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Recognition in The Real World
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Excuse Busting: Top 4 "Reasons" Managers do not use recognition

Posted By Kathie Pugaczewski, RPI, Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Excuse Busting: Top 4 "Reasons" Managers do not use recognition

“Not enough time.” “It’s meaningless to my team.” “It’s not appreciated so why try?”

We all know these managers, the ones who look at employee recognition and scoff. Employee Recognition Programs have been shown as key indicators of a company’s culture and a resource for employee retention. In a time when high employee retention is at the top of every organization’s wishlist, it is time to get buy in from your leaders and managers. Bust the most common excuses and engage your leadership to create and build a successful program that will leave your team motivated and committed.

Top Excuses from Managers and how to “bust” them

  1. It’s not a part of my job to provide recognition/it’s not important

    Yes it is.

    As mentioned above, almost all employees expect to receive recognition for their work, and they should. According to the 2017 Gallup State of the American Workplace, committed and engaged employees are 17% more productive, stay with their organization for 24-59% longer and have a 21% higher profitability than employees who are not engaged and report low commitment to their organizations.

    Recognition programs should not just be direct managers to employees. The not-so-new concept floating around many leadership and HR circles is peer-to-peer recognition. By having a recognition program that is multifaceted, not just peer-to-peer based or management recognition based, the responsibility for recognizing team members is spread around. Key recognitions should still come from company leaders and managers, but by building a program that includes shout-outs, day-today recognition from fellow employees, a company culture of support and appreciation can be developed and the weight of recognition does not just rest on one leaders shoulders.

  2. “We do not have the money to provide recognition to our team”

    Recognition does not have to be costly, it can be as simple as a thank you to a hardworking member of your team. That being said, it is widely agreed that the cost of retention of an employee is far less than replacing. A paper from the Center for American Progress determined that companies can expect to pay about one-fifth of a departing employees salary to replace them, depending on the employee’s skills and position, while Josh Bersin of Deloitte Consulting, LLP estimates the cost to be anywhere between “tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5-2X annual salary.” With these numbers, creating the time to start and actively participate in your organization’s recognition program is a no-brainer.

  3. I don’t know how to recognize my employees

    While this seems like the easiest excuse to refute, it can be the hardest to overcome. With more generations in the workplace than ever before, Traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials), and Gen Z, navigating what works best for each employee and the nuances of generational divide can be difficult. The Wall Street Journal cautions against following a blanket stereotype, while Kimberly Abel-Lanier, vice president and general manager of Maritz Workforce Solutions, advises organizations to reinvent their recognition strategy by considering their general motivations. Whatever your organization’s hurdles may be to creating a recognition strategy, sometimes the easiest way to find out how your employees would like to be recognized, is to ask.

  4. Who has the time?

    If leadership at some of the top companies in the world can send thank you notes and take the time to recognize their teams, you have time to provide recognition to your team. As Kevin Kruse of LEADx.org puts it; “increasing engagement takes minutes, not hours”. The truth is, everyone is busy, not just the company leaders. Set an example as a manager that recognition is important to your organization. There is time in your day to say a simple thank you to an employee that handled a tough account, give a shout-out to a member of your team that offered their time to help on an additional project, fill out a recognition form for an employee who took time out of their weekend to finish a project on a tight deadline. Make the time and see the results.  

Manager Responsibility is a key pillar of the RPI Best Practice Standards®. Learn more about the Standards here.

Gain more insights into building your recognition program and become a certified recognition professional through RPI’s Certified Recognition Professional® (CRP) program – four courses designed to guide you through the latest information and research on building a successful recognition program.

Tags:  employee retention  recognition  recognition program 

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