Don’t get us wrong, simply telling somebody how wonderful he or she is unlikely to guarantee business continuity!
However, with the emphasis in business continuity so often laid on technology, tools, and processes, it’s worth pausing for a moment to consider the human aspect. Whereas machines and systems don’t need or respond to recognition of how well they’re doing, the situation is different for people.
Heavily quantified and codified approaches quickly break down when it comes to encouraging staff to make sure that resources are in place to meet business goals without interruption. Here are a few guidelines to help ensure continuity of human endeavour!
Unlike programs and formal processes for systems, flexible guidelines are a better bet for praising people. Indeed, effective employee recognition is more of an art than a science. It’s crucial to understand that praise, when deserved, sincere, and properly expressed, for contributions to business continuity can accomplish two things.
First, it confirms to the person concerned that he or she has acted well. Surprising as it may sound, many people go around in a constant state of doubt about whether they are doing the right things, whether in business continuity or in other domains. Second, it positively reinforces that behaviour, increasing its duration and overall effectiveness.
The next question is “how do you give praise”? Rigid rules are not applicable here, but in general:
- Give a person the kind of praise that the person likes. Some like to be recognised in front of colleagues, others prefer a quiet word apart.
- Do it now. “Catch people doing something right” and react with praise as soon as possible or appropriate.
- Be specific. Start by saying that you appreciated what the person did for business continuity, then recap on what the contribution was, and why it helps or helped the business.
- Be sincere. If there is nothing to praise, you’ll have to take a different approach to getting business continuity working. Praise simply for the sake of praise is quickly spotted as fake.
Finally, even if you have other comments to make about the contribution, save them for later if you can. Keep the moment of praise centred on the praise!