Why It Takes Leadership To Make Recognition Happen

Hopefully, your organization has the leadership and engagement of senior leaders, managers, and staff, to make your recognition practices and programs happen the way they should.

Not all organizations are as fortunate to have things rolling forward and progressing in innovative ways. And whether it is you taking the leadership role for recognition, or senior leaders directing the action needed, its leadership that makes recognition happen. 

Leadership does not have to be a title. You just have to take the lead in something like employee recognition and then show others how to follow you. 

All leaders speak the language of action. Leadership that makes recognition happen is all about taking action, whether as a positional leader or a functional leader. 

Leaders have objectives that have to be reached, and they discuss with others how together they can make things happen. What’s the best way to launch a new recognition program? How are we going to increase participation of managers or employees with a program? 

They are good at creating action plans that actually get implemented. They know the ideal and generate ideas that need to be completed. Realistically, they know the obstacles that might get in the way. However, leaders consider the hurdle before them and consider the resources, the people they need with expertise, and the potential organizational influencers who could help make things happen.  

  • What action around a particular recognition program needs to happen now?
  • What is stopping you from taking this action to improve recognition?
  • Are there resources, people with expertise, and reallocating of time needed?
  • Identify the smallest action for making recognition better that you could take today, which would make a difference. 

All leaders are continually looking for positive results and outcomes. A good leader is driven by achieving specific results. Is it about getting higher performance results? What about the total employee experience with recognition? How can we improve employee engagement results? How does recognition impact our business?

To make something new happen with your recognition practices and programs you need to generate ideas. Lots of people have ideas, but it takes leadership skills to make something with them that makes the difference. 

  1. First, write down your idea on paper no matter how bared boned it appears to be.
  2. Explore the idea further by evaluating its potential and the demand for it.
  3. Check out similar ideas, products, or services and evaluate what happened with them.
  4. Talk about the idea with managers and employees to test out its viability.
  5. Get feedback from other stakeholders and leaders.
  6. Rewrite the idea in a better format now that you know better from your discussions. 
  7. Or completely discard the idea and move on to the next one if it is not seen as realistic or workable.

Some ideas are all about the strengths and skills of individuals. The film and television producer, Jason Goldberg, suggests people need to “find your one thing and do that one thing better than anyone else.” For me, that is everything to do with helping people give Real Recognition™ the right way, wherever they work. 

What do you do well? What are good at? Next is getting better at doing what you do well. Or it can mean learning things you’re not good at in order to move things forward. This causes ongoing trial and error and constant practice to learn what you need to learn. 

Pass this knowledge or learned skills on to someone else. By doing so the leader coaches, mentors, or shows other people how they can get better, too. 

Leaders wake up every day the same as everyone else. They put one foot in front of another like you and me. The only difference between a leader and the average person is whether they will take action on something today and achieve something amazing. 

Go out today and lead something new or make something better with your recognition practices and programs.

Recognition Reflection: How do you see the principle of leadership affecting recognition where you work?

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.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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