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?  

Determine Your Recognition Strategy Purpose 

First off, you need a visionary statement about what the purpose is for your recognition strategy. Write at the top of a sheet of a paper, Purpose. 

Alongside the word Purpose, I want you to answer the question, What is the most important thing for us (our organization) to achieve with employee recognition this year?

Answer that question as best as you can. You might generate ideas like: 

  • Have everyone know exactly what recognition is and how to give it properly.
  • To develop practical steps to help people improve recognition practices.
  • Have our managers know how to effectively use our online recognition program.

This gives you the core goal for you to work on. It is understandable that you might have no one else to assist you. Keeping this goal as simple and focused as possible will give you confidence to achieve it. 

Focus Areas To Improve Upon 

You must next determine that best areas to focus on that will help you achieve your purpose. If you are working on this alone, you need to have a minimal number of areas to focus on.  

My recommendation is to generate two or three, or a maximum of four, Key Focus Points. 

Get ready to create columns for the number of areas you have identified. Section this off with the heading, Key Focus Points

Ask yourself the question, If you could only work on a maximum of four things to improve employee recognition in your organization, what would those four areas be? Let’s pretend you only have two or three. Where would you focus on improving recognition?

Imagine selecting the Recognition Purpose of “Have our managers know how to effectively use our online recognition program.” 

Your Key Focus Points might look like,  

1. Overview of Program: Manager presentations about the recognition program with Q&A session. 

2. Leadership Expectation: Have your executive sponsor lay out the expectation for all managers to use the programs as part of their performance management plan. 

3. Communication Plan: Write up some content that will go out by email and design a one-page information sheet on how to use the program.

4. One-on-One Coaching: Meet with all managers to see how they are doing with using the recognition programs and provide helpful tips on how to use more effectively 

The bottom-line is identifying an actionable goal to move you towards supporting each focus area. 

Steps To Recognition Success 

After you have identified your Key Focus Points, you will want to drill down just a little further with the initiatives to help implement these actions. 

You can call these steps Initiatives To Implement. To keep this easy and doable, list only three initiatives you could undertake for each Key Focus Point.

For example, with the Key Focus Point for Overview of Program, you might list for yourself to do: 

  • Design and develop a 45-minute presentation with PowerPoint® and online demonstration of the recognition programs. Allow 15-minutes for Question and Answers.
  • Break up the management team into four workable sized groups to allow for sharing and dialogue about recognition giving.
  • Develop a simple one-sheet handout giving a program overview and tips and tricks for using the program the right way.

Finally, you want to have some measurement indicators to show the work you have done and success in working on your recognition strategy.

You could call these measures Key Improvement Indicators. Whatever measures you come up with needs to address the question, What measures will best show your success with the particular activities for each initiative? 

For your Overview Program initiative, you have three steps that I will abbreviate as, Presentation, Audience Selection, and Handout. 

With the Presentation you could have Key Improvement Indicators of:

  • Reactive feedback sheet on level of understanding of how to use the program.
  • Take a baseline measure of number of managers using the recognition program before the presentation and compare one-month after the presentation.

Now, just follow through with generating measures that will show how successful you are with each of the initiatives you want to implement. 

A recognition strategy does not have to be fancy. Hopefully, you can see that this is something you could do quite easily. Once you have something documented, you have the plan of action you need to take recognition to the next level. 

Recognition Reflection: Can you block some time out in your schedule to create a basic one-paged recognition strategy?

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