It’s The Everyday Recognition That’s A Problem

It’s time to let you in on a secret I have known for over twenty years.

When I started my business doing consulting and training around recognition practices and programs, I thought I would find all the organizations that had no recognition going on and save the world. It was a poor marketing strategy and no one from those organizations ever hired me. 

The interesting thing was it was always organizations that were doing recognition that hired me.  

It was always the same trigger that brought me in. Organizational leaders would call up whenever their employee engagement surveys came back and showed low scores for the statements or questions related to employee recognition. 

What was the disconnect? Why was it that their employee scores on the recognition questions were so low? 

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Build Your Recognition Programs From the Bottom Up

Designing and developing recognition programs take a lot of thought, planning, and creativity.

The best way I can recommend beginning is to consider the distinct programs falling under a pyramid. And like building most structures, the foundation is critical because it holds everything built on top of it.

That’s why you build your recognition programs from the bottom up. 

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How To Tie Recognition to Your Organizational Values

You must always remember one principle of recognition, and that is your organizational culture will drive recognition practices and recognition programs throughout your organization.

In like manner, it is the organization’s customary recognition practices and exemplary usage of your recognition programs that will drive your organizational culture.

No wonder so many organizations gear up their recognition programs to focus on recognizing people who live their values.

Look at the various ways in which you can tie recognition practices and programs to your organizational values.

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Is This the End of Awards at School?

I don’t know if you remember what your experience of award assemblies at school was like for you. I only know I never got an award when I was at mine.

Not that my academic skills and abilities merited an award.

I recently found my high school report card booklet from England that showed several years of my educational abilities. Most of my teachers seemed to use the same old comment over and over again, “Could do better.” Problem was, no one ever explained to me what “better” actually was.

Thank goodness I found myself when I was at university!

But what I do remember from my schooldays was seeing the typical kids who did well academically in class, marching across the stage receiving whatever accolades and acknowledgments for their accomplishments they’d earned that year.

Not too motivating for me. Hopefully it was for them. (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?

Do You Really Start With An Award?

A colleague at work described an interesting situation to me about a company fixated on awards.

It seemed the person responsible for purchasing awards and managing recognition was only looking at and talking about tangible goods.

They were looking at merchandise and all the different formats for awards, crystal, plaques, paintings, and sculptures – you name it, Rideau can provide exactly what they wanted.

But do you really start with awards? (more…)

Is There Any Hope In Getting Recognized?

Dealing with the problem of a lack of recognition

It can be hard visiting an organization and then hearing how unrecognized their employees are feeling. Those responsible for employee recognition can often point to the latest employee engagement survey to prove the point.

The lowest scores I have seen hover around the same magic number of only 33 percent of employees feeling valued and recognized for their contributions in the workplace. Which naturally means two thirds of the company’s employees don’t feel recognized or appreciated. That’s a lot of people.

Most of these organizations focus too much of their time on formal award programs and ceremonies and neglect the more important everyday recognition. (more…)