recognition: plan for relevance, execute with sincerity
By zubin zack in Appreciation and Recognition Strategies
A saying goes, “What we do speaks so loudly that what we are trying to say cannot be heard.” In a nutshell, actions speak louder than words.
Intent does not always lead to results. Having an intention and working towards realizing it is what leaders do, and on the way, they create benchmarks. All that is needed is to chalk out a focused plan that can be well-executed, and be ready to respond in case the plan doesn’t work out the way it was originally intended to.
Like anything else, sometimes a simple plug-and-play, easy to use program can actually make things worse for companies. All companies start with the intent to make recognition work, but the big question remains: is that enough?
Making employees feel appreciated and valued is the organization’s objective, and they need to work towards the set objectives to help enhance credibility. You need to understand the objectives and formulate a plan to reach them before the real outreach of recognition can be achieved.
Research has proven that recognition causes great work, enhances retention and encourages innovation, and in totality helps organizations become great places to work at. Research also states that to endorse recognition success, it is not enough to simply employ a great technology platform or increase the spread of awards to achieve the desired results. These are only tools which assist employers to make recognition relevant. The commonly held belief is true: sincerity is the crux for recognition to work.
In the pursuit for recognition success, solution design and analytics can also help make things relevant. When designing a recognition program, keep in mind the culture expectations, the appropriate number of awards, types of awards, relevance of employee behavior, peer-to-peer communication or manager-subordinate coordination, relevance of department specific objectives, the age groups of employees, the current, existing recognition strategy acceptance levels, and the history of the company. These are some major pulls around which the employee recognition program should be designed. Saying that, managers should always continue measuring the program progress to constantly update the recognition goal as they achieve milestones of success.
Another major scope of actuating employee recognition is education and employee communication that acts as a greater pull towards engaging employees with the organization. Sincerity comes by educating the employees on why recognition is an accelerator, as it is a foremost responsibility of the manager to bring out the employees’ positives and encourage them to communicate well. Not all employees are great communicators, and since recognition is a communication of the feeling of appreciation towards what the employees have achieved, one needs to assist and educate employees on how one can present his/her appreciation effectively. While there can be technology tools and presentation templates on how to go about it, it is critical to remember that there are also simpler things to keep in mind, like being specific and descriptive of why one is being appreciated. Sincerity in approach also shows when families, peers, and leaders are called upon to celebrate and showcase appreciation, and hence it becomes critical for the leadership teams to be consistent and lead by example.