It allows you to ask the questions you are curious about. You also get to ask those questions of people in the real world and find out answers. And you can even go further, if you really want to. You can compare your findings with other groups of people and see if there are any correlations.
I love to ask questions about employee recognition.
So, I ask you, do you know how much great recognition means to people?
When recognition programs stop working properly, employees and organizations go into a state of cultural “cardiac” arrest. Unchecked, your sick programs can result in disengagement and deathly poor morale levels. If intervention happens quickly you can restart and put new life into your recognition programs. Make sure you examine carefully these Top 10 Ways to Revive Your Recognition Programs. Choose one or two steps to apply to your recognition programs today.
Check out the heart rhythm of your programs. Analyze the recognition program data to observe usage: who is using the program, who is getting recognized, and find out what people are actually being recognized for. And, who has NOT been recognized?
Ask employees how recognized they feel. Describe their current recognition symptoms. Employees’ perceptions of your programs will give you a solid readout. Have employees share how program usage could be improved. Ask how they could be more involved.
Determine root-cause analysis for unhealthy programs. Could it be: Lack of awareness? Invisible access? Poor education and recognition training? No communication supports? Not top of mind? No expectations for recognition? Perceptions of no time to use?
Programs may need shock treatment. Deliver a new current of energy and enthusiasm to get back on track. This could be a new program design, new rules, purpose, and rebranding. Clarify the expectations and hold people accountable. Create a communication campaign to revitalize.
Remove arterial blockages to your programs. If there are design and system issues then get IT and your strategy design people to quickly assess and make instant changes. Also, check out and correct people’s attitudes and intentions. If programs are vendor driven involve your account rep.
Educate why you use recognition programs. Reinforce your organization’s strategy, goals, and culture about recognition. The more consistently and better your programs are used the more engaged and productive employees will be. Give people a better purpose and request they identify their “why”.
Recognition programs mostly stop working because of people. When programs break down no recognition gets pumped to people in the company. Work on problems but make sure to educate people on effective program usage. Find out the specific barriers people raise and address each one.
Provide supports to defibrillate your programs back to life. Improve and check reports regularly to determine concerns. Use eLearning to teach effective program practice. Send regular communication messages to encourage adoption. Have leaders and managers set a positive example.
Don’t face recognition program failure alone. Recognition program revival is a team effort where you must partner with leaders, managers, and employees. You must take charge of the choices and needs that affect effective programs. Establish a recognition committee and meet regularly.
When all else fails, plan a program transplant. Removing a damaged and ineffective program by replacing it with a new one is no easy decision. But, if a program isn’t working properly and has caused irreversible damage – change it! Then use the previous steps to help prevent future problems.
This post is based on a posting by the author in Incentive Magazine.
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.