Recognition is the #1 driver of human performance. You get what you reward. Be open and clear about what you want and recognize and reward it when you get it. There's a big difference between getting people to come to work and getting them to do their best work. You can't light a fire beneath people; you have to find a way to light a fire within them. Don't assume money is the only motivator. If you have a good boss, you have a good job. The top motivators of today's employees tend to have little or no cost and are relatively easy to implement. Recognize people for good work and they'll be more likely to do more of it; others will notice and emulate that success. Recognize your people in some way, everyday: it's contagious! Consistent recognition helps you keep important ideas and goals in front of people. It leads to higher performance and morale, lower turnover and an enhanced ability to attract talent to your organization.
1. Business Case—What results do you want?
The entire recognition program flows from the business case for the topic. Is turnover high or morale low? Has the workforce stopped innovating in how the work gets done or the organization competes? We help clients to understand the business case for recognition in a way that helps justify the effort and expense involved and the impact on the bottom line. Once you know what you want, you can make sure all the pieces of the initiative help support achieving those results. By using recognition to achieve business results, the credibility of recognition is enhanced, making it easier to repeat the process, leveraging even greater results.
2. Baseline Analysis—What results do you want?
Most organizations don't know what their employees want. They think more money is the answer to all employee motivation problems. If they have identified that employees do not feel valued and want more recognition, they typically do not know what recognition means to their employees. If morale is low, they often do not understand the underlying reasons as to why that is. Research conducted by Bob Nelson on the topic found that the top motivators for today's employees tend to be intangible and interpersonal forms of recognition that can be provided by any manager in any work environment. As a result, we help to specifically identify what your employees want as a foundation for strategizing how you can provide them more of those things on a contingent basis when they do good work.
3. Recommendation—What is your plan?
We make specific recommendations to clients based upon where they currently are and where they want to get to on the topic. All recommendations are customized to fit the client's existing needs and culture. Specifics about what will happen, how it will happen, and who will carry it out are outlined, including things like identifying an organization sponsor; strategies for reframing the Heads (conceptual model), Hands (skill set) and Heart (passion for action) of all managers in the organization; creation of a volunteer recognition taskforce and ongoing form of measurement, and so forth.
4. Communication Rollout—How do you involve and inform?
We help clients launch the marketing campaign of their recognition program, creating the awareness, expectation and anticipation of things to come. Speeches, fliers, emails, and discussions may all be used to get employees fired up about the initiative. Employees will be told about the organization's need, their role and accountability, and that of their leaders'. Next steps will be outlined as well as how progress will be tracked. They will obtain an understanding of the tools available and the organization's ongoing long-term, strategic commitment to this effort. We can help organizations "theme" the look, feel and activities of any recognition initiative.
5. Reframing and Training—What needs to be done differently?
We help clients change management's model of recognition and learn the daily behaviors and techniques that lead to effective recognition practices with employees. Most managers don't use recognition principles, because they don't think those principles are important. They figure people get paid to do a job, and that's thanks enough. They also think their time is better spent on the technical aspects of their work. We convince management otherwise through research and best practices and the attainment of desired results. If they apply the principles of recognition, they'll have more energetic and satisfied staff that is higher performing with lower turnover.
6. Follow Through—How do you keep momentum going?
All progress comes from follow up. Without consistent follow-up, the program will sputter. We help provide an external accountability that keeps clients to their plan and best intentions while providing useful strategies for amplifying positive results obtained and overcoming problems and obstacles that remain. An effective follow through plan will operate at the individual, group and organizational levels. Any change requires a change in behavior and people are often hesitant to change, being more concerned about what they are giving up over what they might gain. Effective follow up helps keep momentum going so that new behaviors become habit and recognition becomes a valued and ongoing aspect of the organization's culture.
7. Celebration—Where have you succeeded?
Group or organizational celebrations creates bonding and enthusiasm, and helps put a cap on progress that has been made and a job that is well done. Celebration can occur at many levels in many ways. We help clients identify the progress that has been made and ways those milestones can be celebrated. Celebration shows employees that you're delighted with the performance they've achieved and the public aspect of the celebration helps increase the impact of the activity. People can collectively see the impact of their efforts and be proud about that. It sets the stage for creating new objectives and the next level of performance. It gets people excited about taking on new and additional challenges.
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