19 virus and helping your employees?
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and 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
probably already seen it in your organization.
There are some
leaders—directors of departments or senior leadership team members—who not only
stand out for what their employees achieve, but who know are great recognizers
of their staff. Employees like and trust them and they produce top results
because of how they are treated by their leader.
Why is it that
great leaders are also great at recognizing people?
recognition training was always a knee jerk reaction to low scores on
recognition related questions on the latest employee engagement survey results
when I first started speaking and training on recognition skills.
recognition training is much more planned and strategic as human resource
leaders and organizational development specialist have grown in awareness of
recognition’s role and realize a lot of us need skills training.
The good news is
that giving meaningful, memorable, and motivational recognition can be
learning how to give recognition has not always been at the forefront of most
organizations’ learning curriculum.