Monday, October 31, 2011

Creating a Culture of Recognition

I had the pleasure of attending Globoforce's workshop on Building a Culture of Recognition last week. The workshop itself was conducted by Derek Irvine and was very well done. Derek set expectations for the "desired behaviors" for attendees upfront and then used recognition throughout the workshop to encourage attendees to participate. They definitely practice what they preach.

The premise for building a culture of recognition is that recognition leads to a more engaged employee and that engagement leads to better customer service and an increase in profits and revenues.

Another interesting tenet of their philosophy is that more employees need recognition not just the usual top 10%. Globoforce believes that in order to truly MOVE engagement scores you need to recognize those employees that are in the middle of the bell curve. Those employees that are your steady workers, the ones that show up everyday and do consistent work. We need those employees to keep our organizations moving. Often this group of employees is overlooked in most rewards and recognition programs as most are focused on the top performers.

In most organizations the middle of the bell curve represent consistent, average performers and that can be on average 60-70% of the workforce.

The question then becomes: if you want to move engagement scores higher, do you focus on your top 10%, who are highly engaged anyway, or do you move to the 60-70% group that can use recognition? Think about this question for a moment...it really makes sense.


That is a premise that we at Intellectual Capital Consulting believe in as well.

Derek outlined a framework for building a culture of recognition:

1) Tempo begins at the top. Leaders have to give and receive recognition.
2) Must be tied to strategic goals and objectives. Metrics must also be created.
3) Involve program participants and invite their input.
4) Call all managers to training. Enough said!
5) Establish key indicators of success early and measure often
6) Touch as many people as possible as often as possible.
7) Promote program or it will perish.
8) Match recognition with achievement
9) Ensure a recognition moment. Making sure the employee receives a personal message either public or private with the reward.
10) Right currency and reward of choice. Make sure reward is meaningful to the receiver.

I will be reading Derek and Eric's book, "Winning With a Culture of Recognition." Stay tuned for a review when I finish.

What are your thoughts on recognition? Best practices?
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