Recognition: It’s a powerful, effective tool and its free!
Several years ago as the Director of Organizational Development for several hospitals, I was responsible for employee engagement. One year, scores completely tanked. It was so odd, that small community hospital had always had very high engagement. What happened? Why the change? Upon a brief investigation, it all boiled down to the new CEO. WHAT? She is delightful, cheery, and happy, how could she be responsible for the sharp decline in scores. The previous CEO lived in the very community that he served. He was neighbors with a few of the nurses. He played poker with a several of the maintenance team members. He was on a baseball team with one of the hospital cleaning team members. Once a week he volunteered with a respiratory technician. weekly pull-tabs with a cook, and on and on it went.
The new CEO, while delightful, cheery, and happy did not. In fact she did not live in the community and had little time to be bothered with any of the hospital team members, “business first” she’d say! Turns out that lack of personal engagement through recognition was a significant loss for almost everyone at the hospital. No longer did the CEO say hello, inquire about a spouse, engage in conversation about the kids, the pets, the weekend activities, and any other myriad of things because “it was business.”
Turns out the business of leaders is to engage!
Everybody enjoys being recognized for their good work, efforts, and just a simple acknowledgement of their presence. Its also one of the easiest ways to create engagement within your corporate community. Everybody loves to receive positive recognition, and it should not be limited to a big success.
If starting out with an engagement or recognition program, start small! Be the first to say hello, inquire (elevator rides don’t have to be awkward!), ask about a weekend. Its a change and change can always lead to discomfort, but embrace it and connect! Its the work of leaders.