It doesn’t happen very often. But every once in a while, you find an exceptional leader who changes the course of employee recognition in an organization.
Their example and positive actions influence andaffect recognition practices by those around them and the usage of recognition programs by everyone. This influence is powerful and important in changing the way recognition plays out in an organization.
Here are some specific examples and some observations from others.
Your leadership team, and whoever your direct executive sponsor is, can really impact the success of your recognition programs.
For example, nearly one-quarter of respondents on a Gallup survey said the most memorable recognition comes from a high-level leader or CEO. Imagine what leaders could do if they encouraged everyone to get on board with using their organization’s recognition programs.
In a survey I conducted across the United States and Canada of managers in the public sector, they shared how participation of senior leaders was an important aspect of delivering effective employee recognition.
Examine your own organization and evaluate how leadership involvement with employee recognition plays out.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
following qualities and behaviors to inspire people.
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.
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…)