How To Find Out What Your Leaders Think of Recognition

Heading every organization is a senior leadership team.

They play a critical role in providing strategic and operational leadership for your organization. And they also play an essential role in representing the organizational culture and showing what leadership should look like, by how they interact with one another and with employees. 

They often leave your task to “read minds” on how each leader thinks about recognition. Hopefully, you have an exemplary executive sponsor who is a cheerleader and champion for the cause of employee recognition to draw upon. 

But in a general sense, how do you find out what each of your executive leaders think about recognition? 

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Why Leaders Need to Lead Out On Recognition

We all know recognition should be multi-directional in where it originates

Recognition is no longer dependent on being a top-down driven practice. Everyone, at every level, is responsible in valuing people and their contributions. 

But should your senior leaders at least be leading out with recognition? Let’s find out. 

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Please Show Me, Don’t Tell Me, How To Recognize

Sometimes senior leaders think all they have to do is tell their leaders to go out there and say, “thank you,” more often, and that’s all you have to do to improve recognition. 

The key to learning to give real recognition the right way wherever you work is to not rely on telling people to give more recognition. 

Like writing fiction stories, show, don’t tell, is probably the best advice for increasing recognition moments by managers. 

How can you educate everyone to do more showing of recognition giving versus telling them?

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How to Deal with Managers Who Don’t See a Need to Change

We’ve all seen them in action. Some of us even report to one.

These are the managers who don’t seem to want to change their behavior. In our recognition scenario, these are the managers who don’t recognize their direct reports, let alone anyone else working around them.

How are you supposed to get a manager like this to change? 

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Inspiring Your People To Do Great Things

One element of recognition often overlooked is encouraging people to do worthwhile things that lead to valuing and recognizing someone.

Being able to inspire people to great accomplishments is an ability we should all strive to learn. But it’s an essential skill to have when you are a leader.

Inspiration is all about filling up people with rousing emotions that you feel about a particular cause or action that you want other people to take on. Interestingly, the Latin root for the word “inspire”, means to breathe upon or into, like the pulmonary meaning of inspiration.

However, to inspire an individual or team to action is not a set of behaviors you may naturally have. Sure, some people you know can make this look easy. Yet, inspiring people requires specific skills that all of us can learn.

Consider the following qualities and behaviors to inspire people.

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Let Your Leaders Know What It’s Like To Be Unrecognized

Sometimes they just don’t get it, do they?

You’ll hear a comment from a leader questioning the import of your wanting to create a recognition strategy. Another leader glosses over the latest engagement survey results and states that 56% percent on the recognition questions is good, isn’t it? These are all real scenarios.

Now I am well aware this does not describe all leaders. But there are enough to cause concern.

A few of them don’t understand why some employees are complaining about a lack of recognition. They think they pay their employees well and they have good jobs. What more can they want?

Sounds like it’s time to let your leaders know what it feels like to be unrecognized.

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What Leaders Need, To Be a Positive Recognition Example

I was recently asked the question, “how do you get management involvement with recognition?” The individual posing the question was asking for ideas for gaining both personal involvement of leaders, as well as getting them to set the right, recognition giving example.

Unfortunately, not everyone in a management or leadership position is identified or hired for being a good “people” person with strong interpersonal skills. Many individuals are recruited or rise to these leadership positions based on their technical skills or professional competency.

Where we fail with leadership development is in holding individuals accountable for learning, practicing, and maintaining necessary people skills – like giving recognition. We rely on in-class leadership training, microlearning via a learning management system, or personal development through reading the latest leadership books. You can obtain new people skill knowledge this way but not the personal commitment for setting an example.

What can you do to instill leadership example for meaningful recognition giving? (more…)

Is Your Culture Getting In The Way of Your Recognition?

Many factors affect the success of implementing the practice of giving effective and meaningful employee recognition where you work.

Your organizational culture is just one of those factors but it’s often ignored.

Organizational culture is the shared values and beliefs that inform and govern how people behave in an organization. It influences how people act at work and do their jobs.

The successful use of your recognition and reward programs is directly impacted by the strength and positive perception of your company’s culture.

That’s why you must ask yourself: Is our organizational culture contributing towards making recognition giving a way of life?

Or, perhaps your culture is getting in the way of recognition. (more…)

7 Simple Ways Leaders Can Improve Recognition

You meet Keira, your new boss, in the hallway at work. You now report to her about your responsibilities in administering the company’s employee recognition programs.

She’s a good leader and heads compensation and benefits. But employee recognition is new to her. She’s only just been assigned the recognition portfolio.

You know her qualities and feel you will work well with her. You feel her intentions are solid and sincere towards recognition.

As she converses with you she asks you what your expectations are of her as your new leader. And she also asks you how senior leaders as a whole could help improve recognition throughout the company.

How would you answer this leader? What ideas come to your mind?

Consider the following 7 simple ways that recognition practitioners have recommended to their leaders and shared with me in the last several months. (more…)

How To Stop Leaders from Stopping Recognition Giving

In your effort to make recognition flourish throughout the organization you always need the support of your leadership team or a key leader.

Unfortunately, the skills or attributes that sometimes cause certain leaders to rise to the top may not be the people-facing skills needed to make recognition happen the way you would like it to.

In fact, sometimes you will find your role is more focused on stopping leaders from stopping recognition giving.

See if you relate to these seven ways leaders can sometimes stop recognition. (more…)