Do you recall when you were first hired or promoted to the position of manager or director of a department? I know I do. It was about three decades ago now.
There were a lot of new tasks to perform. Many meetings to attend. Several HR functions to complete, such as submitting attendance reports for payroll. Reports of performance metrics to show productivity and efficiency.
Yet not one person instructed me on how to recognize the staff I now managed. Just recently, I was one of them. I had no clue about managing and leading people. I gave my best answers in the interview and they picked me.
Things I wish I knew about recognition as a first-time manager were some of the following.
One of the great lessons you can learn as a recognition leader is finding out what other people have learned themselves after recognizing others.
You can gain this through a self-reflection exercise after employees have learned how to give recognition. Have them write notes in a journal or record them online. Teach employees how to give memorable and meaningful recognition. Then they need to put those skills into practice back at on the job. Follow up with them a month later. You find out how they did and what they discovered.
Ask learners what they achieved with their recognition goal. Ask them to relay exactly what they learned from doing the exercise, too.
Here are some insights gleaned from some of these self-reflective ponderings I have collected.
For some people expressing appreciation and recognizing peers comes naturally. But there are a few people where telling others positive things about their actions is both awkward and an uncomfortable experience.
Teaching your employees how to give meaningful and effective recognition might take a longer time for some of your staff.
Giving meaningful and developmental feedback is one of the most effective tools to help people learn how to do things the right way.
And this applies to learning how to give Real Recognition™ the right way, too.
In this post, I will share some essential knowledge gleaned from research that will give you practical insights and principles to use feedback properly. I’ll share what the purpose of feedback should be, how timing plays a role, the effects of feedback and the responses to expect from learners.
Rarely are we taught how to give effective and meaningful feedback.
Take a deeper dive on how continuous feedback helps people learn how to give better recognition the right way.
It is hard to teach everyone how to give meaningful and effective recognition to one another, no matter the size of the organization you work for.
That’s why you need to enlist an army of people to aid you.
Dictionary.com explains that the more helpers you have available to you then the task will be easier. The proverb “many hands make light work” was reportedly first recorded in English in the early 1300s in a knightly romance known as Sir Bevis of Hampton. However, John Heywood, a 16th century writer known for his plays, poems, and collection of proverbs, is most often attributed as the originator of this proverb.
What can you do to teach other to help you teach people in your organization how to give amazing recognition to one another?
People seem to want things smaller these days. We went from desktops to laptops. We moved from tablets to smartphones. Now we want smart wearables.
The same goes for education and learning. People moved from bite-size things you eat to bite-size things you view or read. We now apply this principle of “short and sweet,” to online learning and other resources for teaching people how to give meaningful and effective recognition.
This became clear to me when one of our clients wanted short and sweet content. Their communications team was engaged in providing managerial resources for learning and applying recognition practices and how to effectively use their online recognition programs.
I want to show you some short and sweet factors that were used to support this client’s initiatives along with some additional ideas.
Here we are with another New Year and I want to
share with you the Top 10 Posts for 2019.
I will reflect along with you on why perhaps you and many other readers read these more than other posts that didn’t quite make the top rankings.
In tenth position was the post How to Help a Leader Who’s Not a Good Recognizer. Obviously, this leadership focused article resonated with many of you who need some ideas and help with coaching the challenged leader to become a better recognizer of peers and staff.
Leaders are not always in their position for
their people skills—although they certainly help—and for that reason
they often have more left-brain, executive functioning and logical skills.
Some, not all, need a helping hand to get the people skills down and realize
how important recognition is to the people that work for them.
Most organizations have some formal award
programs going on. But few organizations set objectives for what they want to
achieve from conducting nomination submissions and planning awards events.
I didn’t expect this post to rank as high as it did. It seems many of you wanted to learn how they select Oscar awards winners so How Oscar Awards Nominations Are Selected came in at number eight. Recognition professionals are always looking to benchmark against best practices, so I hope you gain some insights from this post.
The Oscars always share the public limelight on
what people think an awards ceremony should look like. Understanding how the
award winners are selected might help you raise or lower your own
expectations on how you should determine your award recipients.
I think we’re hitting on soft skills here
and how they are not as easy as they seem. Giving meaningful feedback is
something all of us can become better at.
For those of you who haven’t created a written recognition strategy document yet, our sixth ranked post of A Quick and Easy Recognition Strategy to Get You Going should help you out. It is better to have a basic document in place to guide you along than not having a strategy at all.
Make sure you become more intentional and
strategic with your recognition practices and programs. This post’s ranking
probably reflects the need for an easy way to write up a recognition strategy.
The whole preparation and planning required to
make recognition programs successful is not something a lot of organizations do
well. Everyone wants to get more employees using their programs more
I am so glad my post on Why Being Specific Increases the Value of Recognition made it to third place. It validates for me that many of you see the importance and need for recognition specificity. Put this into practice and teach others to do the same and recognition will go a long way to becoming improved.
Recognition specificity is one of my favorite
topics around recognition giving. Intuitively, many of you know it is important
but just want to know how to do it better.
Second on the ranking list was the post on What Your Leaders Can Do to Lead Recognition. It tires many of you to fight the recognition battles alone. You need leaders to step up to the plate and make a strategic pitch for the cause of employee recognition.
A bit of a surprise for me was seeing this post
in number two position. But it paints a picture that we desperately need
leadership around employee recognition.
Be constantly learning the essential recognition
skills and behaviors to give meaningful recognition. Understand the importance
of your recognition programs and humanize your interaction with the programs to
better connect with and value your employees.
Happy New Year to everyone. Become a better real
recognition giver this year.
Recognition Reflection: What insights can you gain from the usage of your recognition programs over the past year?
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.