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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When Recognition and Rewards Are Not Top of Mind

How do you get leaders to be more aware of the importance of recognition and rewards? 

Too often, recognition and rewards and the programs you have in place are not top of mind for many people. And when employees themselves are not on board with recognizing others, you know you’ve got a problem. 

What does it take to raise the importance and value of recognition and rewards? 

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Top 10 Ways to Get Managers Giving Recognition

If there is one concern that most organizations have, and that is getting their managers to regularly and consistently recognize their employees. Developing the mindset of the importance of appreciating and recognizing staff for their positive behaviors and personal effort, requires several steps to make this happen. Start using this month’s Top 10 Ways to Get Managers Giving Recognition to guide you on what to do next. 

1. Set clear expectations from senior leadership team for managers to become better at appreciating people for who they are and recognizing them for what they do. Have leaders set the pattern and personal example for recognizing staff contributions.

2. Show managers the truth about the impact their giving or lack of recognition has on people. Capture video testimonials from employees and open-ended survey results that show the positive and negative feelings people have about recognition.

3. Provide managers with insight on their department’s employee engagement survey scores and drill down on how the recognition specific questions scored for them. Any score below 65 percent is a sign that everyday recognition is missing in action.

4. Debunk the myth they don’t have time to give recognition. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and giving good quality recognition takes less than 30-seconds to do. Suggest managers at a minimum start and end their day with recognition giving.

5. Hold regular one-on-one feedback meetings with managers to find out how they feel they’re doing with recognizing staff. Get their input on challenges, frustrations, or problems they have with giving recognition and coach them to succeed.

6. Provide managers with all the resources they need to gain knowledge and insights on how to give better and more meaningful recognition to people. Be this through written articles or an archive of video tutorial content that is broadcast out to them.

7. Give managers in-class and online education opportunities to show them how to give effective recognition to people. You can also do this through lunch and learn sessions, management briefing sessions, or delivering webinars by other managers.

8. Don’t forget to set goals with managers on how they intend to improve the frequency and quality of the recognition they give people. Remember to stay on top of their commitments and hold managers accountable for recognizing staff.

9. Use positive reinforcement and recognize managers when they stop to recognize their employees. Making time to recognize the recognizers is something that often gets neglected in our desire to see more recognition happen from management.

10. Invite managers to share in management meetings about the successes they have experienced when they stopped and made time to recognize their employees. Let their peers know of the intrinsic reward that their recognition had in lifting people up.

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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Start Giving Authentic Recognition From Day One

Expect new employees to be giving recognition to peers and others right from the get go with your onboarding and orientation sessions.

Most orientation and onboarding programs are manager initiated or online portal delivered sets of steps, policies and procedures, and general ground rules to function on the job. (more…)