I announced in May, 2010, the 52 - Week Employee Recognition Plan. This is the 16th week of that plan. The lesson this week is:
Protect them from abuse by all stakeholders: each other, customers, vendors, partners, shareholders, management.The connection of this lesson with the goal of increasing employee recognition seems obvious. Yet, why is it a common report that managers and leaders choose instead to excuse or rationalize abuse of their employees by other employees, customers, vendors, partners, shareholders, management?
You recognize an employee, anyone and everyone, when you champion their dignity.
You recognize them when you insist their dignity be recognized and respected.
You recognize their talents, skills and strengths and contributions ...when you protect them against abuse.
You recognize and protect their right to fail on the way to a great idea when protect them from abuse.
You set the tone, you lead by example, when you protect them against abuse.
This is really very simple. It is also very challenging. Who wants any more confrontations than we have already? Any in too many organizations abuse hides beneath an acquiescing leadership grown soft, terms that slice and dice the abuse into ephemeral threads that you can't quite grab, a confusion over passion versus anger, motivation versus abuse.
Confronting an abuser exposes a lot of bad habits from a lot of stakeholders. Often, the process is disruptive throughout the group, department, company...This can be scary as you don’t know when the dust will clear.
A backlash can rise against you or the employee. That make the employee more vulnerable to more insidious forms of abuse. Maybe, the employee is uncomfortable with that extra challenge. You're a leader, you're comfortable with challenges.
But that’s the goal isn’t it? Removing the dust so everyone can see each other and their shared dignity and strengths and contributions and possibilities. And protecting them from abuse removes the dust before it becomes...a thick layer of mud. Too often the abuser is or has been a victim of abuse, of being pushed too hard and too often, of seeing enemies when there are allies to help. 'A cry for help' isn't what I'm saying. But, maybe they see no other option but to bully those around them. You can figure that out later. The first step is to stop the abuse and then discover the causes.
Protect them from abuse by all stakeholders: each other, customers, vendors, partners, shareholders, management. Show you recognize them, honor them, respect them...in times and ways when it can be very tough, sometimes challenging, often unpleasant.
They’ll recognize you for what you did for them.
You can start with any week of the 52-Week Employee Recognition Plan and make that your first week.
You can take one of those weeks and turn it into a month or commit to an accelerated pace and complete 6 of the weeks in one month.
You can create your own week of employee recognition. Share that journey here. Share it in your blog or Twitter or Facebook.
But do something to recognize your employees! They set your brand apart as your ultimate competitive edge. And the more you recognize their achievements, the more achievements you'll see and they'll enjoy, along with your customers and and shareholders, partners and vendors.