Recognise This! – Appreciative Inquiry is a powerful management practice. Strategic Recognition is an effective methodology for implementing it.

Why am I so passionate about strategic employee recognition? It’s simply this – I care very deeply about the work environment of employees. After all, I’m an employee myself. I just happen to be lucky enough to work in an organisation that values me and my contributions and never fails to let me know that.

I also believe strategic recognition is the most effective way of communicating to employees what the company values most – achievement of strategic objectives in line with company values. The two cannot be separated or unintended consequences will result.

Strategic recognition is the most positive and effective approach for looking at what you want more of in your organisation and getting it. Dina Medina, an internal communications manager at HP, recently addressed this topic from a different angle: Appreciative Inquiry (AI), explaining:

“Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is an organisational development methodology that looks at finding what works well in an organisation and how to make more of it. …

“The implications for employee communication are tremendous. First, it’s about recognising that organisations are human systems and that communication sits at the center. How we talk to each other and about what does matter. … Communication becomes the enabling force and an energised, committed and engaged organisation is the outcome.”

Dina’s description of AI mirrors quite well the principles of using strategic recognition in the workplace. In fact, the correlation is so strong, I venture that strategic recognition is one methodology for AI in the workplace by using the positive power of employee recognition to focus employees on demonstrating your company values in contribution to achieving strategic objectives.

Frequent recognition of every employee – by managers and peers alike – is the most effective way of making the values and objectives meaningful and real in the daily work of every employee. How better to encourage what you want to see more of than by saying “thank you?”

Do you use any AI approach in your workplace to look for what you want more of and encourage it, or do you simply seek to stop what you don’t want? Which approach do you think is more effective in both the short- and long-term?