It’s mind-blowing to see the difference recognition practices and programs undergo in organizations where a written recognition strategy and plan exists, versus those organizations that don’t have one.
I hope to encourage you to create a written recognition strategy and plan if you don’t already have one. And, if you have one already, to make sure you have an action plan for implementing it.
Here are my three reasons you need a recognition strategy. There are plenty more, but I hope these will encourage you.
Consultants come, and consultants go. Some are better than others.
I recall starting my first job at a newly opened hospital as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Towards the end of that year, the leadership team hired a consultant to help them set direction and create a strategy for this new facility.
The consultant roamed around and interviewed leaders and managers and a sampling of employees.
Leaders scheduled a full-day meeting to brainstorm solutions. They invited many to be involved. We generated oodles of flip charts in response to questions posed by the consultant. Everyone vetted this content, and we finally came up with a semblance of a plan.
It’s one thing to write up a recognition strategy, and it’s something else to make it work.
WorldatWork shows almost half of all their member organizations surveyed have a written recognition strategy. They even state that 94 percent of those organizations that have a strategy that is aligned with their business strategy.
What no one follows through on is answering whether anyone actually implemented any of these written recognition strategies or not.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.