Why and How - Office Recognition

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Saying Why, how, & when thank you at work

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PART ONE The Preamble

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When it comes to corporate recognition programs…

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There are 3 types of employees in the wild

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10% of you love corporate recognition , and recognize often

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80% are cool with the idea and recognize occasionally (when you have a moment between fire drills)

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10% of you think that it is a bunch of sappy, Dilbert-office cr@p

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Without wanting to bore the 90%...

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I want to quickly address the 10% of you who personally, sometimes secretly, hate office recognition

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If you’re in that group

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If you’re really sceptical about all this

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a ppreciate that while you may not personally be motivated by, or comfortable with, giving and receiving recognition ….

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It works for others around you

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It’s scientifically proven (see Robert Cialdani’s book Influence )

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whether recognition works for you , is not the point

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t he point is that recognition is a tool

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t hat you use to manage types of people other than yourself

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u p, down, and across

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s o to be effective

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a t managing many types of people

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you need to learn how to use the tool effectively

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s o get on the bandwagon already and stop sniping

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PART TWO Why Recognition? It’s good for you It’s good for business It’s good for them It feels good It’s the right thing to do

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Recognizing others is good for you 1

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Y our mother was right all along

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It’s just polite to say thanks

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And as our pal M achievelli teaches us…

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being polite is a great way to grease social wheels

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Build relationship capital, guan-xi, personal brands, or fund reciprocity pools

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c all it what you will

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b ut recognizing your colleagues just makes everything run more smoothly

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From office politics, to project timeline management, to motivating line staff, to just simply getting what you want

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g iving recognition is good for you

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Recognition is good for business 2

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As shown in industry study after industry study

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i n firms where recognition is rampant…

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r etention is up

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r ecruiting image is up

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p roductivity is up

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q uality is up

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i nterpersonal trust is up

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e ngagement is up

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a ttendance is up

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c ollaboration is up

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p rofit is up

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a nd the daily reinforcement of corporate values and behaviours

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t hat underlie and drive strategic objectives

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gets stuck in a virtuous loop

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i n other words

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r ecognition is good for business

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Recognition is good for them 3

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a nyone who has represented someone in performance roundtables for promotions or bonuses knows

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i t’s a meat market

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a nd those with the right stuff don’t always win

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g iven a limited pool of rewards

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a nd the power of marketing

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t o give your people the best shot at the brass ring

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y ou’ve got to be slick at promoting them

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and this is where kudos from across the firm make a big difference

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r ecognition is not, in itself, enough

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b ut recognition can give your case enough umph that it can make the difference to anyone on the borderline

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In other words, powerful, detailed, & relevant recognition can make a tangible difference with career advancement

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If you want more on the topic of marketing your people at roundtables, check out http://www.slideshare.net/selenasol/sample-talent-review-worksheet

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Recognition feels good 4

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T here is also a utilitarian angle

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r ecognition also makes people feel good

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research has shown again and again that primates feel good chemically when they are thanked

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a nd when they thank others

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Don’t you feel good when someone thanks you?

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Well, that feeling is mutual

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Recognition is the right thing to do 5

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thanking someone who has accomplished something or done something for you, is just the right thing to do

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t hat is, if recognition is deserved, then it’s deserved

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e nd of story

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Nothing embarrassing, self serving, or corporate brainwashiness about that

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PART TWO How to Recognize? Be SMART! Use multiple media Share!

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1 Be SMART

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Recognition can be delivered in a number of ways

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Think about just saying “Thanks .”

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It’s free

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It’s easy

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It’s fast

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However, this doesn’t mean meaningless “warm fuzzies ”

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Good recognition is SMART ! (See the works by Jim Brintnall )

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S incere Recognition should be a genuine expression of appreciation

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M eaningful Align recognition with the values, goals, & priorities that matter

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A daptable No single recognition format works for everyone. Recognition should be tailored & valuable to the receiver.

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R elevant Recognition should be personal & specific

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T imely Give recognition when the memory is still fresh

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2 Use multiple media

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consider any of these for your group… (Greatly slimmed list taken from 1001 Ways to Reward Employees by Bob Nelson)

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Public Acknowledgements Mentions in Townhalls or other meetings, status-reports, Wall of Fame, etc

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Personal Thanks Handwritten thank you note, plaque, phone call / voice mail from 1-up or 2-up (potentially to family/spouse)

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Silly Perks Use the boss’ office for a day, Free parking spot for a week, a skive day, gift certificate, training budget, mementos/gifts

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3 Share!

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Whatever the case, if appropriate, share praise as widely as possible

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For example, if you are thanking a peer, cc their boss and other key stakeholders

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Each point of distribution adds value to the recognition

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t he person you are thanking looks good

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a nd you look good

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PART THREE When to Recognize?

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I f you are using the SMART paradigm, you should focus on recognizing things that are strategically Meaningful

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I would say, value-aligned behaviours in the workplace

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s o the behaviours that you recognize should be specific to your strategic context

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b ut here are some examples…

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BEHAVIOUR REFERENCE Software Engineering http://mastersinsoftwareengineering.net/2012/15-qualities-every-software-engineer-should-have/ Intrapreneurship http://www.evancarmichael.com/Leadership/5155/34-Ways-to-Encourage-Intrapreneurship.html Being a Manager http://www.phdinmanagement.org/25-qualities-and-characteristics-of-a-good-manager.html Being a Leader http://www.examiner.com/article/the-25-most-important-leadership-behaviors Collaboration http://amansingh316.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/top-10-collaborative-behaviors/ Integrity (about half way down the page) http://www.wabccoaches.com/bcw/2008_v4_i2/print.html

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PART FOUR Final Note

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r ecognizing is easy to forget in the trenches of projects

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It’s OK. We’re all human

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j ust set yourself a KPI to recognize a colleague at least once per week

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t hat shouldn’t even be a stretch target

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Heck. Schedule it into Outlook to make sure you do it

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b ut please stop letting opportunities slip by

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