How To Get Emerging Leaders Involved With Recognition

You find yourself stuck with finding the resources you need to help with your recognition plans. 

Your organizational leaders want you to strategize how to make recognition a stronger tool to use within talent management and creating a positive employee experience. In the meantime, you must continue to manage the recognition programs, encourage managers to give recognition to employees they rarely see in person, and keep leaders informed of the ROI of employee recognition.

Why not team up with your organization or learning and development leaders and find out if your needs for recognition could become a goal for a team of emerging leaders? 

This is exactly what happened to us when an organization approached a colleague and I about presenting our thoughts and strategy around employee recognition in the retail industry.

The following happened, and you can follow these steps as a playbook to implement where you work.  

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Who Is The Hardest Person To Recognize?

Some of us have a hard time recognizing those around us and especially people we associate with at work.

Historically, people have viewed recognition as a top-down behavior where managers and leaders started recognizing employees who reported to them. This likely originated from the military where senior officers presented medals as awards for specific service or achievement in military campaigns. 

With the reduced hierarchy in organizations leading to a reduction in middle managers along with online recognition programs accessible by all employees, they have emancipated the source of who gives recognition.

Recognition is no longer constrained by a person’s position or title and should be multi-directional. 

But there can still be a bias or perception of who should give recognition. So besides considering who should give recognition, what about in the other direction? This raises the question whether some people at different levels of position are harder to recognize that others are.

Who Is the hardest person to recognize?

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How to More Effectively Approach Milestone Recognition

Career milestone award or service award recognition programs have been around for many years.

Over those years there have been the customary plaques, symbolic crystal awards, and gold watches—and these used to start when a person reached 25-years of service.

But as tenure reduced significantly with economy and business changes, and retention of employees was harder to maintain, career milestones now begin at 5 years and 5-year increments thereafter. Today, you will find many companies now start career milestones at an employee’s first year of service.

The reality is, whether you give an employee something tangible or not, they always have a workplace anniversary every single year.

How do you plan to make the next round of your milestone recognition celebrations more meaningful and effective?

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Sure Fire Ways To Get Leaders On Board with Recognition

Some leaders get it and some don’t. There are those who have strong people skills and understand the value of giving recognition well. Then are the others who question the purpose of recognition and the expense associated with it.

How can you guarantee getting leadership support and their personal commitment to making recognition happen?

Think about the following ten steps before heading into a meeting with a leader or your senior leadership team. (more…)

Why You Have To Convince Leaders About Recognition

In your role, as a leader or administrator of employee recognition programs and practices, you will often find yourself having to convince, and influence leaders, on recognition programs, budgets, and strategizing recognition.

Human resource leaders, as well as recognition professionals, have not necessarily helped the recognition cause along the way.

For too long, recognition professionals have been relegated to the position of party planners and balloon-blower-uppers, which instilled a negative perception of our role. Senior leaders often see recognition as just trinkets and trash, primarily because of the limited budgets they’ve allocated to recognition, which limits what is available for you to spend. Then there’s the persistent argument, that career milestone recognition is a waste of money because these programs don’t move performance and there’s no ROI from them.

How can you overcome these negative stereotypes? What can you do to convince your senior leaders otherwise? (more…)

Why Learning About Recognition Needs To Be More Strategic

Learning about effective employee recognition practices and skills requires developing clear, behaviourally focused learning objectives.

But I find there is a problem in most organizations. When I ask how much focus is given to recognition practices in their leadership or management development curriculum the answer is often zilch.

Or at best they talk about recognition and motivation at the 30,000 feet level with no practical skills, know-how, or insights on how to get better at giving recognition.

Yet these organizational leaders are concerned when employee engagement survey results reveal poor, or at least below average, employee perceptions of the recognition given. (more…)

The 3 Types of Leaders That Make Recognition Happen

The saying goes that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go round

And that’s exactly the case for employee recognition too.

Some of the people you need to help make recognition go well are your leaders.

There is a huge benefit with having leaders on board who are personally committed to recognition. These leaders understand how using recognition practices and programs well, can be a strategic leveraging tool for engagement and performance results.

But not all leaders are created equal. In fact, I have identified 3 different types of leaders in the workplace who can each provide a valuable role.

See if you can relate any of your leaders to the following leadership types. (more…)

What Direction Do Your Leaders Want You To Take?

You typically have leaders who either (1) “get it” as far as understanding the importance of employee recognition and who support you, or (2) those who are totally out in left-field and even become detractors of recognition.

To give a small indication of this challenge, this year’s WorldatWork Trends in Employee Recognition Survey revealed the highest responded reason for not offering employee recognition programs, with 28 percent, was “no support from senior management”.

My own research in the public sector revealed 93 percent of managers stating senior management involvement with recognition was important, while the reality was only 21 percent were ever involved with recognition programs.

In the Bersin and Associates’ “The State of Employee Recognition 2012” they found 80 percent of senior leaders believed employees were recognized at least on a monthly basis. That’s their belief.

Frontline evidence from the same report showed 40 percent of managers and only 22 percent of individual contributors reported their peers were recognized on a monthly or more frequent basis.

Yet you are expected to receive direction from senior leaders on the course of action you’re to take with employee recognition when they might not understand the positive value of employee recognition.

As a manager or owner of employee recognition what are you supposed to do? (more…)

Never Underestimate The Value Of Senior Leader Endorsement

Employee recognition is everyone’s responsibility, no doubt about it.

But there is something about having the personal support and endorsement of your senior leaders that propels recognition to a whole new level.

The 2015 WorldatWork Trends in Employee Recognition Survey showed only 34% of managers felt they had a high level of support from their senior management team for employee recognition programs.

Your goal should always be to get a senior leader’s commitment to making employee recognition practices and use of recognition programs a high priority as part of your company’s people strategy.

You can then prove to them how recognition can help them achieve the business goals you all want to see reached.

Don’t ever underestimate the value of an executive endorsement for employee recognition. (more…)

How To Win a Leader’s Commitment and Buy-In for Recognition

We keep hearing recognition managers and practitioners expressing frustration with being able to get executive “buy-in” for employee recognition initiatives.

This hits home when people are seeking budget approvals before proceeding with a new or evolving program.

Before you can ever get senior leader buy-in and financing for a program you must first gain their personal commitment. Commitment is personal, emotional and long term.

 Buy-in is simply transactional, monetary and short-term.

Your job is to get senior level support for making employee recognition an effective organizational strategy…plain and simple.

Follow these 5 simple strategies to get senior leaders support for employee recognition. (more…)