Recognition program metrics are old news by the time you get them.
And that “old news” element makes these numbers from the past called lagging indicators. They are a lagging indicator because we observe these measures after, or lagging after, any change has occurred.
These lagging indicators create a conflict for you as the recognition program owner. Outcome measures from your programs are easy to measure. But you can’t do much to change them once you get them.
My recommendation is to supercharge your programs by using leading indicators as well.
Try out these focused actions as you lead others to give better and more frequent recognition. You will gain great enthusiasm and confidence for championing the cause of recognition in your organization. You’ll also help those you work with to better focus on giving recognition.
Choose one focus area that you can take on in the coming month.
Focus on being mindful of recognition. Be mindful of recognition by paying attention in every moment to amazing things people do that merit recognition. A timely response, a helpful solution, a kind gesture, or making a difference.
Focus on one recognition goal at a time. No one can do everything. Focus on achieving just one recognition goal. Whether programmatic or supportive, enlisting the help of others is easier when finding one thing to do better than anything else.
Focus on calendaring recognition activities. Clear the calendar and slot in recognition activities you need to work on. Program analysis, communication planning, learning content, etc. – plug into your calendar to get done vs. a to-do list.
Focus on a specific recognition task. Try out using two-week sprints to make things happen. Break down quarterly goals into monthly activities and then two specific tasks to work on every two-weeks. You’ll be surprised at what you can do.
Focus on leading indicators of recognition. We rely on lagging indicators like usage reports to make changes. But what proceeds every recognition activity. Now target these specific behaviors and increase personal connections for recognition.
Focus on your recognition strategy. Your recognition strategy outlines your recognition purpose and beliefs. It’s also a plan for improving recognition practices and programs. Review your strategy monthly and report on progress quarterly.
Focus on using recognition to support. Work with your senior leaders and review the business and people strategies to see how recognition can help. Revise and plan how to leverage recognition to drive various organizational initiatives.
Focus on practicing recognition daily. There is no better way to stay focused on recognition than by studying recognition principles and improving your recognition practices. Then look for ways to give better and more frequent recognition daily.
Focus on using your recognition programs. Go to your recognition programs first thing every day to see comments in the recognition news feed. Check out who has a birthday or a career milestone. Actively comment on posts and like what you see.
Focus on encouraging one person at a time. Eat, breathe, and talk about recognition in your meetings. Teach one principle or practice that someone else shared with you or found through research with one other person each day.
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.
Most recognition strategies and plans for recognition depend on moving the bar on whatever metrics you have for program usage and employee perception of recognition.
The gap analysis of where your recognition status is today and where you want it to be tomorrow relies on the program metrics you have. The challenging part about program usage metrics is that they are all lagging indicator measures.
Lagging indicators do just that, they lag behind on indicating whether you achieved the results you wanted. By the time you get the output measures on a program, it’s hard to do anything about them that will make a future change.
Is there anything you can really do that can change this? Is there one important thing you can do that will make recognition happen?
All of us are
striving to help people in our organizations feel valued and appreciated for
their contributions and for who they are. We’re also tasked with showing
everyone how to give more effective and meaningful recognition face-to-face and
with using our online recognition programs.
And the only way
we know how well we are doing is by measuring the outputs of recognition
through our recognition programs and through employee perceptions on
recognition received through engagement surveys.
But is there
another way that you can refocus what you measure that will lead to more
There’s too much reliance upon recognition program data and engagement survey results as the source for trying to make recognition better.
All these metrics do is tell you what happened with recognition a month ago, six-months, or a year back. We don’t do a very good job with this hindsight learning. And we rarely stop to ask ourselves questions about these measurements. Nor do we plan well and take action on the data we collect.
These “output” oriented metrics are easy to measure. If you use a recognition program this is noted and recorded. Check. For engagement surveys, you answer each question using a Likert scale response, such as I feel valued and appreciated for the work I do at that particular point in time. Strongly agree.
When was that again? The program I used last month and the last engagement survey was 8 months ago. Measures like this are referred to as lagging indicators because they lag behind the occurrence of the recognition experience. A problem with lagging indicators is they are hard to improve upon or influence because they are in the past.
Let’s stop looking at retroactive memories of what caused someone to be recognized. My suggestion for improving recognition is to ask what happens before every recognition experience? Think about it.
Are you ready to see what you can do to improve the frequency of recognition being given to everyone where you work? (more…)