You’ve often seen them in action. Perhaps in a meeting you’ve taken part in or seeing them on stage at a celebratory award event. It might simply have been a pass by in the hallway. Or maybe you received a thank you note from them. Then there’s the masterful way they acknowledge team members in a virtual meeting. Recognition is alive and going well with this leader.
Have you ever thought about asking this individual for their help with giving better recognition? They might mentor you. But how do you go about seeking a mentor? Follow these suggestions for acquiring a mentor and start learning to give more meaningful recognition to people.
One area repeatedly comes up weak when I assess many organizations on their recognition practices and programs. That missing element is recognition, and they barely touched upon it in their leadership development curriculum.
True, they may or may not have online education on effective recognition practices. And they might have a few tutorials on how to use their various recognition programs.
But with educating and training leaders on effective recognition giving, the well is often dry.
You’ll find plenty of positive recognition practices to become a great recognizer in the many posts in this blog, or within chapters in my book Practicing Recognition, that will help you and the leaders in your organization.
Yet those of you who lead your recognition programs and strive to encourage your leaders to be exemplary recognition givers, influencing leaders to do this important skill can be tough.
I wanted to dig deeper and draw upon the essential skills that leaders need to develop. What might you coach your leaders on that would help them catch the vision?
There are lots of studies done revealing how leaders are doing with giving meaningful and effective recognition to their employees.
The Canadian firm, Psychometrics, found in their Study of Employee Engagement in the Canadian Workplace that 58 percent of employees say leaders giving more recognition would improve employee engagement.
In my research with the Survey Findings of Employee Recognition in the Public Sector, managers who responded, overwhelmingly stated that senior leader involvement with employee recognition was very or extremely important (93 percent). However, the reality reveals only 21 percent of leaders are very involved, a sign that people who make the organizations run are not seen as important or valued.
Gallup research shows nearly one-quarter of employees said the most memorable recognition comes from a high-level leader or CEO. They suggest that employees will always remember personal feedback from the CEO. When a high-ranking leader takes time to show appreciation, it can yield a positive impression for an employee that could last a lifetime. In fact, acknowledgment from a CEO could become a career highlight.
What we are seeing is the need for senior leaders to become better at giving recognition. Let’s explore some ways for getting there.
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?
probably already seen it in your organization.
There are some
leaders—directors of departments or senior leadership team members—who not only
stand out for what their employees achieve, but who know are great recognizers
of their staff. Employees like and trust them and they produce top results
because of how they are treated by their leader.
Why is it that
great leaders are also great at recognizing people?
From your daily administering of various recognition programs, you know exactly when it is time for changes. You’re also aware, from talking to colleagues who manage recognition programs in other companies, that there are often new bells and whistles you could benefit from.
But your biggest challenge can often be convincing your sponsoring leader of the need to evolve the recognition programs if they want to remain current.
I will share some ideas on how you can move things forward and gradually influence a reluctant leader. (more…)