Leaders, Be the Face of Your Recognition Programs

April 8, 2015
| ByMike Ryan

As business results become more talent-dependent, “leadership” as an executive function must also become more employee-centric.

Creating the means to attract and retain top people has become the number one imperative for business leaders. So why aren’t they more visible in the initiatives that do just that? Why aren’t they the face of their recognition programs?

The quality of talent impacts everything from an organization’s ability to change and innovate, from customer share to intracompany effectiveness. Yet few executives visibly support their employee recognition programs and key strategies that are designed to do just that—to entice, keep, and motivate employees.

The role of any leader can be broken down into these steps:
• create a clear vision of the future
• explain why the destination is critical
• rally the employees to embrace the mission

Often those messages get diluted as they trickle down to the employee level. Workers don’t always see themselves as critical players in that equation and that creates a gap between executive vision and employee action.

On the other hand, leaders who actively use their reward programs to convey those messages get better results. Using a combination of video and text, they can effectively translate their goals for the company into outcomes that the employee can embrace and act upon.

Executives who take an active role in their programs also have middle managers who engage at higher levels. When top leaders are visible, reward givers—like front line managers—are also more involved and that translates into a more viable program.

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