Recognise This! – In-the-moment knowledge of employee engagement levels can deliver tremendous dividends for project success.

Did you ever wish you could instantly and easily assess an employee’s engagement level at any time, any place around the world? What about having a readily available benchmark tool that’s universally understood and could be used by all? I’m here to tell you there is one.

For the past 12 years, I’ve had the privilege to work under the direction of Derek Irvine, founder of the Recognize This! blog it is now my pleasure to join. During those years, I’ve assisted some of the most admired companies in the world define their recognition strategy, identify their “big win” ambitions, and put the right change management strategy in place to achieve the desired results. One of the “big wins” for a number of large, complex organisations is increasing employee engagement. This is no surprise as employee recognition is the most important lever to pull in order to see significant, quick, positive change.

Since the needed frequency for individual engagement at work is daily but the benchmark for measuring engagement is annually (or sometimes even longer), the opportunity to innovate employee engagement benchmarks in an informal way is glaringly obvious. For example, many years ago I worked with a project team at a company with 350,000+ employees globally in 121 countries. This project team was working away heads downs for several days testing new software – a reoccurring, regular set of daily duties. I looked at the faces of my colleagues and immediately thought they needed frequent, specific, timely and meaningful recognition for their work. I asked the team to pause, look around the room and consider the tremendous amount of work accomplished together, and then recognise each other for their collective success. Immediately the entire team perked up and dove back into the work with a reinvigorated spirit.

After several hours, my innovative idea came into play. I quickly shouted out to the team members: “Happy Check! What’s your level of happiness right now?” One of the project team members pointed out that since we’re addicted to benchmarks, we needed to measure performance using a specific indicator. And so the 1-10 scale was added with 10 being the highest. Throughout the week, we used a mix of frequent recognition and the Happy Check instant employee engagement benchmark to calibrate each team member. Anyone hollering out “Happy Check 1” (or anything below a 6) got immediate attention from the rest of the team to help them with their task and restore their personal “Happy Check” level.

The result – this project team exceeded all of their team goals, met every deadline and is responsible for launching the world’s largest employee recognition programme. That’s worth an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records!

Implement the Happy Check with your own team. Give them frequent, specific, timely and meaningful recognition and follow that up with a Happy Check benchmark on the spur of the moment. What is your Happy Check today? I’m Happy Check 10. Tell me your Happy Check level (and why) in comments. Let’s share ideas and get everyone to a Happy Check 10 level!