How to institutionalize personnel recognition as a tool for individual commitment to excellence. Pride Award in the Furd

It has come to the attention of the employees of this office that personnel recognition have not been placed on high value in most government ministries and other parastatals which has caused the level of creativity and project management to have dropped in comparison to our performance in the past few years. There have been cases where employees perform very well in tasks given to them. Examples of tasks;

  1. A project team able to deliver results with significant cost savings and greater than expected results.
  2. Staff volunteering to work over a weekend to handle an emergency situation (where this is outside the expectations of their position and they would not normally be entitled to overtime payments).
  3. Higher than anticipated achievement, for example the acceptance of a paper in a high ranking presentations.
  4. A spontaneous act of leadership that made a difference.
  5. Achieving outcomes under tight constraints and obstacles.
  6. Role-model an office value under difficult conditions.
But after these excellent results has delivered by employees, there are not pride awards given to them and this has reduced the individual commitment to excellence because there is a tendency that these employees feel that there good work is not recognized therefore feel reluctant in their next assignments.

Money, praise, and public recognition can have a powerful impact on how well employees perform. Employees seek rewards and recognition and distinction regardless of their grade or status in the organization. They need to feel that the work they are doing makes an important contribution to the mission of your organization.  The credibility of the awards program and its effect on employee morale and productivity depend largely on how the management uses it.

Therefore, the government and/or the management is urged to institutionalize personnel recognition program in a form of awards as a tool that will enhance the commitments of the employees to excellence. The Program to institutionalize personnel recognition for excellence by pride award into management policies integrates and enhances the Personnel Management Assessment by supervisors. Personnel assessment is a mechanism that empowers government agencies by developing their human resource management competencies, systems, and practices toward employee excellence.
The supervisor, plays a vital role in the success of the Incentive Awards Program.
The management must also assure that the level of performance which earned an award has been significantly high, so co-workers recognize the justice in granting the award. An award is not an entitlement. The decision to grant or not to grant an award is a management prerogative.

How to institutionalize this personnel recognition
In reality, the institutionalization of personnel recognition is a process, in which an organization continuously evolves until personnel recognition is formally and philosophically integrated into its structure and functioning. Let’s take a look at some key point;

 Organization and management

 Institutionalization Framework:
The figure below presents a framework that identifies organization and intervention characteristics and institutionalization processes affecting the degree to which change programs are institutionalized. The model shows that two key antecedents--organization and intervention characteristics--affect different institutionalization processes operating in organizations. These processes, in turn, affect various indicators of institutionalization. The model also shows that organization characteristics can influence intervention characteristics. For example, organizations having powerful unions may have trouble gaining internal support for OD interventions.

Institutionalization Processes:

1. Socialization. This concerns the transmission of information about beliefs, preferences, norms, and values with respect to the institutionalization. Because implementation of personnel recognition generally involves considerable learning and experimentation, a continual process of socialization is necessary to promote persistence of the reward program. Organization members must focus attention on the evolving nature of the policy and its ongoing meaning. They must communicate this information to other employees, especially new members. Transmission of information about the personnel recognition policy helps bring new members onboard and allows participants to reaffirm the beliefs, norms, and values underlying the intervention. For example, employee involvement programs often include initial transmission of information about the policy, as well as retraining of existing participants and training of new members. Such processes are intended to promote persistence of the reward program as both new behaviors are learned and new members are introduced.

2. Commitment. This binds people to behaviors associated with the reward. It includes initial commitment to the program, as well as recommitment over time. Opportunities for commitment should allow people to select the necessary behaviors freely, explicitly, and publicly. These conditions favor high commitment and can promote stability of the new behaviors. Commitment should derive from several organizational levels, including the employees directly involved and the middle and upper managers who can support or thwart the institutionalization of personnel recognition policy. In many early employee involvement programs, for example, attention was directed at gaining workers' commitment to such programs. Unfortunately, middle managers were often ignored and considerable management resistance to the interventions resulted.

3. Reward allocation. This involves linking rewards to the new behaviors required by the personnel reward policy. Organizational rewards can enhance the persistence of involvements in at least two ways. First, a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards can reinforce new behaviors. Intrinsic rewards are internal and derive from the opportunities for challenge, development, and accomplishment found in the work. When personnel recognition provide these opportunities, motivation to perform should persist. This behavior can be further reinforced by providing extrinsic rewards, such as money, for increased contributions. Because the value of extrinsic rewards tends to diminish over time, it may be necessary to revise the reward system to maintain high levels of desired behaviors. Second, new behaviors will persist to the extent that rewards are perceived as equitable by employees. When new behaviors are fairly compensated, people are likely to develop preferences for those behaviors. Over time, those preferences should lead to normative and value consensus about the appropriateness of the personnel recognition policy. For example, many employee involvement programs fail to persist because employees feel that their increased contributions to organizational improvements are unfairly rewarded. This is especially true for interventions relying exclusively on intrinsic rewards. People argue that an intervention that provides opportunities for intrinsic rewards also should provide greater pay or extrinsic rewards for higher levels of contribution to the organization.

4. Diffusion. This refers to the process of transferring personnel recognition policy from one system to another. Diffusion facilitates institutionalization by providing a wider organizational base to support the new behaviors. Many interventions fail to persist because they run counter to the values and norms of the larger organization. Rather than support the personnel recognition (award) policy, the larger organization rejects the changes and often puts pressure on the change target to revert to old behaviors. Diffusion of the personnel recognition policy to other organizational units reduces this counter implementation force. It tends to lock in behaviors by providing normative consensus from other parts of the organization. Moreover, the act of transmitting institutionalized behaviors to other systems reinforces commitment to the changes.

5. Sensing and calibration. This involves detecting deviations from desired personnel recognition behaviors and taking corrective action, institutionalized behaviors invariably encounter destabilizing forces, such as changes in the environment, new technologies, and pressures from other departments to nullify changes. These factors cause some variation in performances preferences norms, and values. To detect this variation and take corrective actions, organizations must have some sensing mechanism. Sensing mechanisms, such as implementation feedback, provide information about the occurrence of deviations. This knowledge can then initiate corrective actions to ensure that behaviors are more in line with the policy. For example, if a high level of job discretion associated with a job enrichment involvement does not persist, information about this problem might initiate' corrective actions, such as renewed attempts to socialize people or to gain commitment to the personnel recognition program.

Institutionalizing Organization Development
Once it is determined that personnel recognition has been implemented and is effective, attention should be directed at institutionalizing the changes--making them a permanent part of the organization's normal functioning. Normally, change occur in three stages: unfreezing, moving, and refreezing. Institutionalizing a policy concerns refreezing. It involves the long-term persistence of organizational changes: to the extent that changes persist, they can be said to be institutionalized. Such changes are not dependent on any one person but exist as a part of the culture of an organization. This means that numerous others share norms about the appropriateness of the personnel recognition.

Experiences have shown that personnel recognition can have a lasting positive impact on the culture of an organization, in the engagement of staff and users, and, most importantly, on the quality of services provided. The growing emphasis on educational sector reform throughout the world provides `fertile soil' for the concept of institutionalizing personnel recognition. However, personnel recognition will need to become part of the government and/or management agenda, and not proposed in isolation, if civil service systems are to progress beyond the awareness and experiential phases. As the framework illustrates, the institutionalization of personnel recognition is a continual process with multiple elements that require sustained commitment from leadership. Hence, one of the challenges we face is convincing civil service decision makers to implement, support, and promote a culture of quality. To this end, the use of quality indicators and self-monitoring systems to readily capture clear, quantitative results of civil service improvements are critical. Another challenge to institutionalizing personnel recognition is staff attrition and relocation to other parts of Nigeria, especially in Abakaliki. For this reason, diverse capacity-building strategies should be implemented, including on-the-job learning (through self-learning, peer mentoring, and job aids) and pre-service education. In addition, sufficient resources must be allocated to assure that a critical mass of personnel recognition experts are developed who can train, coach, and mentor others, as well as keep up-to date in the field of personnel recognition. Resources (human and financial) must also be devoted to implement personnel recognition activities. The personnel recognition Project's experience using the model portion of the Institutionalization Framework in Latin America and Africa indicates that it can be a useful tool to assist an organization or Ministry to plan and focus its efforts and resources to strengthen and sustain personnel recognition. Responding to requests from country programs and Ministries, we hope that the government and/or management will develop and evaluate a self-assessment and monitoring instrument, based on the framework, which will help an organization to analyze its personnel recognition institutionalization progress more systematically over time.

It has been recommended that when these measures are implemented, performance will increase by 30%, this of course will have a knock-on effect our urge and lead to greater future performance, productivity and execution of tasks ahead.

Therefore, I implore that a meeting be held by the executives where they will discuss how to institutionalize and implement this personnel recognition (through award) into the policies of the management as it will set a new target within the whole office. This is to ensure that the entire employees get back on track and stick to timescales and deadlines in their assignments.

Thank you for your co-operation and commitment to the join hands to institutionalize personnel recognition in this office.
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