Teach Your Leaders How To Be Exemplary Recognizers

Recognition does not come naturally to everyone.

Leaders at the top of your organization should show the leadership competency skills that they expect from their direct reports. Leaders should help others to lead.

But that isn’t always the case.

Your goal for each organizational leader is to get them to inspire and value the contributions of one additional person every day.

How do you teach your leaders to be amazing recognizers of your staff?

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What About Levels of Skill In Giving Recognition?

Each of us has varying levels of confidence and proficiency with being able to recognize those you live with and especially those you work with.

For some, they had upbeat and positive parents, teachers, and coaches, who inspired them to grow and be successful. They regularly received words of encouragement, appropriate praise, and recognition for their accomplishments.

Others had life situations where they always needed to overcome negativity, received put downs at school, and a lack of sincere concern for the welfare of others. Even where they worked had toxic bosses and a lack of appreciation for their contributions.

No matter the route you took in life, or the role models you had in your life, they now expect you appropriately praise and recognize your employees.

But we all have different abilities and attitudes around giving meaningful and effective recognition.

What can we do?

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Top 10 Recognition Posts for 2019

Here we are with another New Year and I want to share with you the Top 10 Posts for 2019.

I will reflect along with you on why perhaps you and many other readers read these more than other posts that didn’t quite make the top rankings.

In tenth position was the post How to Help a Leader Who’s Not a Good Recognizer. Obviously, this leadership focused article resonated with many of you who need some ideas and help with coaching the challenged leader to become a better recognizer of peers and staff. 

Leaders are not always in their position for their people skills—although they certainly help—and for that reason they often have more left-brain, executive functioning and logical skills. Some, not all, need a helping hand to get the people skills down and realize how important recognition is to the people that work for them.

The topic in ninth position is How to Increase the Impact of Your Formal Award Programs, which I know many of you want desperately to improve and stand out. There are some basic steps you can follow, and I hope you can make them come alive in 2020.

Most organizations have some formal award programs going on. But few organizations set objectives for what they want to achieve from conducting nomination submissions and planning awards events.

I didn’t expect this post to rank as high as it did. It seems many of you wanted to learn how they select Oscar awards winners so How Oscar Awards Nominations Are Selected came in at number eight. Recognition professionals are always looking to benchmark against best practices, so I hope you gain some insights from this post.

The Oscars always share the public limelight on what people think an awards ceremony should look like. Understanding how the award winners are selected might help you raise or lower your own expectations on how you should determine your award recipients.

In seventh position we have a leadership focus again and this time it’s on feedback. What Makes Giving Feedback So Difficult for Leaders? provides you with some perspective and actions you can take to assist those having difficulty with this area.

I think we’re hitting on soft skills here and how they are not as easy as they seem. Giving meaningful feedback is something all of us can become better at.

For those of you who haven’t created a written recognition strategy document yet, our sixth ranked post of A Quick and Easy Recognition Strategy to Get You Going should help you out. It is better to have a basic document in place to guide you along than not having a strategy at all.

Make sure you become more intentional and strategic with your recognition practices and programs. This post’s ranking probably reflects the need for an easy way to write up a recognition strategy.

It seems some of us need pointers on overcoming our discomfort with giving recognition. In fact, our fifth post on Why Are We So Uncomfortable Giving Recognition to People? gives great reminders for why some of us find recognition giving an awkward experience.

The reality of this post’s ranking is the human tendency that expressing emotions and validating the great things people around us do is more difficult than we think.

There are probably many organizations that would enjoy our fourth ranked post on How to Get Employees to Use Your Recognition Programs. It takes constant effort to communicate, educate, and exemplify great program usage to have employees follow in our footsteps.

The whole preparation and planning required to make recognition programs successful is not something a lot of organizations do well. Everyone wants to get more employees using their programs more frequently.

I am so glad my post on Why Being Specific Increases the Value of Recognition made it to third place. It validates for me that many of you see the importance and need for recognition specificity. Put this into practice and teach others to do the same and recognition will go a long way to becoming improved.

Recognition specificity is one of my favorite topics around recognition giving. Intuitively, many of you know it is important but just want to know how to do it better.

Second on the ranking list was the post on What Your Leaders Can Do to Lead Recognition. It tires many of you to fight the recognition battles alone. You need leaders to step up to the plate and make a strategic pitch for the cause of employee recognition.

A bit of a surprise for me was seeing this post in number two position. But it paints a picture that we desperately need leadership around employee recognition.

And the top-ranked post for 2019 was… How To Improve Recognition With A Great Learning Curriculum. This shows the need from many of you to have ongoing learning and development on recognition practices and using programs properly.

Be constantly learning the essential recognition skills and behaviors to give meaningful recognition. Understand the importance of your recognition programs and humanize your interaction with the programs to better connect with and value your employees.

Happy New Year to everyone. Become a better real recognition giver this year.

Recognition Reflection: What insights can you gain from the usage of your recognition programs over the past year?

How To Improve Recognition With A Great Learning Curriculum

When thinking about designing great corporate learning curriculums, here’s what the late Peter Drucker once said, “Our most important education system is in the employee’s own organization.”

However, most organizations have not woken up to the fact they’re also an educational system besides whatever goods and services they produce.

Consider these factoids to give you a perspective:

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that employers with fewer than 100 employees provided only 0.8 hour––that’s only 12 minutes of manager training per six-month period. And,
  • Organizations with 100-500 employees provided only 0.9 hour (6 minutes) of training for the same time span.

Further, a survey by Progressive Business Publications found only 52% of companies trained their managers once a year or less.

Designing a learning curriculum that will teach people to give meaningful and effective recognition to everyone they work with, looks to be a daunting task. What can you do to change these poor numbers and make recognition a driving force in your organization? (more…)

Why Your Recognition Training Is Likely Failing

Have you tried to train your people on how to give better recognition and it didn’t work? Were you able to measure the transfer of learning back to the job? What was the business impact of the recognition education delivered? Have employees reported improved recognition?

There are many reasons why educating and training managers and employees on recognition giving can fail. Authors and education experts, Tim Mooney and Robert O. Brinkerhoff, suggest bold actions for achieving business results in their book, Courageous Training. They provide a useful list of eleven possible causes for training failure.

I will unpack each one of these causes and then discuss how it relates specifically to employee recognition training. I want you to overcome the typical problems associated with training people effective recognition skills. (more…)

How To Get Your Managers Consistently Giving Recognition

Getting managers to consistently give meaning, memorable, and motivational recognition is going to take time and a desire for them to want to improve.

Leave those managers alone who say they don’t want to change. For them, it is a matter of looking at their engagement, performance, and retention results. Then their manager can hold them accountable for having to improve when their performance reviews are conducted.

Your time can be better spent helping those who want to improve and show them how to become better recognizers. (more…)

How You Can Make Recognition Giving a Regular Habit

 

It’s easy to get distracted by technology, people, and competing priorities in our lives and not recognize the great things people do around us. And then there are our workloads, which are often overwhelming, and stop us from interacting with people.

You might struggle with naturally being good at giving recognition. You were not outstanding in academic or sports at school. Home might not have been an exemplary place to receive praise or accolades.

Knowing how to give recognition is not always easy. You may be asking yourself:

  • How do I give better recognition?
  • How do I give recognition more frequently?
  • How can I recognize more people?

Let’s tackle these questions by learning how you can make recognition giving a regular habit in your life. (more…)

Do You Really Educate Your People To Give Recognition?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

One of my biggest concerns about learning employee recognition skills is how companies are relying too much on training.

You are well aware that training is about learning how to do new things especially if you don’t know how. It is providing opportunities to practice those skills and transfer what you have learned out of the classroom, or online course, and into the real world.

But, you may have seen, as I have, that managers often receive the training and nothing really changes.

My advice to you is to make sure you couple any training you provide with education.

Ask yourself if you are educating your people to give recognition versus just training them to do so.

Education is completely different than training. I found that out later in life. (more…)

Are Fears Getting In the Way of You Giving Recognition?

Is it possible that those struggling with giving people recognition in your company or organization actually are afraid to do so? Do they have perceived fears that are stopping them from recognizing others?

These days we hear the acronym “FOMO” or the “fear of missing out” which is the anxiety of missing out on rewarding experiences that others might be having. This is typically associated with social media and the need to be continually connected online so the individual can stay connected with what other people are doing.

I would classify the many fears associated with not giving recognition as “FOGR”, or the “fear of giving recognition”.

Latter-day Saints have a scriptural reference that states “…but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”(Doctrine and Covenants 38:30)

And so I bring to the forefront the typical fears people associate with giving recognition and provide you with ways you can prepare for dealing with them and helping others cope better. (more…)

Get Your Managers Excited About Giving Recognition

Many of you responsible for employee recognition in your organizations have a hard time getting full support and attention of your managers.

Some just don’t get it as far as understanding the importance of recognition in the eyes of their employees.

A few managers rose to their current position solely based upon expertise or technical competency and not for any people skill or emotional intelligence strengths.

Your job is to spark their interest in recognition when they are being bombarded with so many other priorities and distractions.

In reality, we tend to remember two kinds of events in life – major negative happenings and warm, positive activities.

Your goal should be to get managers excited about giving recognition and make it a warm and positive memory for them.

Learn from these four ways to raise the excitement level. (more…)