Using Effective Recognition to Support Operational Excellence

Recognition is a powerful tool to support operational excellence initiatives by rewarding and endorsing the specific actions, behaviors and values you are working to put in place with your operational excellence program. A key component of operational excellence programs is appropriate and timely recognition for achievements throughout the process. Numerous experts mention tying Six Sigma implementation to recognition programs to drive process improvement, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and net income.

Our best practices further show pure recognition to be a more lasting reward than even compensation increases and cash bonuses for task achievement. A simple “thank you” and congratulatory remark – linked to the specific achievement – from either a co-worker or a senior manager is often more meaningful than a trinket selected from a catalog. And when a reward of monetary value is merited, then giving the recipient the reward of choice to select an item or experience personally meaningful to them allows recipients to appropriately brag to their colleagues about what they did to earn the reward.

When rewards are only in the form of salary and compensation, then this opportunity to “brag” and thereby reinforce the success of the operational excellence program overall is lost. Cash and compensation-based recognition programs also fuel competition, which runs counter to the goals of strategic operational excellence initiatives that require teams to collaborate and produce well together at a high level. For more on this topic specifically, see our White Paper: Cash Is Not King.

Creating a culture of appreciation with effective strategic recognition systems also addresses people’s need to fuel their Psychic Income – social acceptance, increased self-esteem and self realization – that can never be met through compensation. This encourages people to assume greater responsibility in their role in achieving the goals of the operational excellence system in place.

Do you see the added value effective strategic recognition programs can bring to those already delivered through well executed operational excellence programs?

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