When I conducted a management survey several years ago in the public sector, a response to one question asked revealed that 93 percent of all managers said senior leader involvement in recognition programs was very or extremely important. A large majority, 75 percent, said it was extremely important.
These same managers said only 21 percent of leaders were very involved with their recognition programs.
Our research shows that organizations with leaders committed to supporting award and recognition programs strategically, financially, and by example, have higher employee evaluations for feeling appreciated for their contributions on the job.
All that remains for you to do is to get your leaders using your online recognition programs. Try out some of the following suggestions.
WorldatWork surveyed their members and found that the average organization uses eight separate recognition programs. That’s a lot!
However, what they don’t state is how well people use those recognition programs, either by leaders or by their employees. The secret to using these programs properly is to help your leaders better understand the value and importance of employee recognition.
How can you get your leaders on board, and what do they first need to know about employee recognition?
Do your employees feel valued and appreciated for their work contributions? If not, is it because recognition is not top of mind for your leaders and managers? What if you could remind your leaders and managers to recognize more often? Are there ways that technology can help?
There is a way to nudge your leaders and managers into giving more frequent and better day-to-day recognition to their direct reports, and others. You can create triggers for your leaders and managers to give more meaningful and consistent recognition to people. This will guarantee affecting the overall employee experience and improve performance, too.
Heading every organization is a senior leadership team.
They play a critical role in providing strategic and operational leadership for your organization. And they also play an essential role in representing the organizational culture and showing what leadership should look like, by how they interact with one another and with employees.
They often leave your task to “read minds” on how each leader thinks about recognition. Hopefully, you have an exemplary executive sponsor who is a cheerleader and champion for the cause of employee recognition to draw upon.
But in a general sense, how do you find out what each of your executive leaders think about recognition?
How do you get leaders to be more aware of the importance of recognition and rewards?
Too often, recognition and rewards and the programs you have in place are not top of mind for many people. And when employees themselves are not on board with recognizing others, you know you’ve got a problem.
What does it take to raise the importance and value of recognition and rewards?
Hopefully, you have a supportive executive leader who acts as your sponsor or champion for the cause of employee recognition where you work. You never want recognition to become out of sight and then out of their mind.
The only reason recognition would ever disappear off of your leader’s radar screen is if you take it off yourself.
That’s why it is so important to help your leaders stay on top of everything that’s going on with employee recognition.
Here are some great ways to keep recognition top of mind for your leaders.
Some of us have a hard time recognizing those
around us and especially people we associate with at work.
Historically, people have viewed
recognition as a top-down behavior where managers and leaders started
recognizing employees who reported to them. This likely originated from the
military where senior officers presented medals as awards for specific service
or achievement in military campaigns.
With the reduced hierarchy in organizations
leading to a reduction in middle managers along with online recognition
programs accessible by all employees, they have emancipated the source of who
Recognition is no longer constrained by a
person’s position or title and should be multi-directional.
But there can still be a bias or perception of
who should give recognition. So besides considering who should give
recognition, what about in the other direction? This raises the question whether
some people at different levels of position are harder to recognize that others
You and I know that there are many employees who
are not getting recognized enough.
To give people the right recognition, it would
also be helpful to know the best person to make this happen. Who do your
employees prefer most to be recognized by? Is it by your leaders, by
their immediate supervisor or manager, or by their peers?