I think leaders underestimate the great value employees place in their presence at employee award events. Their genuine charisma and celebrity-like status truly add to employees’ feelings about attending award ceremonies.
Consider the following pointers that your leaders can do to make award events shine.
COVID-19 is taking its toll in the workplace. However, a recent Gartner report suggests that managers need to redouble their recognition efforts. One of the areas we can’t neglect is career milestones and other achievement celebrations. Keeping celebrations alive helps to invigorate organizations and inspire people. Follow these Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Employees from a Distance and keep the ritual and ceremony of celebrations happening.
Commit to the celebratory side of work. Realize the importance that celebrations hold in the lives of employees. It is a way to honor people for their achievements and contributions. Do all you can to keep celebrations going even if they’re done differently.
Create celebration memory triggers. Your job is to create recognition experiences and emotional connections that will make lasting memories for recognition recipients. Always set goals of what you want to have happen in the eyes of each person you celebrate.
Prepare supportive visual imagery. Celebrations are very visual events. Develop creative signage to show or send to individuals to use. Take screen captures, photos, and quotes from people who can’t attend. Use visual overlays or backgrounds for videoconferencing.
Consider the auditory messaging. Be specific and positive with how you communicate your recognition. Select meaningful and upbeat music to integrate with presentations. Invite all remote attendees to have noisemakers and party horn blowers to use at key points.
Are there tactile things you need. Ensure awards or gifts are shipped well in advance so recipient has them. Build in opportunities for people to applaud. Design unifying and personalized items for everyone to wear or wave like badges or posters, etc.
What about the sense of smell? Remote celebrations miss out on the olfactory senses such as food. Order cakes from a local bakery or have everyone prepare cupcakes ahead of time. If the recipient likes flowers send them flowers on the day of the virtual event.
Put action into the virtual event. Orchestrate virtual attendees to wave hands and shout out on cue. Create a compilation video ahead of time of peers of the recognition recipient sending special greetings. Record a socially distanced parade with music and banners.
Planning requires extra time. Always start early with planning celebrations from a distance especially with technology. Start with your purpose and your goal. How does the organization want to be represented and by who? Think of a theme to guide preparations.
Orchestrate but allow improvisation. While much of celebrating from a distance requires detailed planning, make sure you allow some spontaneity as well. Invite award recipients to say a few words. Bring is surprise guests of family or former managers.
Timing is absolutely everything. Up the delivery dates of awards, gifts, essential props and signage. Empower managers to represent your organization and make the celebration special. Enlist a team of supportive employees willing to pull off each celebration event.
Previously published by the author in Incentive Magazine.
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.
If you want to get everyone giving better and more effective recognition to people, you will probably have to educate and train them on how to do that the right way.
However, before you even start any education and training to teach recognition giving skills, there are a few things you should do beforehand to guarantee success. These preparatory steps will help you to get people ready to give better recognition.
Check out this list and put at least one step into practice this coming month.
Nathaniel Branden, author of The Power of Self-Esteem, defined confidence as, “our ability to think and to cope with the basic challenges of life.” He said that “confidence is our right to be happy, the feeling of being worthy, deserving, entitled to assert our needs and wants and to enjoy the fruits of our efforts.”
a lack of confidence comes from low self-esteem, insecurity, and self-doubt.
the work setting, a lack of confidence can affect us in many ways.
And in recognizing employees, it can stop you in your tracks from not giving
recognition to deserving colleagues and employees.
look at various ways to improve the level of confidence with giving effective
and meaningful recognition.
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
past talks they have given and check out the latest annual reports to gain
insights about them.
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.
their motivations and pain points that will help you understand their
priorities and how they make decisions.
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?
will understanding your leader’s point of view help you with your
recognition strategy and planning?
In your role, as a leader or administrator of employee recognition programs and practices, you will often find yourself having to convince, and influence leaders, on recognition programs, budgets, and strategizing recognition.
Human resource leaders, as well as recognition professionals, have not necessarily helped the recognition cause along the way.
For too long, recognition professionals have been relegated to the position of party planners and balloon-blower-uppers, which instilled a negative perception of our role. Senior leaders often see recognition as just trinkets and trash, primarily because of the limited budgets they’ve allocated to recognition, which limits what is available for you to spend. Then there’s the persistent argument, that career milestone recognition is a waste of money because these programs don’t move performance and there’s no ROI from them.
How can you overcome these negative stereotypes? What can you do to convince your senior leaders otherwise? (more…)