What Is The Strategic Intent of Your Recognition Strategy?

Recognition Professionals International’s first Best Practice Standard for recognition programs is having a Recognition Strategy.

Does your organization have a written recognition strategy? If you do, what is your intention of having a recognition strategy?

I want to address what the strategic intent is behind your recognition strategy. And if you don’t have a recognition strategy yet, I will clue you in how important it is to know your strategic intentions. Strategic intent is both philosophical and outlines the purpose of recognition.

What Is Strategic Intent?

Strategic intent for your recognition strategy is the aspirational and desired state of the vision for employee recognition practices and programs in your organization for the future. It provides the long-term direction and plans to be achieved within a specific time period. A strategic intent behind your recognition strategy is the starting point for achieving your recognition goals.

So, what is the future state of employee recognition? That’s what you should keep in mind when you create a recognition strategy for your organization. How will recognition lead you to achieve your organizational strategic initiatives? What role can recognition play in helping make the business a leader in the industry? 

You can also consider how recognition will drive your organizational vision, mission, and values. What position does recognition have with improving measures like employee engagement and other KPI’s? Think about your expectations for organizational and people changes because of your strategic intent for recognition. 

Reality Check for Recognition Strategies

From the last Recognition Trends Survey conducted by WorldatWork in 2019, we learned that only 49 percent of organizations surveyed have a written recognition strategy. The cool thing about that small number is that nearly one hundred percent of those organizations, or 94 percent, have recognition strategies that are aligned with their business strategies. 

The sad news is that so few have recognition strategies. The good news is that you get the picture that there was strategic intent behind them. Otherwise, they would not be aligned with driving the organization’s strategy.

That same WorldatWork survey showed that most of the respondents felt their programs were doing a fairly good job of meeting their goals. 

Programs meeting goals: 

  • 18% Yes, definitely.
  • 48% For the most part
  • 31% Somewhat
  •   3% Not really.
  •   1% No, not at all.

They also stated that employee engagement is the most common measure of success, followed by program usage.

Creating Strategic Intent

What is your strategic focus for recognition? This is where you need to begin with developing your strategic intent. You want to create a vision statement of where your organization sees employee recognition in the future. This needs to inspire both leaders and employees on how recognition will drive and motivate people and performance. It gives an image and aspirational declaration of what the ideal state of recognition will become.

And it is important to state your purpose for recognition and how it will impact the core business goals. How will recognition be different in your organization than from any other organization? 

Then it is a matter of laying out objectives to achieve that get very detailed beyond the broad goals stated in the vision. From here, you move on to strategic plans to get those objectives implemented.

The strategic intent of your recognition strategy will help everyone commit to making recognition a way of life. It will help differentiate recognition in your organization from those of your competitors. 

Recognition Reflection: Do have an explicit statement of strategic intent in your recognition strategy?

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