Top 10 Ways to Give More Authentic Recognition

How being genuine and totally open makes for better recognition

When giving recognition to people our task is to make this act as memorable of an experience as possible. Unfortunately, it is the execution of the recognition giving that can kill the moment. We need to be thinking more about what the recipient would like to have happen. This month’s Top 10 tips will guide you in giving real, authentic recognition.

  1. Never give a gift or an award alone. When any tangible gift or award is being given to an employee, accompany the presentation with an expression of meaningful words of acknowledgment. Make the words of appreciation, whether spoken or written, the icing on the cake – even the cherry on top!
  1. Be consistent in giving genuine recognition. Research shows consistency in the giving of regular and meaningful praise and acknowledgement is just one way that demonstrates authenticity. Employees repeatedly tell me that authenticity in the recognition and praise received is essential.
  1. Take extra care of delivery and presentation. OK, so you know what you’re going to say or give as an act of recognition. However, it is equally important to make sure you do it right. Orchestrate the presentation in every sensory way possible to make the recognition experience special.
  1. Respect a person’s individual preferences. Sit down with the recognition recipient ahead of time and learn how they like to receive their recognition. Discover whether they would prefer to receive the planned recognition publicly or privately and then respect them. Some prefer just a small private affair.
  1. Find out their likes, dislikes and personal wishes. Always remember how you want them to feel with the recognition being given. Determine what is meaningful to each person. Get the “right” person to make the presentation for the recipient. With a little more thought and planning recognition will always be well received.
  1. Be sensitive to how you say things. Represent yourself and the organization properly with what you say to people and always be mindful of remembering the individual. Think about your choice of words carefully and use an appropriate tone of voice when speaking to people.
  1. Get ahead of the generalities and be specific. When you’re giving recognition to a person tell them specifically what it is they have done that merits being acknowledged. Too often we just use trite, short, general statements like “well done!” or “good job”. Pull out the stops and thank them for everything they have contributed.
  1. When you’re in the room, be in the room. Authentic recognition is also demonstrated when givers show genuine excitement and enthusiasm towards the recipient and their contributions and achievements. Recognizers need to give their complete attention to the person and celebrate what they have done.
  1. Bring the difference they’ve made front and center. Always state and tell the recipient, and share with those present, specifically how their contributions have made a difference to their peers, their customer, or to the company as a whole. Share an account of how the individual’s actions have impacted others.
  1. Never forget the importance of using their name. Make certain you are using the person’s preferred name and not just their given name. A person’s name is music to their ears so make sure you are pronouncing it and have it spelled right. Remember to use their name as often as is appropriate in the presentation.

Question: How has giving more authentic recognition made a difference to people you work with?

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