How to Write the Best Recognition Strategy – Part 4

Implementing the Recognition Plan for Successful Impact

Many consultants enter organizations prepared to tell the leaders where they are failing in the area of the consultant’s expertise.

The process I have taught you over our four-part treatise on How to Create a Recognition Strategy, headlined the need for you to identify your own recognition strengths and weaknesses before starting the strategy piece.

If you have followed along so far, you will know the importance of crafting a Recognition Purpose and Philosophy statements. Following your assessment of recognition practices and programs you have everything you need to design a complete Recognition Plan to elevate recognition practices and programs in your organization.

That is often where consultants exit the scene. You have a plan with goals set and tactical objectives to make things happen. But then they leave you. And often things sputter out or nothing happens at all.

If there is one thing, I think is essential with a recognition project like this, is to provide you with the tools to implement the plan. Let’s get it off the paper and into action. Focus on moving into the implementation phase.

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Can You Please Tell Me What a Recognition Strategy Is?

What exactly is a recognition strategy?

When you search out Recognition Professionals International’s (RPI) seven best practices standards you’ll learn that their first standard is Recognition Strategy.

RPI defines a Recognition Strategy as a written strategy statement and plan with specific program objectives, with recognition aligned to the organization’s culture (i.e. vision, mission and values) and the business strategy and objectives. They use a three-dimensional recognition approach of formal, informal and day-to-day recognition practices. This Recognition Strategy document typically outlines the procedures and processes used and the program delivery methods for the various types of recognition adopted.

My definition of a recognition strategy includes a few more features that help make your recognition strategy a working, actionable tool.

Let’s dive in to learn more.

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How To Get Ready To Educate People About Giving Recognition

When you think education and training is the next steps to take with making real recognition happen where you work, there are a few things to take into consideration first before planning the training program.

In fact, if you prepare yourself and the prospective learners properly, then they will better learn how to give more meaningful and effective recognition to those they work with.

Prior preparation also impacts those involved in designing and developing the learning curriculum and planning the right methods of delivery.

Let’s get ready to educate your employees about recognizing one another the right way.

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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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How To Implement a Recognition Strategy in Large Organizations

Over the years I have helped several large organizations in facilitating a team of their leaders in developing a written recognition strategy. The challenge I face after they have completed a recognition strategy session is leaving the owners of the strategy document with instructions on how to implement it and then see them make it happen.

Sometimes these recognition strategies become glorified documents that a manger or leader can now say they have a written recognition strategy whenever someone asks.

But if you don’t implement a strategy and plan then nothing ever changes.

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How To Divide and Conquer Your Recognition Strategy

One challenge with any strategy development occurs after senior leaders have invested their time and energy in creating one. They just don’t give the same emphasis to implementing the strategy.

This happens for recognition strategies just as much as it does for business strategies.

A lot of work can go into creating a written recognition strategy and then it sits there. It’s a nice-looking document that does no good unless someone moves it into action.

Follow are suggestions for implementing your recognition strategy by dividing and conquering wherever you can.

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Showing Managers How To Give Great Recognition

It’s the reason I started my company in educating and training managers over twenty years ago. I saw that no one was showing managers how to give meaningful and effective recognition to their employees.

Oh, there were a lot of memos and mandates from on high. Senior leaders would always tell managers to say “thank you” more often. This was always triggered following the latest employee satisfaction or engagement survey revealing low scores with employee recognition.

You probably know the proverb from the Chinese philosopher, Confucius that states, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

This has been the catalyst for why managers can have a hard time giving recognition. Followed through to the end it is also the key solution. (more…)

Solve Recognition Program Problems With Positive Action

If there is one thing I know from over 20+ years in the field of employee recognition, and that is that recognition programs always come equipped with their own set of problems.

You can guarantee whenever you introduce and implement an online recognition program that some challenges and issues will arise.

Hopefully, you will have others helping you administer your programs. However, even if you are the maverick, “Indiana Jones” of recognition programs, working solo on solving your challenges, the following suggestions should still help you. (more…)

How To Make An Effective Formal Awards Program

I was recently in a meeting with an organization who wanted to design a formal awards program and I think they were surprised with the additional insights I brought to the table that they hadn’t considered before.

I will outline a few of the critical elements needed for creating an effective formal awards program. These areas will be covered under five broad steps that entail quite a bit of work for each one.

Each of these steps will help you whether a manually administered awards program or one simplified through technology. (more…)

How To Set Your New Year Goals for Employee Recognition

You are probably in the midst of creating your goals and plans for your recognition programs and practices for next year.

Likely, you will need to submit your goals and plan to a senior leader you report to for endorsement before ploughing ahead.

Make sure you include the following suggestions as you strategize your recognition plans. (more…)