What Should You Do If Your Recognition Education Fails?

Most corporate training and education programs work very well. But now and then you get an educational program, whether in-class, online, blended, or via one of the many learning delivery methods, that ends up being a failure.

If you were following the Kirkpatrick Model and the levels of training evaluation, you might do a Level 3 evaluation to examine participant’s behaviors after the training. You want to find out the degree participants are now actively applying what they learned in the training sessions back on the job. 

You conduct a survey to find out what learning participants are doing or not doing with giving employee recognition. Now you find out that a majority of the learners are not doing much with the skills and principles they were taught.

What can you do to correct this problem? How would you handle the fact that your recognition education failed?

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Why Your Recognition Training Is Likely Failing

Have you tried to train your people on how to give better recognition and it didn’t work? Were you able to measure the transfer of learning back to the job? What was the business impact of the recognition education delivered? Have employees reported improved recognition?

There are many reasons why educating and training managers and employees on recognition giving can fail. Authors and education experts, Tim Mooney and Robert O. Brinkerhoff, suggest bold actions for achieving business results in their book, Courageous Training. They provide a useful list of eleven possible causes for training failure.

I will unpack each one of these causes and then discuss how it relates specifically to employee recognition training. I want you to overcome the typical problems associated with training people effective recognition skills. (more…)

Top 10 Ways To Revive Your Recognition Programs

When recognition programs stop working properly, employees and organizations go into a state of cultural “cardiac” arrest. Unchecked, your sick programs can result in disengagement and deathly poor morale levels. If intervention happens quickly you can restart and put new life into your recognition programs. Make sure you examine carefully these Top 10 Ways to Revive Your Recognition Programs. Choose one or two steps to apply to your recognition programs today.

  1. Check out the heart rhythm of your programs. Analyze the recognition program data to observe usage: who is using the program, who is getting recognized, and find out what people are actually being recognized for. And, who has NOT been recognized?
  2. Ask employees how recognized they feel. Describe their current recognition symptoms. Employees’ perceptions of your programs will give you a solid readout. Have employees share how program usage could be improved. Ask how they could be more involved.
  3. Determine root-cause analysis for unhealthy programs. Could it be: Lack of awareness? Invisible access? Poor education and recognition training? No communication supports? Not top of mind? No expectations for recognition? Perceptions of no time to use?
  4. Programs may need shock treatment. Deliver a new current of energy and enthusiasm to get back on track. This could be a new program design, new rules, purpose, and rebranding. Clarify the expectations and hold people accountable. Create a communication campaign to revitalize.
  5. Remove arterial blockages to your programs. If there are design and system issues then get IT and your strategy design people to quickly assess and make instant changes. Also, check out and correct people’s attitudes and intentions. If programs are vendor driven involve your account rep.
  6. Educate why you use recognition programs. Reinforce your organization’s strategy, goals, and culture about recognition. The more consistently and better your programs are used the more engaged and productive employees will be. Give people a better purpose and request they identify their “why”.
  7. Recognition programs mostly stop working because of people. When programs break down no recognition gets pumped to people in the company. Work on problems but make sure to educate people on effective program usage. Find out the specific barriers people raise and address each one.
  8. Provide supports to defibrillate your programs back to life. Improve and check reports regularly to determine concerns. Use eLearning to teach effective program practice. Send regular communication messages to encourage adoption. Have leaders and managers set a positive example.
  9. Don’t face recognition program failure alone. Recognition program revival is a team effort where you must partner with leaders, managers, and employees. You must take charge of the choices and needs that affect effective programs. Establish a recognition committee and meet regularly.
  10. When all else fails, plan a program transplant. Removing a damaged and ineffective program by replacing it with a new one is no easy decision. But, if a program isn’t working properly and has caused irreversible damage – change it! Then use the previous steps to help prevent future problems.

 

This post is based on a posting by the author in Incentive Magazine.

7 Deadly Warning Signs Your Recognition Program Is Failing

Any red flag with metrics is a recognition program’s warning indicator

 

You’ve been questioning it for a while now. There have been signs something was not right.

You may ask: Is our company’s recognition program producing anticipated results? Is recognition aligned with our business goals? Has anyone seen success lately from our recognition initiatives? And now they want you to send proof of your recognition program’s ROI up to the C-suite offices!

To prevent your recognition and rewards programs from going down the proverbial drain, check out these 7 deadly warning signs and identify whether your programs are on their last legs or need immediate CPR. (more…)