Top 10 Ways to Get Senior Leader Buy-In for Recognition

Getting your CEO’s or your senior leader’s buy-in to your recognition program proposal can still be a tough act to obtain. But the key to receiving their buy-in is to get their personal commitment first. We invited leading business CEO’s to contribute their personal recommendations for what works with them. Review and apply these Top 10 ideas to get your senior leader’s commitment.

  1. Know your CEO or leader inside out. Create a persona or profile of your leader to know how they think and feel. Find out the answers you need to know about them beforehand and what their pain points are and objections might be.
  1. Identify if they’re “above-the-line” or bottom-line leaders. Tailor your recognition and rewards proposal according to your leader’s focus. Are they money and financially oriented or are they more emotional and people oriented?
  1. Connect immediately to the business strategy. Align recognition with the business strategy and focus on how you will help achieve the priority goals. Point out how recognition will move the scales on key performance measures.
  1. Clarify the problem with specific detail. Provide first-hand examples of people not feeling appreciated. Now draw upon engagement scores and other evidence of how unrecognized people won’t perform well in achieving results.
  1. Make time to show the solution. Be prepared to show how your rewards and recognition program is the right solution. Prove how the new recognition program will help them achieve their business and people objectives.
  1. Demonstrate the thought behind the scenes. Get ready to explain the rationale behind the plan. Why recognition programs now? How will this fit in with everything else we are doing? What problems will this help us solve?
  1. Identify the program’s potential impact. Your leaders are going to want to know the ROI of your program ideas. How will this impact your people? When will you be able to show business improvement and how will you know?
  1. Show the collaborative effort involved. They will want to know the collaborative effort that went in to the recognition and rewards proposal. Ensure all business unit leaders were involved and employee input was solicited too.
  1. Build in an accountability plan. Schedule regular leader reviews to keep them informed on progress. Create a process for measuring success and how you plan to hold people accountable for effective recognition giving and reporting results.
  1. Know your leaders timing. Take extra care to find out the right time to present your proposal to your leader. Know what is going on for them personally along with the business cycle and calendar of business events.

Q: How do you get your senior leader’s personal commitment and buy-in for recognition?

Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.

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