Recognizing People. Inspiring Greatness.
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People respond to something that costs little or nothing, and that something is called recognition. Ed Lawler
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ART FROM THE HART
Monday, June 10, 2013
Over 90% of all North American companies have recognition programs. Yet 60% of all employees do not feel recognized.
These stats speak volumes and are a powerful indictment against how we have traditionally approached recognition in the workplace.
I believe most companies are way too concerned with “what” rewards they give as opposed to “why” they give them in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong. Rewards are very important. However, they must be strategically thought out. They must complement the recognition that is being given. Many times, companies will offer rewards that are inappropriate to a recognition program’s objectives.
What drives companies to include inappropriate rewards in their programs? Often, it’s simply a case of employees pressuring senior management. Program administrators should push back on “shot gun reward” requests by explaining the strategy behind their recognition strategy. Make sure that your senior management understand that their job is to explain “why” these rewards are being given in the first place.
Don’t let inappropriate rewards become your recognition program’s kiss of death!
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Yes, you read it right! But let me explain.
It’s a question of putting the “why” before the “how” in terms of the recognition paradigm.
All too often we try and train managers “how” to recognize employees before they fully understand “why” they are recognizing them in the first place!
Simply put, we must educate managers “why” recognition is important before we train them “how” to do it.
In my experience there are three broad categories of recognition education:
1. There are those managers who understand the why and “get it” completely. They make recognition a part of their daily lives.
Obviously, recognition education must be tailored to suit the needs of each group but it is CRITICAL to educate managers “why” recognition is important before you start training them “how” to do it.
I believe recognition often fails because we have trained too many managers to go through the motions without understanding the real reasons why we do it. This understanding leads to Real Recognition… a phrase my friend and colleague Roy Saunderson coined many years ago.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Recognition Professionals International's Annual Sharing Conference April 28 – May 1, 2013
Recognition Professionals International (RPI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing employee recognition in the workplace. The organization consists of both practitioners and providers. (Please see www.Recognition.org).
Rideau has been an active member of Recognition Professionals International (RPI) since 2001 as well as a Platinum sponsor for a number of years now, the main reason being that we really believe in the organization. Many of my colleagues have served on the Board or on the various committees. I’m proud to say that over 60 of my colleagues have become Certified Recognition Professionals (CRP), which is the largest number of CRPs from any one company.
Every year, RPI organizes a conference and many of the world’s leading recognition experts come together to share industry best practices. This year’s conference is being held in New Orleans at the Riverside Hilton from April 28th to May 1st and it is shaping up to be one of the best ever!
Two of my colleagues; Roy Saunderson and S. Max Brown from Rideau’s Recognition Management Institute are speaking in breakout sessions.
Roy’s session is taking place on Monday, April 29, 2013 from 3:30pm - 4:30pm. His topic will is “Decoupling Recognition & Rewards”. This is an important topic because all too often folks use the words “recognition” and “rewards” synonymously but they are two very different things.
Max’s session will take place on Tuesday, April 30 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm. He will be presenting with Steve Richardson who is the Manager of Recognition Programs for RBC Financial Group, a Rideau client since 1991. Their chosen topic will be on: "How Social Media Impacts Recognition Results."(maybe want to add time here as well?)
Please join me and my colleagues in New Orleans for the best recognition happening of the year!
Friday, March 22, 2013
I'd love it if someone would write the history of the recognition industry.
If they did, it would have to come from two completely different aspects.
The first, would be from the perspective of Academics and OD types who realized that recognition played a key role in a person's individual well being and collectively, to the well being of an organization.
The second would be from the perspective of companies supplying recognition and reward programs. Many of these suppliers got into the business because they were seeking an outlet for their manufactured products.
I confess that my company was no different... we were a manufacturer of emblematic jewelry and corporate award programs were a great outlet for our products.
I think there was and still is a wide gulf between the two groups and is reflected by the fact that over 90% of corporations have recognition programs yet 60% of employees don't feel recognized.
There has been far too much focus on the material and not enough on the ethereal.
Fortunately people are starting to connect the dots. People like my colleague Roy Saunderson of the Recognition Management Institute and Christophe Laval of VPHR are teaching people that recognition is about feelings and emotions.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
I believe there are two types of employees... those who I categorize as "mercenaries" and those who I call "patriots."
Which do you have?
Because the choice is entirely up to you... if you or your senior management think all your employees care about is cold hard cash you most likely will have a lot of mercenaries.
The problem with these folks is they have a bad habit of quitting the company if someone offers them more money.
Perhaps even worse, is when employee mercenaries stay with your company but disengage when they feel you don't pay them enough!
Great companies hire employee patriots who realize that employees want much more than cash. They want the opportunity to do exciting work, to feel part of a team, to develop and advance and to be recognized for who they are and what they do each and every day.
Employee patriots aren't just there for the money and they are truly committed.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
All too often I have attended industry conferences and seen many so called "recognition and reward experts."
Scratch a bit deeper and the veneer comes off! I don't mean to demean, but there are a lot of people out there who are "reward" experts but they sure aren't "recognition" experts.
Recognition and rewards are very different things.
Rewards are material things. Cold hard cash, merchandise, gift cards are all examples of rewards. They are easily understood because they cost a certain amount and are distributed a certain way. There are a lot of reward experts.
Recognition on the other hand, is a feeling, an emotion. It is not easily quantified... ever try measuring how deeply you love your wife? In many cases it is not easily distributed or given.
Remember, just because you give someone a gold watch, doesn't mean you have recognized them!
Thursday, February 21, 2013
In World at Work’s Trends in Employee Recognition 2008 survey, it was found that nearly 90% companies in North America have recognition programs. Yet, according to research by Gallup, only 35% of people surveyed said they received recognition for good work in the last year. Why is there such a huge gap?
I believe most companies place far too much emphasis on “rewards” and far too little “real recognition.”
I couldn’t agree more… especially in the recognition business.
Words are the most powerful recognition tool in the world. If spoken from the heart, they can inspire us, lift us up and take us to a higher place.
In my opinion, it's not about “what” you give... it's about “how” you give it! And words play a huge role in the “how”!
Thursday, January 10, 2013
I hated school and was a terrible student. Most of the time, I finished at the bottom of my class. There were a couple of exceptions; history and strangely enough, Latin. School certainly wasn’t fun and my report card certainly didn’t help build any self-confidence in my academic abilities!
But one thing really helped. I had always loved to read. Fiction, non-fiction, biographies, newspapers, magazines, whatever! I’d often read late into the night. When our class had current event quizzes, I always came in first. The only problem was; current events didn’t go towards our year end marks!
It was only after leaving high school that I realized my method of learning was different than others. I liked to learn by myself and for myself. Once I realized this, my confidence grew and I felt there was no subject I couldn’t master if I really wanted to.
Today, I read most of my books and magazines online. I don’t read as fast as I used to. Not because I’m getting older, but because I can highlight a word or phrase and go out into the amazing world of Google or Wikipedia to search and learn more about the place, person or thing I’m reading about. I figure it is taking me about 30% longer to read books online. But I’m not complaining, for I love to get lost in this world and to learn each and every day.
Recently, a professor friend of mine asked me if I’d be willingly to speak to his Executive MBA students one evening about Rideau and how our business has evolved over the years. It was with a bit of trepidation that I agreed to do this, mainly because of my own daunting school memories.
But what a rush! My presentation was supposed to last 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes of questions. However, the questions kept coming strong over an hour later! The energy was great and it was truly a wonderful experience. I can now understand the sense of fulfillment that so many teachers feel.
I certainly found more enjoyment in teaching than being a student in a classroom. But I guess the real lesson is that it’s all about learning. How it happens doesn’t really matter, as long as it happens!
Friday, December 7, 2012
My uncle, David Lloyd Hart is a hero! He was recently mentioned in most Canadian newspapers and appeared all the major television channels.
Approximately 6,000 combined forces; mostly Canadian, took part in this operation. Only 900 or so returned.
My Uncle Dave was one of them. Not only did he survive, but a few months later, he was decorated by King George VI with the Military Medal for bravery. We should never forget what Uncle Dave and his compatriots did that day.
I wrote about this in a previous post http://rideau.com/blog/4/my-dads-best-recognition-story Needless to say, we are all very proud of Uncle Dave. To this day, he is still active in the military as an Honorary Colonel.
This year the Canadian Government took Uncle Dave and my Aunt Miriam along with six other survivors back to Dieppe to commemorate this milestone. Canada’s Governor General was there, as was Prince Michael of Kent and many other dignitaries.
You can read more about the raid on Dieppe here:
And here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadian-veterans-return-to-dieppe-70-years-after-tragic-battle/article4488326/
Uncle Dave and my Dad share the same birthday every year on July 7th. This year, Dad turned 93 and Uncle Dave turned 95. Both are in great shape and we are lucky to have them with us.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Today's post is for those managers who think cash is the most powerful motivational tool available.
However, I think it is significant to note that cash sits at the "base" of the pyramid. It is certainly not king of the pyramid!
Cash alone will never take you to the top of Maslow's pyramid. And that's where you want your employees to be... at the top!
Happy! Satisfied! Engaged! Productive!
So how do you get employees to the top?
I believe managers need to "pull" employees up the pyramid! They need to "lend a hand" and they can do this by practicing "Real Recognition" techniques.
Real Recognition is a concept invented by my friend and colleague Roy Saunderson who is the Founder and Chief Learning Officer of the Recognition Management Institute. Real Recognition is simple enough, all you have to do is remember to actually practice it. For example, he’s blogged about the steps you should take to recognize employees who work from home. “Even a simple question asked in a P.S. tag line in an email can keep you in touch,” says Roy. This of course does not cost anything, and is a lot more meaningful than a check.
Real recognition, while not the only factor, can help managers pull employees up Maslow's pyramid and take them to a higher place.