Your One-Year Goal Will Guide Everything You Do With Recognition

There are various stages you pass through when using our recognition strategy approach. First, is crafting of a fitting recognition purpose and philosophy statement that is just right for your organization. 

Then comes the identifying of the areas you have to focus on following a recognition assessment. All organizations have strengths and weaknesses. Know where to need to focus your energies to improve recognition practices and programs really helps. 

But before you identify those focus points, there is one important thing you have to do. You need to declare what your overall guiding objective is to improve the quality of recognition for the year ahead. 

Having articulated what this goal is will help your organizational leaders know what you should all be shooting for. And it helps you personally with an additional criterion point to use in making decisions. 

Without quoting verbatim, so as not to identify the organizations, here are the essence of several one-year goals that clients have set. 

  • To understand our responsibilities when giving formal, informal, and everyday recognition.
  • To help all employees know what recognition is and what it is not.
  • To help managers and staff learn how to give recognition to people the right way. 
  • To communicate and live our organizational values that will drive recognition behaviors.
  • To more consistently recognize our employees.
  • To develop strategies that make our recognition practices and programs successful.
  • To develop a strong recognition culture. 
  • To support and recognize our peers so they feel successful.
  • To help people understand what recognition is.
  • To incorporate recognition into all aspects of our work lives.
  • To improve awareness of the importance of employee recognition. 
  • To teach people how to recognize others meaningfully.

Note how each one-year goal shows clearly where to focus your energies. They provide an anchor to return to time and time again on where to prioritize spending, for example. Where should your leaders direct their efforts regarding employee recognition? How can you get more people involved and take part in using your recognition programs?

You can probably put each of these goals listed above under one or more of the categories below. These categories give you an idea of how these goal statements can guide you in your plans for improving recognition practices and programs.

Education: Are you set up to teach people to do the right things at the right time? Plan out the learning and education of the skills needed to express recognition. And show everyone how easy it is to use your recognition programs. Most people want to know how to give Real Recognition™ the right way. They just don’t how to do it meaningfully and effectively. Willingness is rarely the issue. Access to resources and education is often a big part of the problem and yet a relatively simple solution.

Leadership: Can you get your leaders to give their personal commitment to becoming exemplary recognition givers? This means in their daily practices and their organizational duties. Invite your leaders to give direction on recognizing positive efforts and success. They should communicate the vision and strategy for recognition and set clear expectations of recognition practices. 

Recognition Practices: How good are you at expressing positive recognition to people? Recognition practices are the frequent, personal, and habitual behaviors people do to express appreciation and recognition to others. They are also the cultural and customary ways an organization has of showing people that they, and their contributions, are valued. These recognition practices are the most personal connections for acknowledging and valuing people. Getting these practices in place is a cultural inculcation of beliefs and behaviors that will take time. 

Recognition Programs: How well are you using the various online recognition programs you have? Recognition programs are the regular, informal, or formal organizational procedures that are set up. They are also the online administered programs that provide immediate or scheduled, individual or team, acknowledgment, recognition, awards, incentives, or rewards. You use all recognition and reward programs for acknowledging the achievement of various strategic, behavioral or performance-based criteria. You must show people how to use recognition programs properly and how to integrate them into their regular workday. 

Behavioral Competencies: Do you have the knowledge and skills to give meaningful recognition? Behavioral competencies for employee recognition are the behaviors and attitudes needed for giving memorable, meaningful, and motivational recognition. This requires giving leaders and employees the knowledge, skills, and recommended actions for expressing appreciation and recognition. It boils down to education, training, communication, and leadership. 

Organizational Development: Is your organization viewed as a great place to work where people feel valued and appreciated? An organization is a collection of people with a common cause. Each organization has a set of values and beliefs that make up their culture. A healthy organizational culture will drive recognition practices and programs. Organizational development specialists can help implement the needed practices, systems, and techniques that can affect organizational change. They can support your recognition strategy and initiatives.

Accountability: How do you measure the effectiveness of your recognition practices and using your recognition programs? Nothing with recognition will happen and maintain itself without individual and organizational accountability. Everyone has to take personal ownership and responsibility for giving recognition. There needs to be individual accountability for giving meaningful and effective recognition from peer review. And there should be collective accountability for giving amazing recognition, too. Gain this from one-on-one meetings, pulse surveys and employee engagement surveys. 

All of this, and much more, gained from a well-crafted goal statement for making recognition better.  

Recognition Reflection: Do you have a one-year goal statement to guide the direction of recognition for your organization?

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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