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Effective Recognition Programs Must Be Situational


Tue Aug 27 2013

Effective Recognition Programs Must Be Situational

Situational recognition means you have to diagnose each individual and each desired outcome.  Providing the same recognition for everyone will guarantee an ineffective recognition process.

Let me ask you a question: If you have a new team member who just joined the organization and performed a key process effectively, would you recognize them to reinforce their progress? Of course you would.


Let me ask you another question: if you have a two-year veteran on the same team, who performs the same process, equally as well, would you recognize them the same? I hope you wouldn’t.

The key is that after two years we should be recognizing much more significant outcomes and processes than that of a brand new enthusiastic team member.  When you focus on providing situational recognition, you are focusing on the individual’s ability, competence, willingness, and commitment to create positive results. Additionally, situational recognition means getting to know the person beyond the job they do.

CSI International research validates the idea that among employees globally, the number 1 thing they all want is to feel supported by their direct supervisor and involved in business decisions.

When it comes to providing recognition, you must know individual personality types and preferences. In other words, one size does not fit all. If you give personal praise to Sally in front of the department or company and Sally hates to get up in front of crowds, is that really recognition?

Key factors to keep in mind for giving effective situational recognition:

  • requires diagnoses

  • requires specific and timely feedback

  • should be focused on the individual employee’s likes, wants, and motivations

  • operates on the premise of “what motivates people, is what motivates people.”

Rewarding, recognizing, and reinforcing the acquisition of skills, increase in competency levels, and enhanced employee commitment is one of the best practices any organization can employ to create intense levels of employee engagement.

P.S.  If you want to dramatically improve the effectiveness of your leaders and your employee recognition program? CSI is offering the ASTD Community a chance to experience our e-learning modules for leaders and managers.  Follow this link to learn more.

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