If there is one thing that will improve the effectiveness of recognition in your organization, it’s undoubtedly giving recognition to people more often. Put the following practices into place, so you can increase the number of times recognition happens in your organization:
1. A Personal Commitment
Commit to giving recognition and make it a way of work life for you versus it being programmatic. Be more intentional in recognizing employees (including peers and leaders) as you observe the great things people do daily around you.
2. Keep Track of Recognition
Measure how you are doing with giving recognition. Keep a tally of how often you recognize your employees each week. Set a personal goal on how often you will give recognition each day.
3. Start Someone’s Day Right
As a nice first thing-in-the-morning gesture, bring in an employee’s favorite hot (or cold) drink prepared how they like it. Do small acts of acknowledgment to lighten people’s workloads and show random acts of kindness.
4. Create a Recognition Mindset
Don’t open your inbox in the morning until you write an email expressing gratitude to an employee or peer. Thank them for their help and the good things they do for you, the department/organization and others. Allow yourself time to be positive for the day.
5. Recognition Reminders Help
You might need to create a notification reminder in your phone or computer to keep recognition top of mind. It's a great way to cue yourself to recognize someone if you let an opportunity go by that day.
6. End of Day Reflection
At the end of each workday, pause and think about who deserves recognition today. Now act upon those impressions. Pick up the phone and leave a positive voicemail of praise. Send an ecard (if you have a recognition program) or get out of the office and thank someone face-to-face!
7. Get Prepared for Recognition
In addition to using an internal recognition program, go out and buy some note/thank you cards, colored markers and postage stamps. At the end of each day, send someone who deserves it a handwritten note of appreciation.
8. Apply Active Listening Everywhere
Be on the lookout or listen for conversations identifying the needs of your people. Do something appropriate to show your concern and provide support for folks. Listen more carefully to people during your virtual meetings and provide recognition or acknowledgment when needed.
9. Start Your Meetings Right
Begin meetings by acknowledging peers’ above and beyond performances (whether you witnessed or were advised by others). Ask team members to come with stories of ways team members helped one another and share them on your video conference calls.
10. Enlist Others to Recognize
Instill in all employees the idea of expressing appreciation to team members. Ensure they inform you of outstanding things you may not have known about. Add to that recognition by using your online recognition or performance programs.
Recognition doesn’t always come naturally, and it takes practice. Follow these ten steps to improve your recognition giving and share these tips with your peers.