Recognition Help Desk: 5 Ways Recognition Helps You Coach Your Team

coworkers high fivingIn part one of our three-part series, we looked at four ways social recognition can help you nurture and inspire the individuals you manage. We noted that managing employees is one of the most important roles you play, and the skill with which you fulfill this role can have a profound impact on your employees’ engagement, productivity, and tenure.

Today, in the second installment of our series, let’s look at five ways recognition helps you coach your team. This too is critically important because today, work gets done through cross-functional teams and human connections.

“High performing teams of today behave more as a network than a hierarchy, with shared authority and shared goals,” note Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine in their book, “Making Work Human.” In this modern, dynamic way of working, recognition becomes a highly effective way to manage a broader team or department. Here’s why:

1. Illuminates how your team is connected

Recognition data can give you a visual map of the relationships within your team, and how your team relates to others in the organization. Using this data, you can help facilitate deeper connections, increase departmental and interdepartmental flow, break down barriers, and make it easier for your department to function.

Workhuman connections

2. Reveals team strengths and weaknesses

A recognition platform can pool data on your team members, giving you a sense of where your department may have weaknesses or soft spots. Imagine, for example, you notice your team of engineers is getting numerous awards for quality, but few for innovation or risk-taking. This may represent a coaching opportunity for you to encourage, instill, and reward more creativity and boldness in your team.

Workhuman recognition moments by award type

3. Facilitates change management

Change management can be a daunting challenge for many managers. But recognition can help here, too. By recognizing and celebrating change management behavior, you can show your department members what it means to embrace change. This kind of positive reinforcement helps mitigate the negativity and resistance that can often accompany unexpected change.

4. Boosts team performance and productivity

Recognition helps you manage – and change – the quality of team performance. Whether you have an employee not working to their full potential, a team member struggling to understand your expectations, or a direct report who’s disengaged in their work, these situations can be distracting and draining for a manager. Recognition helps you have proactive, positive conversations with team members about what they’re doing right, thereby lessening the need for future conversations about what they’re doing wrong.

5. Demonstrates your team’s value

A manager’s job can sometimes be more work when managing up. That’s where recognition can help. A recognition platform can provide the data that demonstrates your team is meeting the goals set by senior management. Recognition reach, strength of values, and interdepartmental recognition activity can all help to show senior leaders a more nuanced picture of your departmental performance and culture – and your team’s contribution to the business.

Workhuman reward example

Now that we’ve explored some of the ways social recognition – and the data it provides – can help you manage individuals and teams, stay tuned for our third and final installment of this series as we examine ways you can put your recognition insights into real-world practice. From onboarding, to succession planning, to performance management, our next post will unravel specific ways you can use recognition knowledge to enhance your existing individual and team management activities.

Don’t miss it!

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About the Author

Aaron Kinne

Aaron Kinne is a senior writer at Workhuman.

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