Newsletter: Effective Recognition

Have you ever had someone quit because they felt unappreciated? If so, you are not alone. Not feeling appreciated is one of the top reasons employees close the door on jobs and move on to other departments or worse yet, other employers.

Giving personal employee recognition causes employees and peers to stay engaged in the process of work and the tasks at hand. Effective personal recognition is a special type of feedback which motivates your employees to achieve. Specifically, recognition gives an opportunity to direct and to communicate to others that they are on the path of achievement. Effectively recognizing others builds up relationships, strengthens trust and motivates employees to accomplish more.

Documented case after case prove that effectively timed and delivered recognition of others brings great rewards to the workplace and is more than worth the time that it takes to deliver. Boosted enthusiasm, increased team work and greater productivity are just a few of these benefits.

Focus on the specifics of the situation

Delivery of recognition needs to be specific and linked to the goals of the organization. Without a specific focus, your efforts to recognize others will be misunderstood or devalued. Choose specific feedback over more generalized comments. Ex. “Cynthia Barnes and her team reduced the order reject rate below target last week by successfully implementing the new controls”.
Verbally “Draw” a picture for the group as you recognize and express your appreciation for an employee’s efforts. Describe in vivid terms and details what the contribution was, how it was effective and what the effect was on the organization. In drawing a picture for your audience, you will be communicating more about the efforts that you desire from your teams and you will inspire the audience to reach beyond the expected efforts and motivate them to achieve extraordinary performance. .

Personalize the Recognition!

Once you get started recognizing employee efforts, keep it fresh, spontaneous, and varied. You know your employees, their likes and dislikes, the cultures that influence them, etc., so use this information to fine tune the recognition that you give. Can you provide a treat such as ice cream on a hot afternoon, kudos at the next staff meeting, or set up a traveling mascot to sit on the desk of the employee recognized? How about kicking up employee involvement in the process and let the currently recognized team choose the next group to be honored? As you develop more knowledge of your employees, use this information to keep the recognition from getting stale and predictable.

Direct comments on the achievement in a positive tone

Make sure that the recognition that is given is positive from start to finish. Never indulge in discouraging comparisons or sarcastic remarks. Your goal is to encourage more of the results desired.

Words of Caution

Handling employees that feel that their efforts have not been appreciated or recognized publicly can be difficult Carefully listen to your employee, evaluate and re-evaluate if needed. Take time for feedback and re-direction in the case of an employee who has not excelled. Make certain he knows what he or she needs to do in order to be recognized for extraordinary performance. Your goal is to place this employee on a path that will make him and the organization successful. Carefully give the employee immediate feedback about any deficiencies and follow-up after a short interval to encourage the progress that the employee has made.

Giving effective personal recognition is an effective way of communicating your desires, motivating employees and encouraging teamwork. Improve leadership and team results by making the most of this leadership tool.

We at T Squared Leadership, LLC are dedicated to improving your leadership and business results. Contact us at (719)359-5132 or for more information.