09 Aug The 3 Rs of Employee Recognition Done Right: R2 to the rescue!
R2 to the rescue! (Let the nerdy Sci-Fi jokes begin!)
Imagine a succulent steak, cooked to perfection with all your favorite side dishes steaming hot, served on beautiful china at a neatly set table in a fancy establishment. The waiter pours the perfect beverage to accompany your meal.
Now imagine that same piping hot meal served on a garbage can lid in a dark alley.
How big a difference do the setting and presentation make? Yes, this is an extreme example, but the concept rings true for any situation, including the presentation of your team’s awards. Ever hear the old saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?”
Delivery can make or break any situation. That’s why the 2nd “R” of recognition done right is Recognize.
“There are two things people want more than sex and money…recognition and praise.” —Mary Kay Ash
Presentation is everything
Make a HUGE deal awarding your winners in a public setting. The biggest company meeting you can come up with each month that involves the most team members- THAT’s the one you’re looking for. If this scenario doesn’t currently exist, make it exist. It’s that important.
Did you know that employees’ levels of engagement will closely mirror that of their leaders? If your team sees this recognition as something that is important to you, it will be important to them.
Tell exactly WHY each individual won. Getting specific will make the recognition more meaningful, and it’s crucial to get that part right to maximize your results. Getting specific also reaffirms with the rest of the team what it takes to win!
“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” —Abraham Lincoln
Take a picture of the management team with the winning employee and their award. Make the most of their “moment in the sun.” Then give the employee a copy of the photo so they can remember their special day forever! Speaking from experience, this makes the awards ceremony feel WAY more official, increasing the trophy value of each award and your recognition program overall.
Want more advice on how to make your recognition more specific and meaningful? Why speculate? Check out this extremely popular and helpful article: The Audrey Hepburn Guide to Employee Recognition
Timing is everything
Yes, we just said presentation is everything. Timing is just as important!
The sooner your team members get that pat on the back, the more impact it will have. The reason you Recognize them will be tied to the action they just performed and go a long way toward reinforcing the behavior.
Recognizing employees on the spot is recommended (and MyEmployees provides tools for that: Spot-On), but the same principle applies to a monthly recognition program too.
Keeping your monthly recognition monthly and awarding your winners as quickly as possible once the month is over will exponentially maximize the impact of your appreciation. Waiting for more than a month with exponentially do the opposite.
Unfortunately, poor planning often robs managers of this enormous opportunity to show employees how important recognition is to the management team.
Why is this timing so critical? Think about this…
A 12-year-old has just shown responsibility by taking out the trash, a behavior his parents would like to see repeated. Would they wait 3 months before telling the kid “great job?” Not if they want it to happen again- and during the next 3 months.
Planning the best time, place, and most effective approach to properly Recognize your winners are all integral aspects of any employee recognition program’s success.
There is one more factor that could be a deal-breaker…
“The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” —William James
Sincerity is everything
Beginning to see a pattern with how crucial all of these things are, and how they all work together?
Sincerity is the ultimate follow-through with the ultimate payoff. Awards are great tools to help express appreciation. In order to harness the full power of giving an award, the person presenting it will need to be sincere.
This is where it all culminates, and it’s your biggest opportunity to create “Patriot” employees, not “Mercenaries.”
Our CEO, Dave Long, addresses this principle in his bestselling book, Built to Lead: If you show your employees that you “genuinely care about them,” they will “appreciate you in return.” They will be “loyal to you and to the company.”
If you and your management team have taken the time to properly set goals/criteria, measure your team members’ performances, purchased awards, and set an awesome time & place to present the awards…don’t waste all that effort by having someone casually and insincerely present them to your team members!
The awards will probably still have some benefits if you’re doing everything else right, but not near the impact they could have. They must come from the heart, not just the teeth.
If your heart is in the right place, it will be obvious, and the benefits to your winners and team will be equally as obvious. Anyone presenting an award should want to be doing so, and for the right reasons.
P.S. Did you miss The First “R”?