How To Find Out What Your Leaders Think of Recognition

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? 

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Find Out How People Want To Be Recognized

Has your manager ever recognized you in a way you really didn’t appreciate?

While not by my manager, I can recall twice where people recognized me in not the best way.

Each of these poor recognition events proved the person responsible for recognizing me had done no homework. In addition, it might well have been the individual transferring their own preference on to how they recognized me. And, I also think one was a cheap, quick and easy way out.

The bottom-line is I did not feel properly recognized.

Have you seen employees disappointed or feeling a lack of respect with how they’re acknowledged and recognized?

We will discover ways for finding out how people want to be recognized.

Remember, I alluded to two occasions where I received depersonalized recognition that meant nothing to me? Let me share those experiences with you so we can learn from them.

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How To Better Understand Your Leader’s Point of View

It is important to create a persona or profile of the leader or leaders you report to for when you need to present to them or gain approval on a proposal. Leaders think differently than rank-and-file employees. It’s these qualities that set them apart.

Read past talks they have given and check out the latest annual reports to gain insights about them. 

Talk to people who know them the best like their assistants and other managers who have had dealings with them.

Gather details about their background and where they have worked along with the job positions they have held.

Know their motivations and pain points that will help you understand their priorities and how they make decisions.

What do you know about their personal life, significant others in their life, family and so forth? What are their hobbies and interest than might give a human connection for you to relate to?

How will understanding your leader’s point of view help you with your recognition strategy and planning?

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When Leaders Give Recognition Watch What Happens

Last Thursday, I was standing at the boarding gate in Toronto Airport waiting to board my WestJet flight to Calgary.

I saw this man in a suit, who went around and shook hands with all of the WestJet staff members as he went forward to board the same flight. I even saw one employee ask for a minute of his time as they walked together down the passenger boarding bridge.

Hmm? Was this the WestJet president and CEO, Ed Sims? (more…)

Master These 5 Behaviors for Great Recognition

In my work to help people give real recognition wherever they work, I’ve been able to conduct research on the essential behaviors effective managers do well in giving employees authentic recognition.

I identified a total of 40 behaviors observed in people recognizing one another. These were grouped into 5 categories or domains to help us focus people more clearly on the different types of behaviors.

Then we solicited experts in the field of employee recognition to rank these behaviors by how important they were and the level of positive impact they had and how frequently effective recognizers used them.

What I want to do for you today is give you just the top 5 behaviors that if you will implement and improve upon will make you a better recognizer of those around you.

Are you ready? (more…)

How Leaders Sometimes View Employee Recognition

Maybe you’ve seen what I have seen over 20+ years of trying to help many companies get their employee recognition right.

Often I am dealing with managers in the middle – typically from Human Resources – who understand the importance of employee recognition and are trying desperately to rectify low recognition scores reported by their employees on the latest employee engagement survey.

Even their director knows they need to improve this engagement line, which has been doing poorly for the past few years.

The problem is with the most senior leader.

It can be chief executive officer, president, or chief administrator – whatever the title and whoever the person is at the very top.

They just don’t get it. (more…)

How to Become a Sherlock Holmes of Employee Motivation

Finding out what motivates your employees can be a fun activity to pursue besides the one-on-one meetings you may have with your employees.

When you can find out people’s interest and what is meaningful to employees without them really knowing then your recognition actions take on an extra value of respect and appreciation.

To discover the personal motivators of those you manage and work with you must become like Sherlock Holmes. (more…)

Get Rid of the Distractions And Give Better Recognition

Have you ever been in a situation when you were talking with a colleague and he or she just kept looking at his or her smartphone? Kinda makes you feel disengaged and ignored, doesn’t it?

Now the reverse of the situation is whether you have ever done a similar action yourself when speaking with or recognizing an employee.

If you have done this, and I know I have done it several times in my lifetime, I am going to show you some ways to remove such guilt from your communication practices.

What I can promise you is by removing distractions around you that you will improve your employees’ perception of the recognition you give to them. (more…)

Putting Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

Walking the road to empathy is hard work

It was a Saturday and I had our four children all to myself. We were planning to exit the house for a while. This would provide some welcome relief for my wife who was then bedbound with her last pregnancy.

The older children were scurrying around and independently putting on jackets and running shoes and heading for the van.

Our youngest, our 3 year-old daughter, repeatedly asked me for help with tying up her shoes. She quietly said, “Daddy, can you help me put on my shoes?” (more…)