Where Should I Focus My Time On Improving Recognition At Work

You know your organization has an employee recognition problem.

The last employee engagement survey showed an average of 64 percent for all the recognition statements on the survey. Participation levels with the usage of your online recognition programs are inconsistent with leaders and employees across the organization. 

Open-ended feedback from employees tells you that many employees just don’t feel valued and appreciated. 

Something has to change. Where do you begin? 

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Why Don’t You Have A Recognition Strategy?

You know how surprised I am that the percentage of organizations with a written recognition strategy has actually dropped from 55 percent back in 2017 down to 49 percent in 2019.

I guess the question remains to be answered why this is. And while WorldatWork never asked respondents to answer why they had a recognition strategy or not, the issue needs to be answered. 

I won’t pretend to read people’s minds, but I can tell you from organizations I have subsequently worked with, why they didn’t have a recognition strategy before I worked with them. If you don’t have a recognition strategy, you just might relate with them. 

Check out some reasons below that organizations might give for why they don’t have a recognition strategy. 

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Top 10 Ways to Stay Focused on Recognition in 2021

Try out these focused actions as you lead others to give better and more frequent recognition. You will gain great enthusiasm and confidence for championing the cause of recognition in your organization. You’ll also help those you work with to better focus on giving recognition.

Choose one focus area that you can take on in the coming month.

  1. Focus on being mindful of recognition. Be mindful of recognition by paying attention in every moment to amazing things people do that merit recognition. A timely response, a helpful solution, a kind gesture, or making a difference.
  2. Focus on one recognition goal at a time. No one can do everything. Focus on achieving just one recognition goal. Whether programmatic or supportive, enlisting the help of others is easier when finding one thing to do better than anything else.
  3. Focus on calendaring recognition activities. Clear the calendar and slot in recognition activities you need to work on. Program analysis, communication planning, learning content, etc. – plug into your calendar to get done vs. a to-do list. 
  4. Focus on a specific recognition task. Try out using two-week sprints to make things happen. Break down quarterly goals into monthly activities and then two specific tasks to work on every two-weeks. You’ll be surprised at what you can do.
  5. Focus on leading indicators of recognition. We rely on lagging indicators like usage reports to make changes. But what proceeds every recognition activity. Now target these specific behaviors and increase personal connections for recognition.
  6. Focus on your recognition strategy. Your recognition strategy outlines your recognition purpose and beliefs. It’s also a plan for improving recognition practices and programs. Review your strategy monthly and report on progress quarterly.
  7. Focus on using recognition to support. Work with your senior leaders and review the business and people strategies to see how recognition can help. Revise and plan how to leverage recognition to drive various organizational initiatives. 
  8. Focus on practicing recognition daily. There is no better way to stay focused on recognition than by studying recognition principles and improving your recognition practices. Then look for ways to give better and more frequent recognition daily. 
  9. Focus on using your recognition programs. Go to your recognition programs first thing every day to see comments in the recognition news feed. Check out who has a birthday or a career milestone. Actively comment on posts and like what you see.
  10. Focus on encouraging one person at a time. Eat, breathe, and talk about recognition in your meetings. Teach one principle or practice that someone else shared with you or found through research with one other person each day. 

Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.

How To Stay Focused on Recognition

Do you find it hard to stay focused on managing recognition programs, encouraging others to be phenomenal recognizers of others, oh, and be a great recognition giver yourself? You are not alone.

Today’s your lucky day as I am going to share with you different strategies and ideas for how to stay focused on recognition. 

Check out these ideas in the list below and commit to trying out just one of them this week or next.

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You Can Get Unstuck From Rewards With Recognition

One of my Rideau colleagues recently shared with me their observations of how many mid- to large-sized businesses are challenged with how to transition more away from rewards towards recognition.

Then within a week of this conversation one of our blog subscribers at a financial services company wanted to know how to reduce their budget costs and lessen the amount of gross up tax spend on their gift card rewards program.

So, it seems the topic of rewards is in the air again!

Since many companies are using rewards it only makes sense I should share with you how best to transition from, or lessen, your use of rewards and move towards more recognition, or at least a happy medium between the two. (more…)

Get Your Managers Excited About Giving Recognition

Many of you responsible for employee recognition in your organizations have a hard time getting full support and attention of your managers.

Some just don’t get it as far as understanding the importance of recognition in the eyes of their employees.

A few managers rose to their current position solely based upon expertise or technical competency and not for any people skill or emotional intelligence strengths.

Your job is to spark their interest in recognition when they are being bombarded with so many other priorities and distractions.

In reality, we tend to remember two kinds of events in life – major negative happenings and warm, positive activities.

Your goal should be to get managers excited about giving recognition and make it a warm and positive memory for them.

Learn from these four ways to raise the excitement level. (more…)

Where To Focus Your Leaders With Recognition

I’ve had two requests from clients from either side of the Atlantic ocean within the last two months, asking me to consult with them in helping their leaders give better and more frequent recognition.

It’s been fascinating to see organizational development folks and other leaders of various functional areas wanting to get their leaders on board with improving recognition.

Employee engagement and customer satisfaction scores were the trigger. These metrics were not the best and each client saw the correlation with their analytics and how a lack of recognition was a contributing cause.

In both companies they interviewed employees and identified ways they were not feeling appreciated and valued for their contributions on the job.

One of the companies went so far as to interview a sample of leaders who were doing well on employee engagement and customer satisfaction metrics.

What were they doing well?

They found great leaders demonstrated caring concern for most of their employees and were actively involved in acknowledging and praising their employees’ on the job.

These successful leaders knew how to make positive connections with their staff. (more…)