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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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Learn from the best, tips from MIT on building employee engagement

Posted By Kathie Pugaczewski, RPI, Monday, October 29, 2018

Each year, companies are spending almost $750 million per year on engagement. Companies know that creating an engaged culture is important, but the problem is that the spend is not being returned with only 50% of the potential market has been tapped, with only half of the organizations stating an interest in engagement programs actually investing.

So the question needs to be asked, how can you increase employee engagement and create a recognition culture within your organization?

In 2016, RPI awarded Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT as it is better known as, the top award amongst recognition professionals, the RPI Best Practice Standards® Award. The institute began their award winning recognition program in 2001. Prior to this, the Institute was seen by staff as a “praise free zone”. So how in the span of 15 years did the Institute create a major internal cultural shift and build a recognition program that continues to grow? The answer lies within the seven RPI Best Practice Standards®.

Make it robust (Standard 1: Recognition Strategy)

By creating a robust recognition strategy, MIT was built a recognition program that has legs. A multi-tiered model approach, like the one used at the Institute, allows leaders and employees to provide rewards and recognition for all levels of behavior. As we know, recognition does not always have to mean a large ceremony every time an employee or coworker does something worthy of recognition. Instead, building daily “on the spot” awards into a program allows for flexibility and authenticity to the awards. Making the accomplishments measurable ends credibility to the program and removes questions of favoritism, a plague that we know can sink a recognition program in an instant.

Top Down Buy In (Standard 2: Management Responsibility)

To kick start their program, MIT tapped into their senior leaders and staff to be their program champions. From the start, they were included in the development and roll out of the program. Senior leaders and managers serve as key role models by encouraging attendance and presenting at the recognition events, and utilizing the program themselves. Often times, these leaders make up half or close to half all of the “on-the-spot” awards submitted and are frequent nominators for the larger awards.  

Train, Teach, and Train again (Standard 5: Recognition Training)

The MIT model does not only work because of it’s multi-tiered approach to recognition, but because at the start of their employment with MIT, staff are trained on the program. Throughout their careers, MIT provide staff with additional trainings on the program and ample opportunities to be involved in planning of the large year end event. There are articles and tools readily available to all staff and employees on the program and an intranet site dedicated solely to the program creating a single location for all program information.

The MIT Recognition program is a phenomenal example of a program that is built to last. These are only 3 of the key ways the MIT program has grown into an adaptable and award winning part of their culture.

Read more about MIT’s award

Learn more about the 7 best practices for building your recognition program and how you can become a certified recognition professional.

Tags:  employee engagement  employee recognition  employee retention  MIT  RPI 7 Best Practices 

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