Engaging managers in your recognition programme

engaging managers in recognitionEnsuring managers are engaged in your recognition programme means creating the right environment for managers on the ground to give recognition easily and quickly, and as a result you’ll benefit from a more engaged, productive and loyal workforce.

There are two key components HR professionals need to put in place into ensure managers are engaged in any recognition programme, these are:

  • Gaining managers buy-in
  • Communicating the benefits of recognition

Engaging Managers to Recognise Employees

Download our guide to engaging managers here >>


Gaining manager buy-in

The first key component is ensuring managers ‘buy-in’ at the earliest possible stage. Here are some tips to help you gain their support and trust:

  • Get them involved early as part of the programme design. Hold focus groups to gauge what managers are thinking and ensure you recognise their efforts – having them participate early-on will enthuse them to participate throughout.
  • Demonstrate the power of recognition by thanking managers. Emulate the behaviours and values you want them to practice with their teams. Perhaps drop a personally signed card on their desk to thank them for their time. Whatever form of appreciation you show, help them understand the impact of regular recognition and how such small tokens make them feel.
  • Keep managers abreast of developments throughout the set-up of the programme and involve them in any launch information. After all, managers are key in building anticipation and excitement in their teams.
  • Listen to their feedback throughout as they are working closely to the end recipients you want to influence.
  • Give them the right tools to make recognising employees easy. Ensure they understand why, how, when and what they should be recognising; driving the right behaviours through your business.
  • Create a culture of involvement and two-way communications. Give managers the opportunity to be involved and give feedback on the programmes’ development.
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Communicating the benefits

Communicate recognition schemeWhether we consciously think about it or not, “What’s in it for me?” is a question that drives almost every decision we make. Therefore, you need to ensure your managers understand the benefits of your recognition programme specifically by communicating “What’s in it for them.”

If managers understand the benefits of the recognition programme and how it will make managing their team easier, they will be more likely to endorse, promote and participate in the programme.

To help you communicate the benefits of a recognition programme to your managers, here are some ideas.
Key benefits to managers include:

1. Collated data can be used for real-time performance management reviews. Recognition and rewards given can be a strong indicator of who the best performers in a team are and who may need training or mentoring to be able to perform to a higher standard.

2. Managers are able to showcase those in their team who have been recognised, what led to the recognition and what corporate values are represented. This will motivate their peers and instil values and desired behaviours across the team.

3. Managers have access to data and communications tools in an easy to read, printable format to take to their team meetings to show such things as:

  • Who has been recognised within any chosen time period
  • Performance figures / league tables
  • Posters to display to the team
  • Print out thank you cards or certificates of achievement to present in person

4. Improved product knowledge. Online reward and recognition schemes provide a valuable internal communications platform. By incorporating training modules, games and product knowledge quizzes, they can also help to improve customer service and engagement.

5. A more productive and enthusiastic team.

Find out more about employee recognition programmes here >>


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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