Planning for Better Recognition in 2021
Posted by Roy Saunderson on Thu, Jan 07, 2021 @ 04:15 PM

Suppose you want your employees to give better recognition and have employees recognized more frequently than they are. You may want to think about transforming your organization's recognition strategy now for 2021 with a carefully thought out plan.

Your engagement surveys, pulse surveys, focus groups feedback, and recognition program data will give you both the qualitative and quantitative read on the state of employee recognition in your organization. Taking the data, along with our 10 tips below, work with your leaders and managers to define and create the future of employee engagement in your organization:

1. SET A ONE-YEAR FOCUS GOAL. What is the overall goal you want to achieve with making recognition better in 2021? How will leaders and managers practice giving recognition more frequently? How will everyone use your online recognition programs more equitably?

Conduct monthly and quarterly recognition practices and program reviews to monitor progress. Target any behaviors to act on and identify required learning to improve everyone's abilities to give better employee recognition.

2. NARROW DOWN WHAT YOU CAN IMPROVE. You cannot improve everything that needs fixing. But you can look at your one-year focus goal and ask yourself what will help you reach it. What actions will make the most significant impact on the employee experience?

Look for a few actions that will get leaders and managers more engaged with giving better quality and more frequent recognition. Find out what your employees need and want to be more effective recognition givers with your programs.

3. CREATE CONCRETE ACTION GOALS. You know the areas of focus you need to work on, and now you must set some actionable objectives that will see these ideas implemented. What resources do you need to make these actions happen? How can you help leaders and managers use your programs better? Is there one thing people could do that would make recognition better?

Write a minimum of one goal specific to each area of focus. These plans will allow you to delegate one focus area with its actionable goals to an implementation team to make it happen.

4. DETERMINE YOUR MEASURES OF SUCCESS. For every goal set for each focus area, determine how you will measure the outcomes of success. You must be able to gauge progress and what measures are most effective. Lagging indicators are delayed and harder to affect. Leading indicators are easier to influence and change.

Having concrete measures helps each implementation team know what you expect from them. Your action teams will understand how they are doing and estimate the time and effort needed to achieve the desired goal outcome.

5. FIND ALIGNED ALLIES. Seek out a committed executive sponsor who supports employee recognition and encourages full implementation of your plan. Share your recognition plans with supportive leaders and managers who can act as ambassadors of the cause.

It's important to find allies and optimistic advocates for employee recognition. People who believe in the power of recognition can speak candidly about program concerns they notice and make recommendations for improvement.

6. KNOW WHAT IS NON-NEGOTIABLE. There will be some things you will have to give in to as you move recognition forward. Identify what you are not willing to give up. Are there ways to redistributing the recognition budget to keep essential programs? What are you not prepared to negotiate? Write out your non-negotiable items and have them handy for meetings.

Make a list of recognition practices and programs that should stay and what you are willing to sacrifice. Knowing what cannot change will help guide your implementation teams.

7. DEVELOP SPRINT ACTION PLANS. Challenge each implementation team to create 90-day action plans towards the overall one-year goal. Then have them break down the first 90-day action plan into two-week sprints of what micro-action or task the team can work on.

Prioritize the focus areas in order of importance and then use the *90-day action plan concept to pull it together Be sure to request help from experts along the way with knowledge and skills you don't have.

8. SCHEDULE IN YOUR ACTION TASKS. Plan when you will work on your recognition goals and implementation plans each week. For each 90-day plan, set up your calendar with time slots to work on the tactics and actions required to complete each goal. You can even schedule a bulk action time to work for a few hours to complete tasks.

Use reminder notifications to nudge you for your scheduled action items. You can also use smartphone apps to remind and show you your goal progress.

9. COMMUNICATE PROGRESS DAILY. Plan the times and preferred method for giving progress updates on all the actionable goals.  Have the leader of each implementation team email updates at 30 and 60 days. Then have them provide a one-page summary report at 90-day intervals to provide the current status and plans for the next quarter. Ask your executive sponsor and manager to report how they would like to receive progress reports. State the need for a face-to-face meeting every six months, if not quarterly.

A wise leader once said, "When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates."

10. KEEP TRACK OF ACHIEVING GOALS. The key to achieving your recognition plans for 2021 is planning when you will work on and track your progress to ensure it's visibility. Use tools like spreadsheets or web-based or mobile applications like Trello and Asana. These online tools to help organize teams, track progress, and manage the next steps to take.

Your different teams can see where they are at, and you get to see the big picture towards achieving next year's overall goal.

While you know that you can't do everything, especially if you are the only one running recognition in the organization. But as Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." You will soon see better recognition happening one-on-one and through using your recognition programs better and more effectively.

We recently hosted a webinar discussing this topic with Roy. Click here to watch the video!

*In addition to the video, Roy mentioned a 90-day Recognition Plan to help you get ready for 2021. Download the PDF to help you prepare for the future: 90-Day Recognition Plan

Topics: employee recognition

Latest Posts