Recognizing Top Management for Recognizing Others

By Bob Nelson

After you get your CEO or upper management to use recognition, make sure you notice and thank them for their efforts. Top managers are no different from other employees in their need to be recognized. If you provide positive consequences for top management’s involvement in recognition activities, you’ll increase the chances of greater future involvement.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Allow top managers to announce recognition program successes to the organization when a milestone is achieved.

  • Thank top managers for their recognition efforts in a letter from the employees and/or the recognition committee.

  • Create a top manager’s recognition award, nominated and voted on by employees.

Successfully designing and implementing a recognition program — and getting the leaders in your company to increase the budget for recognition activities — requires not only conviction and persistence, but also a strategic approach to winning over top management. Don’t waste time complaining that your organization doesn’t have satisfactory recognition programs or support; instead, propose a recognition program and sell management on why it needs to happen now.

Do your homework and show management that the behavior or goals the company wants to achieve can be accomplished as a direct result of employee recognition on the part of the executives and all managers throughout the organization. Obtaining the support of top management is a critical step in the implementation of a successful recognition initiative, especially one that crosses organizational lines and requires financial resources.