Leadership’s Role in a Successful Employee Recognition Program

by Jennifer Miller on September 21, 2011

in Leadership

5 Ways Your Leadership Can Make a Difference

This is the second in a three-part series on employee recognition, written by guest contributor Cori Curtis, Certified Recognition Professional. The first in the series was Employee Recognition: Why the Lighter Side of Business has Serious Results.

Today, I’m writing to leaders. You may have dabbled in a recognition program here or there in the past, but maybe you didn’t realize the full impact of your participation until recently (or maybe my blog post helped change your mind!). Today, I’m going to focus on what you can do to make employee recognition a priority in your organization and have a measurable impact on your bottom line.

 As a leader, you can make the case for employee recognition. Do your homework and understand the challenges your organization faces. Present employee recognition as a solution for your organization and declare a goal that you believe you can achieve with a program in place. Your respected voice and authority can bring recognition to the forefront of business discussions.

As a leader, you have the ability to set the agenda. Make employee recognition a topic for discussion at your weekly meetings or collaborate with a co-worker to create a proposal for a new employee recognition program. Make employee recognition as important as any other business initiative by getting the topic on the agenda and showing your support.

As a leader, you can make change happen. When you practice employee recognition and make it a priority, other managers and employees will, too. Leading by example is a truly effective way to make change happen in your organization. Others already look to you to set an example. Make sure coworkers see you recognizing employees and peers, then watch appreciation spread throughout the organization.

As a leader, you control the purse strings. There’s a lot to employee recognition that involves your action and support, but eventually your program will need resources to grow. Dedicate the necessary human and financial resources to make your program successful, and you’ll reap measurable business results, such as lowered absentee rate, and improved quality, productivity, retention, and customer service.

As a leader, you can keep the organization accountable. It’s well known in the business community that “what gets measured gets done.” Keep your organization on track with their recognition program by setting clear goals and reporting on them regularly. Ask supervisors to report every month on their recognition initiatives, improvements they’ve observed, or suggested modifications.

The key to being an effective leader of employee recognition initiatives is being committed. Believe in the practice of employee recognition, and you’ll be able to convince the organization that recognition means real business results.

Cori Curtis is a Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) and Marketing Communications Specialist at Baudville. She speaks at industry events about the strategy and benefits of employee recognition and blogs regularly on the topic on the Baudville Blog. Baudville, “the place for daily recognition”, is a leading provider of employee gifts and employee awards and has a robust Recognition Resource Center with articles, ideas, and resources on employee recognition.


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