Our hope is that your organization has the leadership and engagement of senior leaders, managers and staff to drive recognition practices and programs. But the reality is not every organization is fortunate to have a strong team that helps initiatives or programs move forward and progress in innovative ways.
It’s important to note that when I refer to leadership, it’s not about a title. A leader is someone who can take the lead in something like employee recognition and then show others how to follow.
All leaders speak the language of action. A person that makes things happen is all about taking action, whether as a positional leader or a functional leader. Leaders have objectives that they must meet, and they discuss with others how they can make things happen. When it comes to driving recognition, questions typically discussed sound something like:
- What’s the best way to launch a new recognition program?
- How are we going to increase the participation of managers or employees with a program?
- Who can be program advocates?
- What action around a particular recognition program needs to happen now, and what can be phased in?
- Are there resources, people with expertise, and reallocating of time needed?
Leaders are good at creating action plans that get implemented. Realistically, they know the obstacles that might get in the way. However, leaders consider the hurdles before them and assess the resources, the people they need with expertise and the potential organizational influencers who could help make things happen.
All leaders are continually looking for positive results and outcomes. A good leader is driven by achieving specific results, especially when it comes to program participation and engagement. They look at getting higher performance results, what the total employee experience looks like with recognition, how the company can improve employee engagement results and how recognition impacts the business.
To make something new happen with your recognition practices and programs, you need to generate ideas. Many people have ideas, and it takes leadership skills to turn those ideas into something that makes a difference. The process can include these actions below in effort to get positive results and outcomes:
1. First, write down your ideas on paper no matter how bared-boned they appear to be.
2. Explore the ideas further by evaluating their potential and the demand for it.
3. Check out similar ideas, products or services and evaluate what happened with them.
4. Talk about the ideas with managers and employees to test out their viability.
5. Get feedback from other leaders.
6. Select an idea and rewrite it in a better format now that you have more information from your discussions.
7. Or completely discard the idea and move on to the next one if viewed as impractical.
Using the strengths and skills of individuals. The film and television producer, Jason Goldberg, suggests people need to “find your one thing and do that one thing better than anyone else.”
What do you do well? What are you good at? What do others do well, and how can those strengths help the greater good? Pass this knowledge or learned skills on to someone else, and by doing so, the leader coaches, mentors or shows other people how they can get better, too. Leaders wake up every day the same as everyone else. They put one foot in front of another like you and me. The only difference between a leader and the average person is whether they will take action on something today and achieve something extraordinary.
Go out today and lead something new or make something better with your recognition practices and programs.