The 3 Rs of Employee Recognition Done Right: The First R

In this 3 part series, we’ll be taking you through the pillars of employee recognition broken down into 3 key focus points: Realize :: Recognize :: Repeat.

The First R: Realize

“What gets measured gets done, what gets measured and fed back gets done well, what gets rewarded gets repeated” –John E. Jones

Think for a second about what Mr. Jones is saying there. It’s not enough to expect that a job duty will just “get done.” In any business, it’s a leader’s responsibility to clearly describe what is expected of the team, track the results, provide feedback for performance improvement, and reward the behaviors that help get the job done right.

Your employee recognition program has the power to skyrocket your results, inspire your employees, and turn your clients into raving fans. The secret to your success lies in proper preparation and planning of what you want to track and measure.

The first “R” of recognition done the right way is Realize. Sit down with your management team. Discuss the goals of your business and how your team helps you Realize those goals.

  • What job duties are essential?
  • What basic employment requirements must be met?
  • What company initiatives must be maintained to support the brand image?
  • What goals and objectives are affected by your team’s performance?

Use these goals to determine the daily, weekly, & monthly behaviors you need your team to perform. Once you Realize these behaviors, make them the foundation for determining which employees get recognized on a daily, weekly, & monthly basis – their criteria to win.

Next, share your criteria for being recognized with every team member. Make it available from the top down so everyone is in on the same page. And don’t forget to share WHY each behavior is important for your business to success. Employees understanding the bigger picture they are contributing to will go a very long way- especially for millennials.

When your criteria is clear and available, everyone on the team will Realize what is expected of them. They will know what it takes to succeed, excel and win. Use your business goals to set this criteria as the foundation of your recognition program. Solidifying your criteria will be crucial before building anything else.

Free Criteria Tracking Sheets

Once you Realize your goals and how you will use that criteria to reward your employees, use these free criteria tracking sheets to track and measure their performance. When kept up-to-date and accurate, these easy-to-use sheets will give you a performance snapshot for every employee on your team. You will know who is going above and beyond and who could use some extra coaching. Click HERE for the free downloads.

Taking serious time to Realize your objectives and turning them into criteria for selecting your winners is critical to the success of your employee recognition program.

Here’s what happens when you do:

  • You paint a clear target for your team to hit. Who can hit a target they can’t see?
  • You reward team members who help your business accomplish its goals. That is the type of behavior you want to encourage, right?
  • You can be super specific when rewarding and praising outstanding performance.
  • It’s easier to be more sincere when giving recognition that is more specific. People can spot a fake a mile away. And they don’t like it.
  • You reiterate your goal-based criteria so everyone knows what success means for the business.
  • You have data on what areas need to be improved and with which team members.

Here’s what happens when you don’t:

  • Your team doesn’t know what it takes to win so they won’t even try.
  • A team member asks you why another team member was recognized instead of them. If you can’t answer that question with clear expectations and verifiable data, it’s demoralizing for the folks who don’t win or get recognized.
  • You essentially pick a name out of a hat and destroy the credibility of any recognition program. If the recognition holds no merit, it can’t be used to create positive reinforcement.
  • You may choose to let your employees vote for winners, another common pitfall that can kill the validity of your primary recognition program (the “popularity contest conundrum” being the most popular of several bad possibilities). You certainly want to encourage peers to recognize each other. Just make sure it’s in an appropriate arena & well-executed. (P.S. Most MyEmployees recognition programs include a Spot-On kit for peer-to-peer recognition!)

A poorly managed recognition program can do more harm than NO recognition program

Check out How to Get Employee Recognition Right by David Drickhamer of TBM Consulting Group. In this article, Drickhamer interviews MyEmployees COO, Adam Tartt, and talks about how a poorly structured employee recognition program is worse than having no program at all. You avoid that danger when you Realize your goals up front and tie them to the success of your business. Click HERE for the full article.

Don’t take this first “R” of Recognition Done Right lightly. Everything that comes next depends on it.

Once you Realize your business goals, team goals, & your goals as a leader, you set yourself up for exponential success by syncing them up with your team’s recognition program. This is the foundation for employee recognition done right.

The 3 R’s of Recognition Done Right (Click on each to learn more)




Connect with us today!


Need recognition at your location?