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5 Things Great Managers Do

Posted By Administration, Sunday, June 30, 2019


5 Things Great Managers Do

Written by: Lori McKnight



I was recently a guest on Callie Zipple’s HonestHR SHRM podcast. Callie and I chatted about All Things Recognition.


Callie asked a question we often hear from HR professionals, “How can I make recognition more inclusive and equitable? What can I do when some managers recognize great work but others have a serious recognition blind spot?”.


Recognition may be the most affordable and powerful tool in a manager’s toolbox, but it only works when used. Great managers know the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) of consistently recognizing employees.  



Here are 5 coaching tips to help managers with a recognition blind spot see the light.



Coaching Tip #1: Have a WIIFM talk

The role of manager has dramatically changed. Great managers need to be more than taskmasters – they need to be coaches who recognize the unique needs of their increasingly Millennial team.


According to Gallup, 69% of employees state they would work harder if they were recognized more BUT only 30% of employees received recognition or praise for doing good work in the last seven days.



Emphasize the benefits to unit performance by consciously making an effort to recognize others more often. 


When compared to business units in the bottom quartile of engagement, those in the top quartile realize improvements in the following areas: 


Image result for Source: 2017 Gallup State of the American Workplace

Source: 2017 Gallup State of the American Workplace



Coaching Tip #2: Give simple, actionable ways to get started


Being a good manager is hard. It takes a concerted effort to find the time to manage people AND get your own work done. Here are a few tips managers can implement asap to make recognition a part of their daily routine:


·         recognize one person at the beginning of every weekly meeting

·         schedule a calendar reminder at the end of every day to email or post a thank you to one person

·         have one face-to-face chat with an employee every week to give and receive feedback



Coaching Tip #3: Show what recognition looks like

If your organization has a social recognition platform…


·         print off examples of kudos other managers are giving to show how people are being recognized for great work and accomplishments


·         look at the number of recognition events a manager in a top performing unit is giving, compared to the manager in question. Sometimes numbers speak louder than words



Coaching Tip #4: Add to your manager’s recognition toolbox

Make recognition easy. The more streamlined and simple your recognition initiatives are, the more they’ll be used. A social recognition platform is ideal as small expressions of recognition posted on the company dashboard can be multiplied by many as employees like, comment and share the creds.


If you don’t have a digital recognition website:

·         have small branded on-the-spot gifts, thank you and spot cards available to recognize great work easily and immediately


·         set performance goals and use creative rewards to recognize efforts. Things like having a manager clean an employee’s desk, order in pizza or sponsor a coffee break are fun, easy to execute initiatives that are inexpensive



Coaching Tip #5: Reward Efforts

Managers, like employees, want to be recognized by superiors.

·         award bonus points for meeting recognition targets

·         build recognition targets into performance and incentive plans


Bottom line, according to a recent Forbes article, is that organizations pay a high price for keeping managers, who don’t manage, in leadership roles.  


Remind others to recognize and appreciate by downloading and posting this 5 Things Great Managers Do wallchart.


5 things great managers do









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