With my speaking, training, and consulting with organizational leaders and managers in 13 countries, I have seen exactly what it takes to have success with any employee recognition initiatives.
I often speak of the need for alignment, consistency with recognition, the quality of recognition, and the level of impact recognition has on people and performance. Yet, one important element that must be present is having a senior leader who will move mountains for you and advocate for the cause of recognition.
How do they make a difference? Let’s count a few of the ways.
It’s mind-blowing to see the difference recognition practices and programs undergo in organizations where a written recognition strategy and plan exists, versus those organizations that don’t have one.
I hope to encourage you to create a written recognition strategy and plan if you don’t already have one. And, if you have one already, to make sure you have an action plan for implementing it.
Here are my three reasons you need a recognition strategy. There are plenty more, but I hope these will encourage you.
I always remind clients, and those who manage recognition programs, that these online recognition programs can only do so much. Personally, they are responsible for getting these great tools into the hands of leaders and employees and to encourage people to use them.
Recognition programs are only a tool to help people practice recognition giving. They should never replace the one-on-one, face-to-face expressions of acknowledgement.
Check out some of the recognition programs in your organization. How do they help everyone practice amazing recognition?
Consultants come, and consultants go. Some are better than others.
I recall starting my first job at a newly opened hospital as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Towards the end of that year, the leadership team hired a consultant to help them set direction and create a strategy for this new facility.
The consultant roamed around and interviewed leaders and managers and a sampling of employees.
Leaders scheduled a full-day meeting to brainstorm solutions. They invited many to be involved. We generated oodles of flip charts in response to questions posed by the consultant. Everyone vetted this content, and we finally came up with a semblance of a plan.
It seems there are common problems that crop up when integrating employee recognition programs into an organization.
These problems create barriers to the success of the goals the organization hopes to achieve through strategically using recognition programs. Fortunately, the troubles recognition programs can sometimes present with are easily treated and resolved.
Look at the following scenarios and examine how you would tackle each one.
It doesn’t happen very often. But every once in a while, you find an exceptional leader who changes the course of employee recognition in an organization.
Their example and positive actions influence andaffect recognition practices by those around them and the usage of recognition programs by everyone. This influence is powerful and important in changing the way recognition plays out in an organization.
Here are some specific examples and some observations from others.
It was yesterday when I heard about an organization that had set up a formal award program called their CEO Award. The only problem was this formal award program was being undermined by other leaders and managers. Not very helpful.
Make a nominated formal award program a success right from the get-go. Look at the following factors and see what you can control for to make your award program a great one.
We are approaching the last quarter of the year and it may well be time to submit your budget requests for keeping your offline and online recognition programs in place, or even asking for funding to add new programs.
It can seem like a nail biting exercise each year to go through. One way to make this angst less ominous is to get your executive sponsor’s support ahead of time. Follow these practical ways to get your leader’s commitment to your recognition program budget.
Having just completed an organization’s recognition strategy and plan, I know that the next step for my client’s representative is to present the document to their executive leadership team for approval.
Hopefully, you already have an executive sponsor shepherding the way to the boardroom. They should have the first review of your new recognition strategy and plan. Listen to their suggestions for any revisions they think should you need to make to better support the current and future business strategy.
They can also advise you on what each executive leader will expect from the document and from your presentation. And they can also tell you of recent successful presentations and what they did to achieve this. You could ask to look at their PowerPoint® presentation and invite the presenter to share their experience with each of the leaders.