Another year has gone by, and the time for making new resolutions has arrived. From being healthier and living better to being more kind – the goals are lofty for many. As I get back into the swing of things, I reflect on what I live and breathe every day: employee recognition.
It got me thinking, “Did I recognize or thank my peers enough in 2017?” Well, the overachiever in me would probably say “yes,” but the realist is telling a different story, that I can always do better! And, like many others who are taking an oath to do “something” in the new year, my first resolution is to make sure I thank and recognize people better in 2018.
While it’s great to come up with a resolution, how does one execute and reach this goal without being overcome with a fear of failure by mid-year?! The first thing that comes to my mind is an old Benjamin Franklin quote, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So, prepare it is. By pulling together my top five recognition tips, they will serve as a reminder in the new year to recognize more by being ready:
Overcoming Obstacles. There will always be the “I don’t have time” reaction, but don’t make that a roadblock to recognition. Yes, it’s better to recognize in the moment and when you see someone demonstrating the right behaviors, but we know it’s not always easy. However, you can come back to the person later in the day (when the timing is better) to acknowledge that moment and let the employee know they are valued.
Schedule recognition. One of the easiest ways for anyone to recognize more is to take advantage of any tools your organization already uses. For me, that means utilizing our Anniversary and Birthday timelines where I can start scheduling recognition for these milestones ahead of time, when time allows, and not waiting until the day of (when it might be busy) to acknowledge an event.
Don’t forget the little things. Usually, the big things are always recognized, and many times the little things go unnoticed. Seek out the little things and recognize those moments to make people feel appreciated regardless of how significant the achievement is.
It’s about the experience. Recognizing employees or team members for a job well done doesn’t always require an award or gift. Sometimes just the experience of being thanked or appreciated, either in front of peers/the organization or in a personal way, can mean more to the employee than anything else.
Make it meaningful. Sure, a “Thank you” or “Great Job” are appropriate words for recognizing someone one, but don’t leave out the “why” from the conversation. Tell employees why they are being recognized or thanked so they can connect recognition and it means something to them.
Whether your resolution is about recognition or getting healthier in the new year, just remember, it takes time to form new habits. While success doesn’t happen overnight, you have the next 12 months to improve, and even if it is only a slight improvement, it’s still progress!
Happy New Year!