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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How to Write the Best Recognition Strategy – Part 4

Implementing the Recognition Plan for Successful Impact

Many consultants enter organizations prepared to tell the leaders where they are failing in the area of the consultant’s expertise.

The process I have taught you over our four-part treatise on How to Create a Recognition Strategy, headlined the need for you to identify your own recognition strengths and weaknesses before starting the strategy piece.

If you have followed along so far, you will know the importance of crafting a Recognition Purpose and Philosophy statements. Following your assessment of recognition practices and programs you have everything you need to design a complete Recognition Plan to elevate recognition practices and programs in your organization.

That is often where consultants exit the scene. You have a plan with goals set and tactical objectives to make things happen. But then they leave you. And often things sputter out or nothing happens at all.

If there is one thing, I think is essential with a recognition project like this, is to provide you with the tools to implement the plan. Let’s get it off the paper and into action. Focus on moving into the implementation phase.

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How To Write the Best Recognition Strategy – Part 2

Creating a Recognition Purpose and Philosophy Statement­—Part 2 of 4

I’ve outlined the reasons why you should have a written recognition strategy for your organization. But where do you begin with creating one?

Organizations need a North Star to guide their recognition efforts. Which makes the first step in crafting a recognition strategy as creating a recognition purpose statement and accompanying philosophy statement.

Having a recognition purpose and philosophy statement unifies organizational leaders and those responsible for employee recognition practices and programs. It gets everyone nodding their heads in agreement with what they have outlined. Everyone is on the same page as to why you have recognition and what you believe about it.

So, let’s figure out how to create one.

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How To Write the Best Recognition Strategy – Part 1

Having a business strategy is absolute for driving a business with its concrete plans, which assists with making the right decision.

Likewise, having a written recognition strategy elevates the importance of recognition by outlining three powerful drivers for any organization. 

1.    A recognition strategy allows organizational leaders to spell out its purpose and philosophy for recognition and how they intend to use recognition the right way.

2.    A recognition strategy aligns with the overall organizational strategy and shows how the recognition practices and programs integrate to reinforce and drive results.

3.    A recognition strategy is also supportive of your people strategies, as it is driven by the organizational culture and recognizes people who live the organizational values.

The only question that remains is whether you have a written recognition strategy.

In this four-part series, I will outline how you can write the best recognition strategy essential to catapulting employee recognition practices and programs into the future.

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The Most Important Thing You Need To Make Recognition Happen

Most recognition strategies and plans for recognition depend on moving the bar on whatever metrics you have for program usage and employee perception of recognition. 

The gap analysis of where your recognition status is today and where you want it to be tomorrow relies on the program metrics you have. The challenging part about program usage metrics is that they are all lagging indicator measures.  

Lagging indicators do just that, they lag behind on indicating whether you achieved the results you wanted. By the time you get the output measures on a program, it’s hard to do anything about them that will make a future change.

Is there anything you can really do that can change this? Is there one important thing you can do that will make recognition happen?

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When Recognition and Rewards Are Not Top of Mind

How do you get leaders to be more aware of the importance of recognition and rewards? 

Too often, recognition and rewards and the programs you have in place are not top of mind for many people. And when employees themselves are not on board with recognizing others, you know you’ve got a problem. 

What does it take to raise the importance and value of recognition and rewards? 

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Who Is Leading Recognition In Your Organization?

It is an interesting question to ask. Who is the leader in your organization who leads recognition practices and programs?

More often than not, people will point you to Human Resources. Or it could be an offshoot from there such as compensation and benefits. Occasionally, you will find out communications is at the helm, often paired with marketing. And if it involves sales in your industry, you’ll have the sales folks to deal with.

But are they managing or leading recognition?

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Are You Really Giving People Recognition on Purpose?

Do you know why you recognize people?

If you haven’t thought about why you appreciate and recognize people, take some time out to articulate your beliefs and reasons for recognizing the people you work, play, and live with.

For me it is about appreciating people for who they are, independent of any work they do, and valuing everything that a person brings with them to the workplace. It’s about recognizing people for all that they do—both the insignificant and the amazing things people do. 

Recognition is about valuing people and their contributions. It is the transferring of positive feelings and emotions from one person to another, in response to an employee’s positive behaviors or actions.

What is your purpose for giving recognition?

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Should Recognition Focus on Your People or the Business?

Managers of organizational recognition practices and recognition programs are often torn between focusing on growth of people or on business results.

You’ll find some organizations create elaborate people strategies to prepare for the growth and development of their employees. Talent management strategies prepare now for the future. And recognition is always a part of the equation, especially when measuring employee engagement.

Then there are others who are strictly business. Their goal is to align recognition and rewards with helping to drive and achieve the strategic initiatives of their business goals.

So, the question is whether, as the owner of recognition in your organization, should you focus on people of the business?

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