Like any tool, recognition programs are only as good as the people that use them.
And therein lies the problem. It isn’t the programs per se, it’s the people. That’s why it is essential that you create a people strategy to use your programs better, besides having a recognition program strategy.
Look at the following areas of direction you may need to take.
One issue impeding recognition managers from initiating a recognition strategy is having the full support of their senior leadership.
Before undertaking the creation of a written recognition strategy and plan, you must operate with the full blessing of the leader you report to. Your leader knows all that is going on in the organization. They can tell you some of the direction happening. They will know what to beware of, or at least to be mindful of.
So, let me give you five ways to get your leader’s support for your recognition strategy.
Giving meaningful recognition is all about learning the science behind recognition and mastering the art of practicing this important soft skill.
A soft skill includes all the attributes and personality traits that help employees positively interact with others and achieve success at work. Recognition is just one of those soft skills to develop.
What learning principles will help enhance retention of the skills needed to give effective recognition to employees? Let’s take a look at some of them.
There are various stages you pass through when using our recognition strategy approach. First, is crafting of a fitting recognition purpose and philosophy statement that is just right for your organization.
Then comes the identifying of the areas you have to focus on following a recognition assessment. All organizations have strengths and weaknesses. Know where to need to focus your energies to improve recognition practices and programs really helps.
But before you identify those focus points, there is one important thing you have to do. You need to declare what your overall guiding objective is to improve the quality of recognition for the year ahead.
Having articulated what this goal is will help your organizational leaders know what you should all be shooting for. And it helps you personally with an additional criterion point to use in making decisions.
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.
Your leadership team, and whoever your direct executive sponsor is, can really impact the success of your recognition programs.
For example, nearly one-quarter of respondents on a Gallup survey said the most memorable recognition comes from a high-level leader or CEO. Imagine what leaders could do if they encouraged everyone to get on board with using their organization’s recognition programs.
In a survey I conducted across the United States and Canada of managers in the public sector, they shared how participation of senior leaders was an important aspect of delivering effective employee recognition.
Examine your own organization and evaluate how leadership involvement with employee recognition plays out.