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.
Employees know if you are an exemplary leader at giving recognition.
They even tally up in their minds who you have recognized and who you haven’t. You’ll find there is a collective psyche that calculates if you have a positive or negative relationship strength with your employees or not.
The quality and level of this relationship strength affects how recipients and peers perceive the recognition.
Are people watching how you recognize employees? What would their observations say about the recognition you give to people? How do you measure up in the eyes of your employees?
When was the last time you reviewed your recognition and reward program data to see if there is any tendency toward hidden biases?
A hidden—or implicit—bias is defined as a preference for, or
against, a person, thing, or group, which is held at an unconscious level. This
means you and I don’t even know our minds are holding onto this bias. In
contrast, an overt—or explicit—bias is an attitude or prejudice which is very
much endorsed at a conscious level.
For example, what is the proportion of
recognition or reward recipients who are male versus female, with respect
to your employee gender ratio? Are rewards given more often to one gender over
another? Is there any general ratio between white and non-white employees? Do
disabled staff equally merit and receive recognition and rewards for exemplary
Perhaps we all need to ask these kinds of
question when identifying whether hidden biases exist in our recognition and
reward practices and programs.
If there are certain principles that
keep recognition and rewards open it is fairness and equity.
The question of when to recognize a
person, or whether what they have done merits being rewarded, is a
common issue especially for managers.
I believe you must start with
defining what you mean by recognition and what rewards are first. Once there is
agreement throughout the organization on these two definitions, you will be in
much better shape to guide and prescribe when to use each of them
We’ve all seen them in action. Some of us even report to one.
These are the managers who don’t
seem to want to change their behavior. In our recognition
scenario, these are the managers who don’t recognize their direct reports, let
alone anyone else working around them.
How are you supposed to get a
manager like this to change?
Each organization has at
least one person in their midst who doesn’t get it with employee recognition.
Which is why when I was in a meeting this week with several representatives from an organization I am working with, someone boldly asked me a question related to a person who is likely a non-recognizer. This courageous individual asked, how do you respond to people who ask, “Why are you working so hard on recognition?”
They are asking how do
you address naysayers in an organization. They want to know how they should
stand up to these types of people and substantiate the merit of the
time and effort they are putting into the cause of improving employee
How do should you respond to someone like this who is negative, opinionated, and sometimes even derails your efforts to make recognition happen in your organization?
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?
Some organizations will go all out. They’ll have their senior leaders serve up a pancake and sausage breakfast or other preferred food items. Perhaps the cafeteria has free items to offer employees that day which are paid for by the company. Others will encourage managers and supervisors to be vigilant in taking time out for coffee, doughnuts, and treats. Or perhaps everyone chips in to a potluck to share or brings a side dish for a company/department barbecue.
The first Friday of March is upon us. This Friday is considered one of those nationally declared calendar event days called National Employee Appreciation Day. It is not a day off work but one to remember the importance of appreciating employees and recognizing them for what they do.
What will you do in your organization for National Employee Appreciation Day?
Whenever technology is involved there will always be bugs and glitches that get in the way. Likewise with recognition and reward programs. However, for the most part, the biggest problem with recognition programs is not technology. It is the people factor and how recognition programs are used. Consider these Top 10 Solutions to Typical Recognition Program Problems to help you out. (more…)