Recognizing People. Inspiring Greatness.
IN THE PRESSClick here for articles
Friday, November 2, 2012
People often tell me it’s hard to measure recognition.
They talk about interpersonal skills being so soft to do and very hard to measure.
Behaviors, in reality, are quite simple to measure. They either happen or they don’t.
You can use a binary counting approach towards measuring behaviours. If you see a particular targeted behavior happen then you score it as a 1, and if it doesn’t happen you can score as a zero.
The next key to measuring behaviors is to have someone available to observe and report on the occurrence, frequency and quality of that behavior.
This could be done by either the actor of the behavior or the recipient of the behavior.
I did it or they did it. I did not do it or they did not do it.
Now I know I have over simplified this.
But if Newton could sit under an apple tree and have a law named after him for observing a falling apple, well…
You either recognize someone or you don’t.
What about Saunderson’s Law of Recognition? Nah, it would never fly.
Q: What novel ways do you use to measure recognition and its effect on others?
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
They’re all out there.
Carved out pumpkins.
Pumpkins are out in force in North America.
Whether the real thing or plastic replicas – they’re carved with smiley or ghoulish faces and when a candle or light is placed inside they shine out to reveal their cut out designs. Yep, it’s Halloween over here in Canada and the United States.
What have these pumpkins taught me about recognition?…uhhmmm…well here is the stretched out truth.
Their Face. Face-to-face recognition is valued most. But in our virtual, remote and unconnected workplace world you may have to be creative in leaving a part of you in voicemail or written form to say thanks.
Guts Out. Start from the inside out. Motivation is an inside job so start and give from there. It is an intrinsic response from people so appreciate yourself first and then you’ll be better able to appreciate others too.
Cute Smile. Put a smile on your face. People respond better to expressions of appreciation if you show it first on your face by smiling and truly looking like you mean it.
Well Carved. Recognition does require you to carve out some time to plan who and how to acknowledge people who deserve it and then getting out there and giving them your heartfelt appreciation.
Carefully Designed. Get creative with your recognition. Try expressing your appreciation in novel ways. You could leave messages using favorite chocolate bars or relabeling them. Find out some of their favorite things and use them to show you care.
Lit Up. The goal of giving recognition to those around us is to use our light to shine a spotlight on them for who they are and their actions for what they do. It’s like lighting a candle inside of them and when you do you will see the glow on their faces.
Orange. Remember those children’s knock-knock jokes? “Orange” you glad you read this blog post to learn these recognition pointers?
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Check out this disappearing act.
Nearly 1 in every five employees leaves a job due to insufficient recognition (Salary.com 2010)
If you’re not getting recognized for your work would you quit your job?
Some people do that. Don’t recognize them and after a while they’re out the door.
Let’s up the ante. According to an Office Team survey (2012) almost half of full-time employees said they would be “somewhat or very likely” to leave their current job if their manager didn’t recognize a job well done.
Recognition along with career opportunities and the organization reputation are consistently top engagement drivers according to AON Hewitt 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement.
More stats for your perusal:
* 41% of employees reported that the little/ or lack of credit for their efforts causes their productivity levels to wane (Bayt.com survey March 9, 2009.)
* Only 31 percent of HR professionals say employees are satisfied with the recognition they receive for doing good work (SHRM 2011).
* 82 percent of employees themselves said praise and recognition from their managers inspires them to improve their performance (Gallup Research).
It seems giving recognition could be the easiest thing for managers, supervisors and even peers to do to get employees to stay with an organization.
Let’s make these negative numbers disappear once and for all.
Come out from behind the curtain. Don’t hide behind the office wall, cubicle or even your workloads. Get out and see people in action and converse. Even virtual employees will benefit from a call from you.
Make every connection magical. All people want is to be noticed and appreciated for their contributions. Let every interaction and experience together become a lifting up of individuals and their spirits.
No need to wave a wand. It doesn’t take much to appreciate people – a thoughtful gesture, a small token of appreciation and foremost are authentic words of praise and recognition.
We must put a stop to seeing people leave our companies for a lack of recognition.
Q: What do you do to ensure all employees feel respected, valued and appreciated?
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I think the recognition industry can learn some valuable lessons from Facebook. I know I certainly have!
I first heard folks talking about social recognition at a 2009 RPI Roundtable in Toronto. I was not actually there but was listening in on a conference call and what I heard sure sounded good! I was not actually there but was listening in on a conference call and what I heard sure sounded good!
Not long after, we made a strategic alliance with a firm that offered this innovative solution. As we moved forward, it became obvious to me and my Rideau colleagues that social recognition was going to become table stakes for any serious provider. Today, the marketplace is full of providers offering social recognition at little to no cost.
Clients expect providers to have great social recognition software just like they expect us to have things like 1-800 numbers, administrative support and other capabilities. As a consequence, Rideau built its own social recognition software which can stand alone or be embedded in our suite of recognition solutions.
I believe in the future, social recognition will be foundational to all programs and that is a very good thing. We need to be able to get the simple act of appreciating people for who they are and recognizing them for what they do right before we start layering on all sorts of costly rewards.
The whole social concept behind Facebook; if applied to the workplace will benefit us all!
Thursday, October 25, 2012
I vividly remember going parasailing on Lake Ontario and being pulled up in the air by a motor boat and seeing the Toronto skyline south of the Toronto Islands.
Trying to land was a whole different story.
Seems an open parachute loves catching updrafts and I floated and stayed up in the air. I had to carefully follow directions from those professionals on the ground to pull the right ropes to lower my descent. I landed successfully and was thrilled by the whole experience.
You can likewise give rewards, which are tangible items and often monetary, an updraft too. In this case you don’t use warm air currents. You use recognition instead.
A reward is given in return for meeting some form of pre-determined goal, in merit for some kind of performance, service or achievement.
However, we sometimes lose out on the Recognition Uplift effect that could accompany giving a reward.
To lift any reward to new heights in the eyes of the recipient follow these three things:
1. Lift the person. Recognition is an opportunity to elevate the person who has achieved the reward. Foremost is making sure this fits with the individual’s wishes before proceeding. Highlight their results with the person’s name in lights on company websites, in newsletter content and on event programs. The key here is to honor the individual and make them feel special for what they have done.
2. Lift the achievement. Remember to focus on the achievement so others will know exactly want was done that merited the reward. This allows peers to understand the behaviors and type of performance expected to encourage them to shoot for a similar reward in the future. Create imagery or spell out the goal reached so everyone can know. Think of the U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz and the Olympic gold medals he won.
3. Lift the view. A person sees things differently when certain goals and pinnacles are reached. Have them share what they did to earn the reward. Put their accomplishment into story captured insights so others gain the same vision, can develop the essential attitudes, and take the right steps to achieve the same or better results. Now use the available communication channels to broadcast this story and lift everyone’s perspective.
Never use rewards in isolation. Always accompany them with expressed recognition. Lift your people up with the Recognition Uplift Effect.
Q: How do you give a Recognition Uplift to your reward programs?
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
It’s true. Children love watching all of us big people. Whatever we do they will imitate. They are the best mimics in the world.
Do something not so good and they will still do it.
Do something super good, they will do that too.
Monkey see. Monkey do.
We hope managers and employees are a little more discerning of what is right and what is wrong.
Nevertheless, the art and practice of acknowledging those around us and expressing recognition is so often mirrored from what our leaders do.
Time and time again we’ve seen it.
Managers see. Managers do.
Q: What exemplary recognition practices do your leaders demonstrate that encourages recognition giving?
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
In a recent presentation on getting recognition right to a group of leaders from the healthcare sector, one of the sincere and genuine questions raised by one of the attendees was, “How do you recognize a night shift worker?”
You and I can appreciate the challenges they are implying by this question.
My immediate response, with tongue in cheek, was to answer the same way you recognize a day shift worker: positively, timely, personally, with right words and actions, connecting them with the difference they are making, gratefully, and with sincere acknowledgement for the contributions they make.
What was implied, however, were the challenges of primary supervisors and managers not always present on the night shift to give the deserved recognition.
How do you get around the issues affecting giving recognition to shift workers? Here are six ideas to consider:
Impromptu Visits. Night shift employees are missing out on the personal connection with a supervisor or manager that day shift workers take for granted. Make impromptu visits to departments or units and make them purely a relationship investment.
Be Fully Present. When you are in the room be in the room. Be absolutely 100% engaged in listening, observing and sharing on night visits all that goes on so you have things to acknowledge and provide positive feedback about.
Linger Longer. Because day time employees see their supervisor/ manager more often, when you do visit night shift employees don’t rush the visit. Stay longer so they can make valuable relationship building time with you.
Periodic Connections. Schedule time to email or make phone call connections with each night shift worker regularly and get to know them and gain their input and trust. Learn how to adjust work assignments to best fit their needs and interests.
Feedback Opportunities. Plan monthly 1:1, face-to-face, or virtual meetings for short feedback sessions to learn how they are performing, commend them on achievements and to solicit how you can serve them better. Tell them to keep a monthly log of their accomplishments so they can blow their own horn with you.
Night Owls. Share the camaraderie of night shift workers with a bulletin board just for them to share individual and team accomplishments and personal milestones. Use this medium as a manager to leave special notes to individuals and the entire team.
Recognizing night time employees just takes a little shift in thinking.
Q: How do you help night shift employees get the recognition they deserve?
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I first met Barbara Ruddy in 2001.
My colleague, Gord Green and I were attending our first Recognition Professionals International (RPI) conference. It was in Scottsdale, Arizona and Barbara was chairing the conference.
I distinctly remember Barbara’s warm smile when we registered. Gord and I didn’t really know what to expect and I think Barbara sensed this and she went out of her way to make us feel welcome. After having attended 12 RPI conferences, I can tell you that; thanks to Barbara’s work, Scottsdale ranks right up there as one of the best!
Barbara heads up RPI's Pamela Sabin Award Committee which honors our industry’s top recognition champions http://www.recognition.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=898]. I never knew Pam Sabin, but through knowing Barbara over the years, I feel that I’ve come to know her by the way Barbara talks about her contributions to our industry.
Barbara also teaches RPI’s Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) courses and over the years has taught me and over 60 of my Rideau colleagues how to be better recognition professionals. She has taught many others in our industry, as well. She goes out of her way to make sure students understand the course content. If someone “doesn’t get it” she will sit down with the person one-on-one to make sure they grasp all of the intricacies.
Barbara cares. You can see it when she makes the Pam Sabin presentation award. You can see it when she speaks to you and makes you feel as if you’re the only person in the room. And you can see it when she teaches the CRP courses.
I’ve been very lucky to have met Barbara and to have learned from her over the years. I thank her for all that she has done for me and the Rideau family.
We should all thank Barbara for being a Recognition Champion!
Monday, October 22, 2012
I have a confession to make.
You cannot create a “recognition culture.”
There…I’ve said it. I feel much better now.
Oh yes, I have given oodles of keynote presentations and breakout sessions and seminars on how to create a recognition culture. I know…you can blame me for this idea. For a long time I really believed this was the case.
I was wrong.
Now, many moons later, I have learned things from great people from some pretty amazing organizations which have changed my mind.
Yes, I know there are over 133 million references on Google to the term “recognition culture”.
My point is you can only create a great organizational culture, period.
Solid, foundational values lived to the max with passion and a belief in their importance is what culture is all about. This creates an environment and a set of normative behaviors demonstrated by the majority of people that become expected.
It causes us to do the right things for the right reasons.
Often there is a declared purpose statement of why you are in business and what you intend to deliver as a service or product to your customers. It may even state how you will do that. This gives meaning and motivation to employees and sets a standard for customers to know what to expect.
This is culture.
It’s doing what you say you’re going to do.
Consistency of doing comes from what is expected of us. Valuing people for their contributions comes from genuine respect and gratitude.
It is not creating an engagement culture, a retention culture, a recruitment culture, a wellness culture, or even a recognition culture.
Just create the right culture for you to do the right things at your organization.
THEN you can append, fix, align, drive or whatever other verb you’d like to recognition.
Culture will drive recognition. Recognition will reinforce culture.
Focus on culture.
The recognition will happen.
Friday, October 19, 2012
“Doctor, I’m concerned our recognition program is not going to make it much longer.”
“I know nurse. It’s sad to see a good program go like this.”
“Doctor! The program’s pulse has gone flat.”
“Quick! Get the defibrillator. It’s our only hope!!”
OK. I know it’s not quite up to General Hospital TV script writing standards, but you get the idea. Many a corporate recognition program needs new life breathed into it, and may even need complete resuscitation.
Recognition programs go through stages if left alone without regular review and intent to constantly improve upon.
Let’s take a quick look at the 5 stages in the life of a typical recognition program:
Stage 1: Live. This is the very beginning, the start-up and grand opening launch of the recognition program. Everyone is excited about the possibilities. Anticipation is high.
Stage 2: Thrive. Managers and employees alike have been well oriented to the program and participation levels are at acceptable levels. Engagement is high.
Stage 3: Survive. The program is coasting and no accountability is being held for program effectiveness or reviewing reports to know why usage in some areas is declining. Apathy is high.
Stage 4: Dive. No one is taking ownership or interest in the program and those few people using the program have their recognition actions discounted as disingenuous or unmeaningful. Cynicism is high
Stage 5: Revive. There is just one last chance. A realignment, redesign and reconnection to revitalize your recognition program to reach your strategic objectives, and become more in synch with your organizational culture. Hope is high.
To keep your recognition programs functioning and alive and well you must skip the Survive and Dive stages.
Follow the cycle and move forward with Live, Thrive and jump straight to Revive.
Recognition programs will take a life of their own and die if left alone.
You must regularly invigorate them and give them the lifeblood of improvement, rebranding, and refocus in order for a recognition program to serve you well.
Q: What do you do to ensure your recognition programs are constantly thriving and regularly revitalized?