Leaders guide the way in most organizations, and hitching your recognition initiatives to your leaders can be a powerful influencer.
However, it would be helpful if you provided a lot of education, communication and preparation for your leaders first. Did you know that 70% of managers have either received no people-management training or their training was capped at four hours?
Leaders need to understand your recognition strategy and its focus on your people and performance. They shine best when they give the vision of the importance of employee recognition. The key is to couple the leader’s video or presentation giving the purpose and vision of the recognition strategy and programs, along with employees saying how much they have felt more valued and appreciated since leaders have recognized them through the recognition programs. Research has shown that informational videos or presentations by a program beneficiary are more powerful than the leader presenting alone.
It is vital for leaders to introduce recognition everywhere by opening the doors to employees not normally seen on the stage or on the screen. Leaders become grand connectors who orchestrate recognition opportunities.
Using Emotional Intelligence for Recognition
An emotionally intelligent leader is self-aware, and can recognize and understand their own moods, emotions, drives and effect on others. They will understand how recognition is a felt phenomenon and needs to be encouraged by everyone.
There are different ways to apply this:
1. Have leaders share stories of past recognition and how it made them feel.
2. Look to their earlier years for accomplishments that motivated them to persevere.
Leaders who appreciate the need for emotional intelligence can control or redirect any disruptive impulses or moods they might have. They can self-regulate to think before acting or reacting. You will find that positive leaders are open to change and are comfortable with themselves representing needed initiatives in the organization, such as recognition programs.
Guide leaders to make a purposeful impact:
1. Encourage your leaders to echo the goal and vision of your recognition strategy.
2. Tell leaders what you expect from them and ask how they can best help you promote and encourage recognition practices and use of your programs.
Emotionally intelligent and resilient leaders work for reasons that go beyond money, power or status. Yes, they have a powerful drive to achieve. But they are not ashamed to admit when they fail. They also have a strong ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. It is easy for them to respond and adapt to other people’s emotional reactions. Emotionally intelligent leaders are good at managing relationships with staff and building positive rapport with others.
In today’s challenging retention market, keeping the talent you have weighs heavy on their experience within the organization, including their direct manager. Organizations with leaders that understand and drive your recognition strategy, focus on employee performance and lead with emotional intelligence will see the greatest benefits.