I’m often asked questions like, “Derek, what do you think is the key to effective employee recognition?”
The answer, frankly, depends on the situation of the organization and person asking. But one answer that is true across all situations is this: Focus on the “How,” not just the “What.”
By that, I mean be sure you are recognizing how employees are achieving their goals (preferably, how they are demonstrating your core values and desired behaviors) while they are achieving what you need them to accomplish.
A “how much” solution to a “how” problem
Once again, we’ve been applying a ‘how much’ solution to a ‘HOW’ problem…
This is a Eureka moment for employee engagement: we’ve cracked the code on what truly inspires employees. The source of engagement has nothing to do with breaking bread (or bread sticks) and everything to do with the extent to which trust, values and mission actually inspire and drive daily activities and interactions…
When trust, values and a purpose-driven mission exist to a statistically significant degree and guide leadership, decision-making and behavior, these ‘enablers’ give rise to a highly inspired group of super-engaged employees.
The analysis also tells us that when trust, values and a purpose-inspired mission do not drive behavior in a company, far fewer of these engagement traits exist. Even worse, extremely low levels of these engagement sources produce a ‘disconnected’ group of employees who work against or even sabotage company objectives.”
Critical to a culture of recognition
This dives back into the discussion around recognition gone wrong and poor employee recognition program examples. It doesn’t matter how many pizza lunches or birthday cakes you provide if you are not doing the far more important things – recognizing individuals and teams who live your values while achieving your mission.
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This is critical to recognition program success and, more importantly, creating a culture of recognition, because it connects your mission and values with the daily work of the employee. It helps employees understand in very concrete terms how their daily work contributes in a valuable, meaningful way to the success of the team, department and company as a whole.
Does your organization focus too much on the “how much” or the “what” and not enough on the “how?”
You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.