Should Recognition Focus on Your People or the Business?

Managers of organizational recognition practices and recognition programs are often torn between focusing on growth of people or on business results.

You’ll find some organizations create elaborate people strategies to prepare for the growth and development of their employees. Talent management strategies prepare now for the future. And recognition is always a part of the equation, especially when measuring employee engagement.

Then there are others who are strictly business. Their goal is to align recognition and rewards with helping to drive and achieve the strategic initiatives of their business goals.

So, the question is whether, as the owner of recognition in your organization, should you focus on people of the business?

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Here’s How to Get Engagement With Your Recognition Program

Sometimes companies launch recognition programs and they don’t exactly light up the sky and shine, as they should. 

For a variety of reasons you might not have gotten the engagement and traction you thought you would when you designed and developed your organization’s recognition program. You thought you got everyone’s input and their buy in, and then… pfft! 

Lots of foundational things can stop recognition program engagement whether it’s access to technology, the nature of the work of most employees, or simply a lack of respect thinking employee recognition is unimportant.

But let’s look at what needs to be in place to engage your managers and employees with your employee recognition programs.

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How To Record Recognition Impact Statements on Video

If you want to convince senior leaders of the importance and power of employee recognition, then seriously consider video recording recognition impact statements from your employees.

A recognition impact statement is preferably a video recorded (but could be written or audio-recorded) account of the impact that the presence or absence of employee recognition has had on employees personally, emotionally, physically, and on their motivation and engagement. (more…)

What Direction Do Your Leaders Want You To Take?

You typically have leaders who either (1) “get it” as far as understanding the importance of employee recognition and who support you, or (2) those who are totally out in left-field and even become detractors of recognition.

To give a small indication of this challenge, this year’s WorldatWork Trends in Employee Recognition Survey revealed the highest responded reason for not offering employee recognition programs, with 28 percent, was “no support from senior management”.

My own research in the public sector revealed 93 percent of managers stating senior management involvement with recognition was important, while the reality was only 21 percent were ever involved with recognition programs.

In the Bersin and Associates’ “The State of Employee Recognition 2012” they found 80 percent of senior leaders believed employees were recognized at least on a monthly basis. That’s their belief.

Frontline evidence from the same report showed 40 percent of managers and only 22 percent of individual contributors reported their peers were recognized on a monthly or more frequent basis.

Yet you are expected to receive direction from senior leaders on the course of action you’re to take with employee recognition when they might not understand the positive value of employee recognition.

As a manager or owner of employee recognition what are you supposed to do? (more…)

How To Increase Employee Recognition Program Participation

You have this great, well branded, recognition portal.

It includes a well-designed social recognition platform for all of your employees to use. You’re hoping this will encourage more peer-to-peer appreciation.

You also have a behavioral, performance-focused program where employees can nominate someone for an award for demonstrating your corporate values. Leaders and managers can use the same program to issue points to employees for achieving strategic goals as well as exemplifying the living of the values.

But what if your employees and managers just aren’t into using these programs very well or as frequently as you had imagined.

What can you do to engage your people and ramp up the participation levels of your recognition programs? (more…)

Top 10 Ways to Create Thanksgiving at Work

 

As far as work and Thanksgiving is concerned, everyone will be more excited to leave work to be with family and friends than be thankful for work. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be more grateful for the jobs and careers we have. Our challenge is knowing what each of us can do to create a more Thanksgiving attitude at work. This set of Top 10 should shed some light on this idea.

1. Create meaningful work opportunities. In an American Management Association (AMA)  survey they asked what people are thankful for at work and the highest ranked item is “the professional satisfaction it provides me.” Check in regularly with employees to learn what could make their work more energizing.

2. Encourage positive work relationships. Next on the AMA list was, understandably, one’s coworkers. Often we stop people from communicating and forming friendships at work. Even the Gallup Q12 measures having a best friend at work. Orchestrate opportunities to have fun, break bread, exercise, play and celebrate together.

3. Make sure each “Boss” is a good one. Never take this for granted because a great boss appreciates and values employees. A bad boss can kill them. Working for an uncivil, toxic boss increases the risk of a heart attack by 17% and increases the likelihood of a stroke by 33%. Stop bad boss behavior immediately.

4. Gratitude is even good for you. Well-deserved thanks and expressions of appreciation make an impact on people’s health. The Institute of Heart Math found Individuals who received appreciation and gratitude had greater harmony in their heart rhythms. Don’t think they are just doing their jobs – THANK THEM!

5. Cut out saying negative things to people – period. In high performing teams researchers found the ratio of positive to negative statements directed from manager to team members was 5.6 to 1.These managers gave 5 times more positive statements than negative. Watch your mouth and be more positive!

6. Develop relationships versus “engaging” employees. When we get romantically involved with someone we build a relationship first before popping the engagement question. Same thing at work – focus on the relationships between people. Look at building a person up and connecting with them.

7. Use emails and social media to be social. We are becoming a cryptic, impersonal society in how we communicate in any form of written text. Use the polite social graces of writing “please” and “Thank you so much! I am really grateful.” Not only will you make people feel good they will more likely help you.

8. When you have a good boss, thank them. Here’s an interesting thought from the John Templeton Foundation Study on Gratitude. They found 74% of people never or rarely express gratitude to their boss. Yet they want their boss to express gratitude to them. Start emulating the actions you want given to you.

9. Never give a gift or an award alone. No matter what tangible form of appreciation you might give someone, always add a card or note to share your feelings and thoughts for the person. Specifically acknowledge the employee for what they have done and share your heartfelt appreciation for their contributions.

10. Start things right with giving thanks. Begin each day with sending out an email of gratitude to someone who has made a difference to you. Put praise and acknowledgments at the beginning of each meeting agenda and have people share the great things happening. If you start right, you will end right.

Question: In what ways do you bring Thanksgiving into the workplace?

3 Ways to Know How Recognized Your Employees Feel

Many leaders are unaware of how valued or recognized their employees are feeling right now. It’s not always a pretty picture.

The Gallup group suggest only a third of employees they survey through all their client companies actually receive recognition or praise for doing good work on the job in any given week.

I am going to share 3 simple ways you can use to find out how well recognized your employees feel, today!

But first… (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…)

How To Better Appreciate Employee Contributions

Studying how different organizations measure employee engagement often helps better understand other things – like the challenges managers and employees face with giving meaningful employee recognition.

Take for example Quantum Workplace and their employee engagement survey. One of the survey questions states, “If I contribute to the organization’s success, I know I will be recognized.” Respondents use a Likert scale to provide their perceptual rating.

This statement stimulated some thoughts for me. I am not convinced we make contributions in time, effort, talents and abilities in order to be recognized. I believe we do so with a desire to make a difference in the world and to achieve a personal, inner purpose.

However, to never be acknowledged at all for your contributions would certainly influence you to look elsewhere for employment where you hope to be better appreciated. (more…)

When No One Gives Recognition To People

Hard work always pays off, right?

You probably heard wise counsel like this from parents, teachers or mentors along your journey of life so far.

And, for the most part, I think it does pay off. I will further say that in the long-term hard work always pays dividends.

But for the short-term it can appear there are problems in getting acknowledged for doing hard work. (more…)