Each manager, supervisor, or business owner comes with their own unique set of interpersonal skills, along with strengths and weaknesses. This is especially so when it comes to giving meaningful and effective recognition.
You’ve likely had a boss or two who understood the importance of acknowledging your work. You had a positive relationship with them. Work seemed to go well and you felt engaged. You knew you were making a positive difference.
Not So Good Managers
Then again, you’ve probably bumped into at least one or two supervisors or had managers along your career path who plain didn’t get it.
And neither did you! No recognition that is.
You’ve likely heard these same bosses say things like:
“I pay them enough money. What more do they want?”
“If I give it to one person then others will expect it too.”
“I just don’t have time for all this touchy-feely stuff!”
Or if they were pretty good people but just didn’t know what to say, you repeatedly heard the infamous, “Good job!” or “Well done!” that lost its meaning after a while.
Guide For Recognition Giving
Here is a guide of 5 simple things managers need to know with recognition giving. You may want to share this with a boss who means well and truly wants to improve their recognition skills.
1. Most employees want to know their contributions are valued. This is what the big deal is all about. With many virtual employees or managers remote from where their staff works, it is nice to know your boss sees or hears about what you’re doing and takes the time to appreciate your work. Employees want to make a difference and be acknowledged for it.
2. Find out how employees want to be recognized. Sure, a lot of people like to be verbally acknowledged face-to-face. But not everyone does. By personalizing the recognition just the way a person likes it you add greater meaning and motivation. Make those little things a big deal.
3. Respect each individual’s recognition needs and wants. Not everyone enjoys being praised in public so don’t assume the on stage hoopla for all of your staff. Having that one-on-one moment with an employee in your office can be a precious break for them. Honor each employee’s wishes.
4. Be as specific as possible with expressing recognition. Forget saying generalities like, “Good job!” Good work is an expected norm. When a person goes above and beyond their job description it’s a big deal worth noting. Tell employees specifically what they did that caught your attention. Then tell them how their action or work made a difference to someone inside or outside the company.
5. Recognize as soon as you observe or hear of great actions. You have a small window of time to give meaningful and memorable recognition to someone. The sooner you give the recognition the shinier the star. Prioritize your people first over your daily work tasks and get out of the office and give them the praise and acknowledgment they deserve right away.
These quick tips should help any manager show better signs of positive recognition and appreciation of their employees.
Question: What advice would you give for managers to improve their recognition skills?
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.