The Question: What is your suggestion for a teacher who wants to implement more recognition when the school administration is struggling to do so? How do I encourage this value from the ground up?
– 97 Staff Recognition Tips in Just 60 Minutes participant
The Answer: Administrators have their reasons for being hesitant to recognize staff. Over the years, I have written about these so-called reasons. Most can be dismissed as excuses, rationalizations and cop-outs and all can be eliminated as barriers to recognizing staff.
Let’s focus on the three most common reasons and suggest ways that staff can become evangelists for staff recognition and help their bosses “see the light.”
Not understanding the importance of staff recognition––They just don’t get it, but you can help rescue them from their recognition skepticism.
Share your thoughts about staff recognition. Why do you believe it’s important? Point them toward research that demonstrates the impact of staff recognition in workplaces. Some things you could mention:
- The number one reason identified by the Gallup Organization for voluntarily leaving jobs was not feeling appreciated.
- Deloitte found that organizations with a staff recognition program had 31 per cent lower voluntary turnover than those without.
- Of employees surveyed by Quantum Workplace and BambooHR, 52.5 per cent stated they wanted to receive more recognition from their manager.
- When O.C. Tanner asked, “What is the most important thing that your manager or company currently does that would cause you to produce great work?” 37 per cent said that more recognition would encourage them to produce better work. Only 13 per cent mentioned the next item on the list.
- Forbes cites research that shows that recognition has an impact on trust levels. Ninety per cent of employees who were recognized or thanked in the past month trust their boss, while among those who have not been recognized, trust drops to 48 per cent.
- The Achievers Workforce Institute found that half of all employees recognized within the past week were very engaged. This dropped to less than a third for employees recognized in the last month and only 16 per cent for those recognized more than a year ago.
Bring the research closer to home. Suggest a brief staff survey. Here some questions that could be asked:
- I would work harder if I received more recognition for the work I do.
- I feel appreciated for what I do.
- It is important to me that I receive regular and frequent feedback.
- My supervisor knows and cares about how important feedback is to me.
- Which do you receive more of at work? Praise. Criticism. Neither. Both equally.
Click here for more survey questions.
Let your administrator feel what it feels like to recognized. Praise them for something they did.
No role model –– They have never witnessed someone recognizing a staff member and haven’t seen the impact on recipients.
You can become the role model they need. Find different ways to recognize your colleagues. Write thank-you notes. Leave praise on sticky notes. Express gratitude on the bulletin board in the staffroom. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”(Or in your school.)
Encourage your administrator to express appreciation to another staff member. Identify someone who performed in way that warrants recognition. Describe what they did and express your belief that they would value words of praise from their leader. Suggest ways the administrator could express appreciation. Later, ask how the recipient responded to the recognition. Or ask the recipient how they felt about receiving recognition and report their positive reaction back to the administrator.
You will be helping the administrator understand how recognition can impact others and helping them become a role model for themselves.
Don’t know how––Show them. Share your notes from the session you attended. Refer them to My 7 favourite high-value, low-cost staff recognition tips and techniques. Have them check out the staff recognition tips on my website. Encourage them to subscribe to my newsletter, Briefly Noted, which contains at least four simple staff recognition tips in every issue.
Buy them a book about staff recognition. Thanks! GREAT Job! is the first one that comes to mind (is my bias showing?) Other good choices include 1,501 Ways to Reward Employees or The 1001 Rewards and Recognition Fieldbook by Dr. Bob Nelson, The Carrot Principle or Managing with Carrots by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, and Make Their Day! by Cindy Ventrice.