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.
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.
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.
Having facilitated many recognition strategies and plans for organizations around the world, I have gained a lot of insight into what makes them work well.
I will share with you four things that must be in place to be successful in creating a written recognition strategy and plan. While many other factors may be needed for you, when these foundational steps are in place, everything works out wonderfully. And when they are not, it is like pulling teeth to get a recognition strategy done right.
In my earlier life as a speech-language pathologist, I vividly recall an external consultant coming into the hospital I worked at analyzing our organizational challenges. We brainstormed and followed his facilitated methods to let some potential plans and goals unfold.
And so, our creative content on the flip chart sheets was all typed up and distributed to the attendees. That’s where they sat, so it seemed, for many months. I told our hospital’s CEO that there was a problem with this consultant’s work. They set nothing up for implementing the plans.
I recently finished helping a client’s organization team in drafting a recognition plan to address their gaps with recognition practices and recognition programs. I nicely printed everything up in a flow chart looking model.
I will not leave them alone with this document. I have prescribed a method for how to implement their recognition plan so they will achieve success.
Recently, I was conducting a webinar when the organization’s Chief Human Resources Officer asked me a candid question. They wanted to know what difference a recognition strategy having would have on their organization.
I answered this question live and off the top of my head from my experience to date. Now, I am going to spell out in greater detail the difference a recognition strategy will have for you and your organization.
Recognition Professionals International’s first Best Practice Standard for recognition programs is having a Recognition Strategy.
Does your organization have a written recognition strategy? If you do, what is your intention of having a recognition strategy?
I want to address what the strategic intent is behind your recognition strategy. And if you don’t have a recognition strategy yet, I will clue you in how important it is to know your strategic intentions. Strategic intent is both philosophical and outlines the purpose of recognition.
It’s one thing to write up a recognition strategy, and it’s something else to make it work.
WorldatWork shows almost half of all their member organizations surveyed have a written recognition strategy. They even state that 94 percent of those organizations that have a strategy that is aligned with their business strategy.
What no one follows through on is answering whether anyone actually implemented any of these written recognition strategies or not.
It is one thing to make quality or continuous improvements to your recognition and reward programs. But what about innovating them?
Some of you have probably heard of the design and consulting firm, IDEO, based in the U.S., and with offices in England, Germany, Japan, and China. They founded IDEO in Palo Alto, California, in 1991. They have over 700 staff and they use a design thinking approach to design products, services, environments, and digital experiences.
You could do this on your own or collaborate with your recognition program provider. Look at IDEO’s design process below and consider how you might apply it to your recognition programs.