How To Do One Thing With Recognition Better Than Anyone Else

I have this great quote on my desk from Jason Goldberg, the American film and television producer, that says, “Find your one thing and do that one thing better than anyone else.” 

This has been my goal with employee recognition in trying to understand meaningful and effective recognition practices and how to make recognition programs amazing. 

So, how are you going to improve your recognition better than anyone else?

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How to Make Your Recognition Programs Last

Push button. Launch. Blast off!!

Your recognition program has just gone live. But for how long will it last?

How do you make recognition programs last? Making recognition and reward programs last over the long term requires an open-mindedness to the ongoing transformation of your programs.

It’s about looking for ongoing change and constant quality improvement. Maybe breaking things even when they’re not even broken.

But foremost, it’s about creating the future and meeting the ongoing demands of managers and employees and evolving the recognition experience.

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Where Do You Most Need to Improve Your Recognition?

Whether approaching the end of a calendar year or a time to consider a refresh of your recognition practices and programs, it is important to ask yourself as the recognition owner in your organization, “Where do we most need to improve recognition?”

Often this whole question of improvement follows the review of your annual employee engagement survey. Right off the bat I can tell you that if the average score of your recognition related questions on your survey is less than 65 percent, then you are dealing with issues with your daily recognition practices of everyday recognition.

Looking at everyday recognition, you know this should happen on a daily or weekly basis and impact between 80 and 100 percent of your employees. This is a great opportunity to work on. 

Where else can you improve recognition at your organization? What are some practical steps you can take?

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Here’s How to Get Engagement With Your Recognition Program

Sometimes companies launch recognition programs and they don’t exactly light up the sky and shine, as they should. 

For a variety of reasons you might not have gotten the engagement and traction you thought you would when you designed and developed your organization’s recognition program. You thought you got everyone’s input and their buy in, and then… pfft! 

Lots of foundational things can stop recognition program engagement whether it’s access to technology, the nature of the work of most employees, or simply a lack of respect thinking employee recognition is unimportant.

But let’s look at what needs to be in place to engage your managers and employees with your employee recognition programs.

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Why You Have to Get Recognition Programs Right

There will always be horror stories around recognition programs if you don’t start off on the right foot. 

And the irony of it all is the challenges most often come with the misnomer of calling these problematic programs “recognition programs”. Problems with errant programs usually lies when using rewards, be they tangible merchandise, cash, or near cash rewards.

So, get recognition programs right so there is equity and fairness with non-monetary and intangible recognition and tangible and monetary rewards accompanying these recognition programs.

There is also a need for authenticity and inclusiveness with the expressions of recognition given to people through your programs, whether this is by text, spoken word, or video. Recognition must be genuine and sincere in both intent and how it is communicated to a person. We should give regard to all employees who contribute day in and day out and not focus solely on the rising stars whose performance always exceeds the standards of most employees.

Recognition is for everyone.

You must make sure you get your recognition programs right.

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A Quick and Easy Recognition Strategy to Get You Going

Typical steps for creating a business strategy require senior leadership team involvement, analysis of previous financial and operational goals and outcomes, and direction as far as the future state of where the company should be heading.

Having a written recognition strategy puts recognition practices and programs on the same level as a corporate business strategy.

But what if you don’t have the luxury to get senior leaders and a sampling of departmental or business unit leaders in the same room? If you can’t facilitate and collaborate with others to create a recognition strategy document, what should you do?

I will show you how to create a quick and easy recognition strategy with a basic structure and outline, along with some questions to ask yourself as a guide. Are you ready? (more…)

Quick Solutions For Dealing With Recognition Program Problems

On Tuesday I presented a session at the Recognition Professionals International conference in hot and humid Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

My session was on dealing with How To Make Positive Changes To Your Recognition Programs.

At the start of the session I asked the practitioner and provider attendees a question. The question was, “what are the biggest challenges or problems you struggle with for any of your employee recognition programs?”

Here’s what the recognition professionals gave me, which were written up on a flip chart:

  • Consistency
  • Out-dated
  • Unaware
  • Push back from leadership
  • Misinformation
  • Management buy-in
  • Measuring ROI

The rest of the session I focused on providing people with the process and tools for making improvements in a systematic way rather than just waiting for things to break, so to speak.

Quick Solutions to Problems

To specifically help those who attended my session and to assist all of my readers, I am including a few links to past posts to address some of these challenges.

1. Consistency: My suggestion on getting more consistent with using your recognition programs and practicing better recognition giving read Recognition Programs Aren’t A Problem…People Are! And if your leaders are not exemplary givers of recognition or using your programs consider Are You Helping Your Leaders to Give Recognition?

2. Out-dated: I told the seminar participants that I go out on a date every week with my wife, Irene. In fact we are going to see a children’s performance tonight of “The Wizard of Oz”. But on a serious vein, with recognition programs they do need to be kept revitalized. Try out this post for some ideas 7 Deadly Warning Signs Your Recognition Program Is Failing.

3. Unaware: I won’t pretend I’ve written on every subject related to recognition. This is probably one of them. That’s why I love it when you send in your challenges and ideas. They often become posts. My best stab at this is to suggest you read When Recognition Doesn’t Work and perhaps even 7 Simple Hacks to a Great Communications Plan to stimulate your thinking.

4. Leader Push Back and Buy-In: I combined these two because I think they are related. Leaders are not expected to know everything about employee recognition. That’s your job. So educate them and keep them informed like this Communicating with Leaders Using the “CNN Effect”. Furthermore, I taught those in my seminar that you don’t want leaders’ buy-in. Buy-in is so monetary focused and transaction. What you really need is their personal commitment and you can discover more here How To Win a Leader’s Commitment and Buy-In for Recognition.

5. Misinformation: Nada! I will have to think on this and get back to everyone on it.

6. Measuring ROI: Hmm! I realize I have not written a blog post on this topic specifically. But to help you along, here’s a related post on Understanding the Business Case for Recognition. I am not going to leave you high and dry though! If you don’t mind leaving this page and going to Incentive Magazine, here’s my Top 10 Tips for Solid Recognition ROI. Hope you enjoy it!

Once you’ve wrapped your head around a few of these topic areas please let me know what other questions still remain for you.

Question: Where do you go to learn more about employee recognition practices and programs?

Implementation Is The Key To Success

Consultants are known for coming into an organization identifying the problems then facilitating great goals and action plans for strategic change and development.

This happened in the early stages of my career as a speech-language pathologist while working in a healthcare facility.

The consultant came in and did their assessment routine and determined our organizational strengths and weaknesses.

Next, this consultant led a strategy development day where leaders and key individuals were invited to participate. I was invited to be in that session as a fairly new employee who was always looking at big picture of things. (more…)

Did Anyone Tell You That Recognition Can Save You Money?

I didn’t think so.

Not too many experts share this kind of information.

In fact, very few leaders, consultants or vendors actually tell you how you can save money from using exceptional recognition practices or well strategized and designed recognition programs. They may not even know how themselves.

But I am going to spill the beans. I will share some powerful information with you. I will tell you how recognition can help you and save you dollars, euros and pounds sterling (other currencies included too!). (more…)