What Your Leaders Need To Better Understand Recognition

WorldatWork surveyed their members and found that the average organization uses eight separate recognition programs. That’s a lot! 

However, what they don’t state is how well people use those recognition programs, either by leaders or by their employees. The secret to using these programs properly is to help your leaders better understand the value and importance of employee recognition. 

How can you get your leaders on board, and what do they first need to know about employee recognition? 

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Are You Really Giving People Recognition on Purpose?

Do you know why you recognize people?

If you haven’t thought about why you appreciate and recognize people, take some time out to articulate your beliefs and reasons for recognizing the people you work, play, and live with.

For me it is about appreciating people for who they are, independent of any work they do, and valuing everything that a person brings with them to the workplace. It’s about recognizing people for all that they do—both the insignificant and the amazing things people do. 

Recognition is about valuing people and their contributions. It is the transferring of positive feelings and emotions from one person to another, in response to an employee’s positive behaviors or actions.

What is your purpose for giving recognition?

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How To Create a One-Page Recognition Strategy

A recognition strategy is a written document that outlines the purpose, direction, goals, and plans, for you and your organizational leaders to commit to doing, and make recognition giving a way of life and not just a program.

However, according to the latest WorldatWork 2019 Trends in Employee Recognition Survey, only 49 percent of the surveyed organizations have a written recognition strategy.

For that reason, I am helping you with how to create a written one-page recognition strategy to ensure you have something rather than nothing.

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How To Craft a Clear Purpose for Recognition

I love reading the latest business books and business magazines that inspire me to think about employee recognition in a fresh new way.

For example, in the September-October Harvard Business Review (HBR) there’s a great article on Put Your Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy by Thomas W. Malnight, professor at IMD, Ivy Buche, associate director, Business Transformation Initiative at IMD, and Charles Dhanaraj, a professor at Temple University. 

Now, as you would expect from HBR, these academics are addressing purpose as it relates to business strategies. But I instantly saw the application of the principles in this article towards creating a recognition strategy.

Are you ready?

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If You Want To Give More Recognition, First Figure Out Why

I have seen where after a poor performance on the recognition measures of a recent employee engagement survey that the CEO tells all the leaders and managers to go out there and give more recognition to people.

You can probably guess why the senior leader asked them to do that. The reason was to improve the recognition scores on the next engagement survey.

This mandate from on high doesn’t work.

Giving more recognition to the people you work with for the sake of the numbers is not why you want to recognize others more.

It is not about numbers and measuring the occurrence of recognition. It is about giving recognition more purposefully.

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Never Mix Agendas With Your Recognition Strategy

Years ago when I was leading a church congregation I invited a member to meet with me to discuss a matter involving their publicly disciplining some of our youth. Ironically, this individual also wanted to meet with me to discuss a different subject.

We met that evening, and I allowed them to start with their subject first. Afterward I dealt with the more sensitive subject I had on my agenda. I can only tell you it didn’t go over very well. In fact, they didn’t talk to me for several weeks after.

However, I can tell you I learned a very important lesson from that experience. And that is, never mix agendas. 

If someone wants to see you about something, let that be the sole purpose for the meeting. Don’t add something you have on your mind to the meeting.

In a similar vein, never mix agendas with your employee recognition strategy either. Stay focused on creating a recognition strategy all by itself and add nothing else.

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A Quick and Easy Recognition Strategy to Get You Going

Typical steps for creating a business strategy require senior leadership team involvement, analysis of previous financial and operational goals and outcomes, and direction as far as the future state of where the company should be heading.

Having a written recognition strategy puts recognition practices and programs on the same level as a corporate business strategy.

But what if you don’t have the luxury to get senior leaders and a sampling of departmental or business unit leaders in the same room? If you can’t facilitate and collaborate with others to create a recognition strategy document, what should you do?

I will show you how to create a quick and easy recognition strategy with a basic structure and outline, along with some questions to ask yourself as a guide. Are you ready? (more…)

Why a Recognition Mission Statement Is So Important

What happens when your organization doesn’t even have a purpose for recognition? Why should you have a written mission statement for recognition?

That’s the dilemma one of your fellow subscribers submitted. For them, their biggest struggle is not having a formal company mission regarding recognition.

Too often, the focus for many organizations with recognition is limited to recognition programs. Recognition programs should be viewed as simply a tool to help people practice the more important, day-to-day practice of recognition giving.

That’s why your purpose for recognition should always include recognition practices as well as your recognition programs.

How can you create a recognition mission statement? (more…)

How To Improve Your Employees’ Recognition Experience

Many of you have a variety of online recognition programs available to your employees and managers to use.

Employees can usually acknowledge their colleagues or even express appreciation and thanks to a supervisor or manager. Most of the online recognition, award, and reward programs are peer-to-peer, manager to employee, and with formal award programs, the organization to the employee.

Sometimes, we make our recognition programs but they end up being too transactional in nature. When this happens, it can lead to a less than ideal recognition experience for your employees.

What needs to happen is more humanizing of our technological recognition programs.

I am going to give you seven P’s to consider when creating any meaningful and memorable recognition experience with your programs. (more…)