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 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?


Derek Irvine, Globoforce said...

Thank you for the very kind words, Cathy. The workshop would not have been a success without your very valuable contributions. My thanks go to you for your willingness to engage and share your experiences and knowledge as well.

I am glad to have met a fellow culture proponent and look forward to working with you in the future.

Unknown said...

No problem Derek. It was a great session. Looking forward to reading your book.


P Campbell said...

This all makes perfect sense. However, mindsets and organizational cultures must change to align with this way of thinking. Since my first job I was taught to stand out and be in the 10% to be recognized. Being part of the 60-70% doesn't get bonuses and promotions, most of the time. However, a smart manager recognizes that that's where the potential is. That's where the needle can be shifted if you focus on more than JUST the top performers. Relistically the top 10% are (usually) those individuals that are going to exceed regardless. Don't neglect them, but recognize you are ignoring 60-70% of the staff.

Derek Irvine, Globoforce said...

Cathy, if you don't mind me chiming in to reply to P Campbell...

In a strategic recognition program designed for proactive culture management, the top 10% will still receive more recognition and rewards than the middle tier (as is right and proper).

The point of strategic recognition is extending the opportunity for recognition to all as a powerful means of communicating what is most important to you as a company - your core values and objectives.

Unknown said...

No Derek not at all....please chime in all you want. I wanted to also reiterate the point P Campbell made about is such a cultural change moving from recognition of the top to recognition of more.

Deliberate work has to be done in order to move that culture!!

Thanks for reading!


Al Smith said...

Thanks Cathy and Derek. Such an important thing at work, that is not done enough. Recognition and Praise are so crucial to keeping the employee engaged and motivated. When I think of the CARE acronym for CEO's and bosses, I change the R from Respect to Recognition. It is a must.

Thanks again for all you do.
Take CARE.