3 Steps to Winning Leadership Support for Employee Recognition Programs

October 16, 2017 3:13 pm Published by

By Mike Byam

What is one of the most effective ways to boost employee satisfaction and productivity within your organization? Provide recognition for employee contributions. Seems simple enough right? Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to get  everyone on-board with the idea.

I’ve given hundreds of talks about the importance of employee recognition and how to do it right over the course of the last fifteen plus years. The same question keeps coming up, without fail, every time we give a talk on this topic. How do I get my executive team to prioritize employee recognition, and how do I encourage leaders to participate in building the culture? Here are 3 tips for not only in winning him or her over to the idea, but ultimately to gain real success with your program and its impact on your people and your business going forward.

Designate a Recognition Champion.

Let’s face it, top leadership and managers have many responsibilities and an employee recognition program may not be top of mind. A designated Recognition Champion can look at all of the organization’s activities through the lens of how it fits with your organization’s employee recognition culture. This person can help highlight important recognition opportunities for leaders and managers.

Keep the lines of communication open.

It’s very important that managers understand the recognition program, how it works and why it is in place in order to actively support and participate in it. At the initial launch of your program, all managers should receive training about the recognition program. Consider a quarterly or annual review of the program where key stakeholders can get together to review the performance of the program and how it is impacting the organization and its people. This will build understanding and ownership among the management group.

Equip leaders with the tools to recognize their teams.

Now remember, some managers in your organization are likely to be uncomfortable or unsure of how to provide their employees with the recognition they need to thrive. The good news is, recognition is teachable. There are several resources that may help your organization’s managers, including a downloadable award presentation cheat sheet and recognition speech tips. Managers should have a bank of recognition awards or discretionary award points that they can give to their team. When managers have the tools for recognition easily accessible, they are far more likely to engage enthusiastically with your organization’s recognition program.

These 3 strategies will help you win and maintain support for recognition in your business. Your employee recognition program will be in a better position to engage your team, promote a positive workplace culture and support your business objectives.




Mike Byam is the author of The WOW! Workplace, and Managing Partner of Terryberry, a century-old international firm that specializes in implementing and managing employee recognition programs. Mike is a frequent speaker on the topic of employee recognition to HR professionals and business groups around the world.

Learn more about Terryberry’s Employee Recognition Solutions www.terryberry.com

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Published by
October 16, 2017 3:13 pm

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