Are you a leader or are you a follower?
That question is pretty easy to answer if you’re honest with yourself. This one is a bit more difficult. If you’re a leader, are you a strategic leader or an operational leader?
What’s the difference? I read an interesting article in last month’s Talent Management magazine that defined the differences this way:
“Strategic leadership is a critical building block for setting the tone and direction in an organization, but it is through blending with good day-to-day operational leadership practices that these strategies come to life.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re a strategic leader or an operational one. The importance lies in knowing what you’re good at or what the situation calls for. At some point, someone must set the strategy – whether for a project or for a company – and someone must lead the effort to see that strategy accomplished.
The same is true when implementing a strategic employee recognition program. As we outline in our new book, Winning with a Culture of Recognition, the very first tactic in building a strategic recognition program that can not only change your company culture but give you ability to directly manage it is “Establish Program Goals and Objectives.” The very first question to consider when planning a recognition & rewards program is:
“Why are you doing this? Without real, detailed goals, the practice of engaging and motivating employees can become ‘recognition for recognition’s sake,’ another old-school program lacking accountability and relevance.”
The rest of this week I’ll be diving into this topic of the importance of program goals and objectives more deeply. As the Talent Management article pointed out:
“Another area where strategic and operational leadership practices come together is in the creation of a high-energy, passionate work environment. The way leaders treat employees influences the way employees treat customers. Again, executives have to take a strategic and operational approach to address the job and organizational factors that drive positive intentions and subsequent performance. One without the other will not achieve the desired results.”“Drive positive intentions and subsequent performance” – there’s no better way to accomplish just that than through recognition that deliberately and specifically calls out employees when they demonstrate those positive behaviors you’ve identified as critical to success. And there’s no doubt doing so influences and encourages them to perform similarly in the future.
As you dive into 2011 budget planning, are you considering the strategic as well as the organizational factors that lead to the work environment and company culture you desire?