I remember standing at the front of a boardroom in a meeting with a dozen or so regional presidents for an organization we were launching a new upgrade for their recognition and reward program.
One regional president seemed to brush off some of the finer details we were instructing them on because, as he said, “I just have my assistant do all my recognition.”
With a few clarifying questions it became clear he wasn’t joking. He was not delegating recognition because of legitimate absences or specific needs. He literally delegated all recognition giving to his assistant and he made no attempts at giving recognition himself.
I recall saying to the entire group that you cannot delegate the act of giving recognition. You can only delegate the transactional and administrative aspects of your recognition and reward programs.
Check out the following situations that might happen in your workplace that could warrant delegating recognition program responsibilities.
Reasons for Delegating Recognition Programs
When should you ask someone to help you manage your recognition programs?
- You’re going away on vacation
- Attending an off-site business meeting or conference for a few days,
- Leave of absence or a sabbatical,
- A prolonged illness
Typically, when these scenarios occur you set up an out-of-office(OOO)alert for your emails, with a contact person’s name, email, and telephone number, on your Outlook or other email provider notifications.
You should be able to set up a delegate to manage your recognition programs if you’re away for a while. Assigning a delegate allows you to take care of managing those important employee recognition moments.
A peer, a fellow manager, or an assistant are likely candidates you can assign.
What You Can Delegate
Here are a few of the responsibilities and authority you can delegate to a person:
Giving recognition on your behalf
- Even when you’re away, your delegate can keep employees engaged by sending appropriate recognition on your behalf.
- You can give your assigned delegate responsible for showing care to those on your team whenever a happy or sad event occurs.
- When great work and achievements happen in your team, delegates can recognize these occurrences for you.
Accessing reports and doing whatever’s necessary
- You can delegate access to any of your recognition reports to view and download them as needed.
- Reviewing these reports allows delegates to anticipate upcoming recognition needs and plan for them.
Receive various recognition notifications
- Your delegate can receive advance notices for upcoming service anniversaries for your team
- They can also create an anniversary award certificates for their manager’s direct reports reaching a milestone.
Approve awards so you don’t get behind
- You can give your delegate authority to approve awards and gift items up to a certain value.
- With the delegate’s approval, a supervisor or manager can be notified and the award, points, gifts or certificates can be released for presenting.
More Than One Delegate
Your vendor or program administrator may permit you to have more than one delegate at a time. This allows you to ask another manager to act as your back up along with your administrative assistant.
Consider assigning delegates different roles and responsibilities depending on your needs and recommendations.
Roles could include:
- Access to reports,
- Anniversary notifications,
- Give and approve awards.
Your program should allow you to set an expiration date on these privileges so they end as soon as you return.
And, you may want to keep an assistant as a delegate on an ongoing basis for those unexpected needs.
Recognizing and valuing your employees and their contributions is very much your responsibility and can never be fully delegated.
However, whenever you’re away, giving recognition to employees must always carry on.
Reflective Question: Do you use delegation features with your current recognition programs?
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.