Why do people in creative positions like to be recognized? According to a survey by Kuczmarski & Associates, there are (4) key elements that recognition provides;

  • Senior management exposure
  • Career advancement
  • Sense of pride and accomplishment
  • Public acknowledgement and peer recognition.

I’d like to talk today about the very first one, Senior management exposure. This also relates to one of the best practices in recognition – that the recognition program have upper management support, commitment and participation. This is a huge component for recipients of recognition. If upper management is not involved, or the responsibility delegated it to someone with less seniority, then you are missing a substantial opportunity to motivate your innovators.

I’ve been to many, many recognition events over the years and felt the vibrations when upper management attended. Pixar Animation Studios is one of the events that comes to mind because it was such a human centric environment. They wanted something very special for their inventors. So, we spent almost a year designing, for Pixar, an incredible, electronic, etched glass patent wall plaque with an embedded film strip that is Doppler radar activated and micro-processor controlled with programmable LED illumination and programmable duration via hand gesture recognition.

These awesome, one-of-kind patent plaques were unveiled at a big event. Everybody who was anybody attended the event, including Mr. Cantall and John Lassiter, the head of Pixar. All the inventors got to greet and talk to them. It was their opportunity to be seen while being recognized for their accomplishments. When upper management participates, recognition allows people to be seen in a successful light not just by fellow workers, but by the people who can also help them advance.