Understanding the frequency with which different types of recognition typically occur will help guide your usage of recognition programs and planning to make other forms of recognition happen. These are the elements that you must teach others, too. Then they will use your recognition programs wisely and practice recognition giving more often.
This is important to remember because each person at work has different expectations of how often they think other people should recognize them. So, there is also a frequency preference to contend with for every employee.
Let me give you an example from a healthcare organization that I surveyed to look at the frequency of recognition and how their employees felt about it.
Do you recall when you were first hired or promoted to the position of manager or director of a department? I know I do. It was about three decades ago now.
There were a lot of new tasks to perform. Many meetings to attend. Several HR functions to complete, such as submitting attendance reports for payroll. Reports of performance metrics to show productivity and efficiency.
Yet not one person instructed me on how to recognize the staff I now managed. Just recently, I was one of them. I had no clue about managing and leading people. I gave my best answers in the interview and they picked me.
Things I wish I knew about recognition as a first-time manager were some of the following.
And if you want to help leaders and staff learn how to give better recognition to one another, you just might have to change with those times. Especially when this comes to learning recognition skills.
According to a Quantum Workplace survey conducted in June 2021, there were 30 percent of employees who considered themselves hybrid employees—working from home and sometimes in the workplace. From this same survey, 35 percent of respondents reported working remotely.
How do these workplace challenges impact how to teach recognition skills? What should you be mindful of in these changing times?
Nothing drives cultural practices better than exemplary leadership from the top. Managers who responded to the survey said that 93 percent of them reported senior leader involvement in recognition programs was very or extremely important. The large majority, or 75 percent, said they were extremely important.
As to the actual involvement of senior leaders, only 21 percent were very involved, with another 53 percent being somewhat involved.
One could surmise leaders play an important role in recognition programs. Yet, what exactly can they do that makes such a tremendous difference?
Leaders often barrage their managers of recognition with criticism over a lack of participation and usage of their organization’s employee recognition programs.
Naturally, not all organizations have participation problems. Some are exemplary. They have fought hard for that position. It did not come about easily, nor did it happen overnight.
But never let those who do not understand the intricacies and gifts of what it takes to make recognition happen, believe that they are the “real” recognition givers and know exactly what it takes to get full participation with recognition programs.
Instead, remind them that first things must come first. Teach them how to give recognition one-on-one, whether in person, or by all the communication methods available to them
It is hard to teach everyone how to give meaningful and effective recognition to one another, no matter the size of the organization you work for.
That’s why you need to enlist an army of people to aid you.
Dictionary.com explains that the more helpers you have available to you then the task will be easier. The proverb “many hands make light work” was reportedly first recorded in English in the early 1300s in a knightly romance known as Sir Bevis of Hampton. However, John Heywood, a 16th century writer known for his plays, poems, and collection of proverbs, is most often attributed as the originator of this proverb.
What can you do to teach other to help you teach people in your organization how to give amazing recognition to one another?
People seem to want things smaller these days. We went from desktops to laptops. We moved from tablets to smartphones. Now we want smart wearables.
The same goes for education and learning. People moved from bite-size things you eat to bite-size things you view or read. We now apply this principle of “short and sweet,” to online learning and other resources for teaching people how to give meaningful and effective recognition.
This became clear to me when one of our clients wanted short and sweet content. Their communications team was engaged in providing managerial resources for learning and applying recognition practices and how to effectively use their online recognition programs.
I want to show you some short and sweet factors that were used to support this client’s initiatives along with some additional ideas.