Does Having a Written Recognition Strategy Really Make Any Difference?

Apparently, some people question the need for a written recognition strategy. These are some things individuals responsible for recognition ask.

  • What benefit does an organization have with a recognition strategy over other organizations that don’t have one?
  • How does a recognition strategy really help me?
  • Does having a recognition strategy make any difference? 

Sure, you can live without having a recognition strategy. But I will always strongly endorse the need for having one. Following are my reasons why.

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Your One-Year Goal Will Guide Everything You Do With Recognition

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. 

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What Makes For a Good Recognition Strategy?

Creating a written recognition strategy is not as easy as it seems to create. It should not simply repeat the organization’s vision and mission statements. Nor is it a set of aspirational goals that never amount to anything, let alone try to change things.

So, what makes for a good recognition strategy? That is what I thought I would investigate while reading Richard Rumelt’s book, Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters.

Richard Rumelt is the Harry and Elsa Kunin Emeritus Professor of Business & Society at the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management. And as you can guess, his focus is primarily on strategy. He knows a thing or two about strategy. 

Let me share with you some insights I gained reading his book so far and then apply those ideas to crafting a good recognition strategy.  

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Refine Your Facilitated Recognition Strategy With Tender Loving Care

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You’ve had an elite group of managers and leaders available to you to facilitate and help craft a recognition strategy and plan. 

You randomly assigned this diverse and representative group to table groups or virtual teams to work on the recognition plan. You designated these seasoned and well-informed people to specific focus areas to create goals and action plans. There may, or may not be, experts on a team that know the subject of their focus area.

The result of a recognition strategy facilitation is having well-articulated statements of purpose and philosophy around recognition. Collectively everyone agrees on the overall, big-picture goal for the next year to help steer recognition activities. Even the focus areas for improving recognition are consistent with the prior gap analysis conducted.

You assigned each team a focus area that is most likely not in their expertise or specialty. Their skill sets are probably outside the domain you charged them with working on. As managers and leaders, they generated superb ideas and insights on the topic. 

If there is anywhere where a problem might occur, it is with the goals, action plans, and outcome measures. 

How do you refine these amazing ideas without offending the originators? What steps do you take to refine what you facilitated from them in the strategy session? How can you stay true to the process and honor the first contributors?

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How Do You Measure The Effectiveness of Recognition Programs?

I think it is very important to be more strategic about recognition where you work. You must clearly know the purpose of each of your recognition programs.  

Only then will you know when your recognition programs are effective or not. 

Take the following approach seriously for a fresh look at your recognition program effectiveness 

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Why The Best Recognition Strategy Can Still Be a Surprise

Okay, so you’ve written your recognition strategy. You have a vision and purpose statement for recognition practices and programs. You even have a plan drawn up with focus areas and objectives to see things implemented. 

Do you just launch the thing and see your recognition strategy unfold? The details drawn up do not mean it will accomplish your strategy as is. 

Life often has surprises in store for us. Even a recognition strategy can have surprises, too. 

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Try Out The Bare Bone Basics of A Recognition Strategy

Whether you are a small or medium-sized business, you should definitely have a written recognition strategy. 

Even if you are a beginner at strategizing anything, I am going to make this post super short and sweet to show you how you could have a one-page recognition strategy plan.

Are you ready?  

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Why Don’t You Have A Recognition Strategy?

You know how surprised I am that the percentage of organizations with a written recognition strategy has actually dropped from 55 percent back in 2017 down to 49 percent in 2019.

I guess the question remains to be answered why this is. And while WorldatWork never asked respondents to answer why they had a recognition strategy or not, the issue needs to be answered. 

I won’t pretend to read people’s minds, but I can tell you from organizations I have subsequently worked with, why they didn’t have a recognition strategy before I worked with them. If you don’t have a recognition strategy, you just might relate with them. 

Check out some reasons below that organizations might give for why they don’t have a recognition strategy. 

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How To Use Technology to Enhance Recognition Giving

There is no doubt face-to-face recognition given in a meaningful and personalized way will always outshine the text-based recognition given through most online recognition programs. 

But can technology driven recognition programs actually enable daily recognition practices?

I will show you some ways how technology-based recognition programs can enhance regular recognition giving where you work. 

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Why Recognition Needs To Be More Strategic Where You Work

One trend I am seeing with different clients over the last two years is the development of written recognition strategies. 

Organizations are leveraging a tighter mandate on recognition, especially when coupled with rewards in their programs. 

I’ve seen programs where lower-level reward amounts, whether point-based or gift cards, are opened up in global recognition and reward programs for employees to reward their peers. This can create problems when the cost of living is low in some countries and employees use the rewards more as a make up for lack of salary increases, rather than rewarding above and beyond actions. And some staff get into a tit-for-tat of “I’ll reward you if you’ll reward me” behaviors when controls or approvals are not present. 

So, why should recognition be more strategic in your organization? 

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